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AXA Elevate assets rise 50% boosted by £1.7bn sales

by Alex Steger on Feb 21, 2013 at 07:44

AXA Elevate assets rise 50% boosted by £1.7bn sales

Wrap platform AXA Elevate saw a £1.7 billion surge in sales over 2012 helping assets under administration grow to £5.3 billion.

Sales on the wrap were up 17% at £1.7 billion, while total assets rose 51% from £3.3 billion in 2011 to £5.3 billion at the end of 2012.

Elevate’s strong performance helped boost parent company AXA Wealth, with 51% of its new business being placed on the platform.

AXA Wealth’s sales totalled £3.3 billion, a drop of 11% from £3.7 billion in 2012,  while overall assets rose to £21.6 billion, from £18.9 billion the year before.

AXA Wealth said the drop in sales was due to challenging economic markets, advisers being distracted by preparation for the retail distribution review (RDR) and the company's final separation of its life business which was sold to Friends Life in 2010.

Multi-manager fund range Architas also saw assets increase, rising 20% from £9.4 billion in 2011 to £11.3 billion in 2012.

AXA Wealth chief executive Mike Kellard (pictured) said the firm’s ability to offer adviser charging across all its products had helped in the run-up to the RDR.

‘At a time when many businesses have not been able to facilitate adviser charging, AXA Wealth has invested in its entire product range…to ensure they are fully RDR-ready. We are one of a very small number of companies that are able to offer adviser charging as an option across both our wrap platform and our individual products.'

He added: ‘While of course there is still uncertainty ahead, I think we will be in a strong position to support advisers in this new RDR world.’

Click here for our definitive database on wraps.

9 comments so far. Why not have your say?

Bindair Dundat 2

Feb 21, 2013 at 08:23

Yet they see fit to prune their price and then lay staff off, some of whom were responsible for helping them deliver this performance - Interesting forward thinking model. Interesting photo also, I guess you can't be a kind, cuddly smiling boss on the one hand with a calculator and axe in the other.

It's a good platform with top quartile functionality in my view but when oh when will large providers learn that it is their people that make the difference and not simply some clever IT stuff?

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Yaya Toure's wallet

Feb 21, 2013 at 08:43

I too use it - but it could definitely be speedied up and made a little more user friendly. Since it is us inputting on their platform fund alterations and new business the process is a little slow and elongated. However today price conquers much and so those little querks are acceptable given the lack of an initial charge and free funded switching facility, together with what is now a very competitve AMC for the wrap.

However for clients with c. £40,000+ Ascentric ISA/GIA is cheaper - provided you dont get silly switching constantly.

Elevate offer a really competitve pension and are very good for regular savings too.

As the FSA say no one platform/wrap fits all.....

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Ian Lees

Feb 21, 2013 at 08:55

Any0one can increase assets or liabilities by purchasing other funds or advisers unds - with or without the initial charge of 3% ( or more ) as incentive ( often referred to as commissions ) - e.g LloydsTSB who purchased Halifax and Bank of Scotlands - reckless lending and their loans books - following Andy Hornby's demise etc., The value in a business lies within the client, not the client bank - and the advisers commitment to customers, and TRUST , to their protection and for their service. Millions have been deprived of advice through the Fickle Services Authority destruction of good advisers businesses, in preference for their fondness of the insolvent swindling banks ( against their customers and each other e.g Libor ) and it would be useful to see if Axa elevate has just "collected " , some of these - if so . . Good and I am sure the new clients will be serviced appropriately ( and consistently - or at all ).

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Darren Lloyd Thomas

Feb 21, 2013 at 09:02

I don't think Elevate are the enemy here, they do have (at first inspection) a compelling and cost effective offering and in the new world you probably need to show that you have considered it. However, having invested considerable time in looking at using this platform, I found the nasty little catches which put me off using it for my mainstream clients - ie - not such attractive client rebates as the big boys, no on shore bond wrapper for tax planning, no opportunity to reinvest income units into the same funds - the income literally goes into cash (bonkers) and the inability to cover the charges by selling equally across a model portfolio - you appear to have to hold huge amounts of cash away from the investment arena to cover the various charges. So to echo comments already made - they aren't the end solution but they may fit certain scenarios very well.

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Paul Riddell

Feb 21, 2013 at 11:21

Darren, in relation to the point you makes about Elevate not being able to facilitate the covering of charges equally across all fund when investing in a model portfolio, it does have the ability to do this by using the regular sell down functionality on the platform. Would you like someone to call you about it?

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Darren Lloyd Thomas

Feb 21, 2013 at 13:08

Paul, I spent considerable time with two very helpful people from your team dicsussing this point. I can assure you that your platform does NOT offer the facility to sell down equally across all funds - it can only sell from the biggest fund which will quickly ruin a model portfolios asset allocation. Hence the need to sit in cash. Skandia offer the same 0% initial and 0% switching with apparently higher platform charges but better rebates which evens it out or at least makes it very close indeed - they offer much greater functionality currently. it is very much a case by case. I appreciate your concern and as I say - Elevate are obviously doing something right.

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Darren Lloyd Thomas

Feb 21, 2013 at 16:53

I have received my call from AXA today and apparently you CAN sell down across all units within a model portfolio if you are funding service charges and platform charges. My confusion was in regards to regular dissinvestment. Thank you Paul for arranging the call and putting me straight, I wanted to mention this incase anyone else was considering AXA.

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Feb 21, 2013 at 23:22

There is a post on here stating that people make the difference and its not all about functionality. Then there is a post plugging a solution because of perceived cheapness whilst ignoring lack of people!

As long there is such a difference of opinion there will be a place for cheap solutions with no support. It can't be long before the quality platforms that offer true added value pull the resource from non supporters.

I guess we would not be too happy if we gave away our intellectual capital for the client to then go and buy the solution via another route.

On a very positive note its good to see a platform having good news for once.

It seems that there are a small number of solutions developing and generating increased support whilst lack of development on the old solutions is increasing outflows of funds from their back book.

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Ian Lees

Feb 23, 2013 at 17:07

Darren, thanks thatseems to be most useful and perhaps we should consider using AXA.

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