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Hargreaves to launch D2C discretionary service to plug advice gap

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Hargreaves to launch D2C discretionary service to plug advice gap

Hargreaves Lansdown is seeking to plug the post-RDR advice gap with the launch of a 'discretionary direct' service.

The plan, which is in its early stages, will see the UK's largest execution-only platform launch a direct-to-consumer discretionary proposition. Head of financial planning Danny Cox (pictured) said the service would likely involve a self-select risk-rated model portfolio service that is likely to have an investment level of no more than £10,000 but added the finer details, such as a time-frame for a launch, were yet to be decided.

The service will be run by Hargreaves' investment research team, behind the firm's existing discretionary proposition that clients access via financial advisers. Cox said the firm had been waiting for the FCA's recent guidance on what constitutes advice before it had taken the decision to launch the offering.

Cox said he felt there is a gap in the market concerning viable investment propositions that cater for the growing numbers of people who are unable to access financial advice post the RDR and highlighted the increased numbers of Hargreaves clients who are seeking financial advice via the telephone. He said 14 out of the firm's 101-strong financial adviser team are now telephone-focused.

The firm is also expanding its multi-manager range with plans to launch UK All Companies, European and Emerging Markets funds. They will run by the existing team and rolled out in the first quarter of next year. 

Hargreaves runs some £4.6 billion across its multi-manager funds and portfolio management service, up 39% on 2013. Over the year to July, the group posted a 29% rise in assets under administration to £46.9 billion. Net revenue rose 8% to £291.9 million over the same period, while operating profit was also 8% higher.

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