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Standard Life Wealth's key targets following Newton deal

Standard Life Wealth's key targets following Newton deal

Standard Life Wealth (SLW) is seeking to build its presence in both the charity and defined benefit markets.

SLW managing director David Driver said the two are very much on the firm’s radar, alongside building on its success in the adviser outsourcing market.

His comments come as the firm’s planned integration with Newton progresses towards its deadline at the end of September.

Driver (pictured) said the integration process is progressing well, although he is unable to divulge further detail at this stage on how the two investment propositions will fit together. 

‘We’ve been impressed with the quality and talent of people that they have – it really has shone through. The Newton Private Clients team share many of our values and aspirations for clients and we are all looking forward to working with our new colleagues,’ he said.

‘We are working closely with them on the transfer of clients, assets and funds, to ensure that clients are best served with minimal disruption while bringing together both propositions under the SLW brand.’

Tripling SLW assets

Subject to completion, Standard Life will acquire Newton’s private client division for up to £83.5 million. This will see SLW triple its assets as Newton currently runs £3.6 billion.

Following the takeover, SLW will also take on £400 million of Newton’s charity assets; a range of 11 funds that are predominantly invested in by Newton’s private clients with £800 million under management, and £600-£700 million in offshore client portfolios.

Driver added he hopes the charity assets coming over, alongside Newton’s specialist team, and recent hire James England, formerly of UBS, will provide a springboard for the firm’s growing charity division.

‘We are looking to build on the success we have already achieved in the charity space through developing our charity desk and tailored investment solutions for charities,’ Driver said.

‘We are particularly excited by the opportunities we see to strengthen our proposition with the specialist team joining us from Newton Private Clients,’ he added.

He also highlighted the defined benefit market as a potential growth area. As a result, the firm has sought to strengthen its proposition by leveraging off Standard Life’s liability-driven investment capability.

Following the introduction of the retail distribution review (RDR) in January, Driver said the firm will look to build on its success in the adviser outsourcing market, having attracted £800 million in new mandates last year, up 85% on 2011.

‘Advisers and clients particularly like that we have no ongoing dealing costs which allows us to rebalance very regularly without detriment to clients. Advisers are increasing their investment outsourcing due to the requirements set out in the recent guidance issued by the FSA.

‘These requirements are strongly aligned to our approach and we expect that this will lead to further opportunities for the business over the short to medium term,’ he added.

Maximising impact on client portfolios

The team has sought to improve investment processes with what they describe as scalability changes, which include introducing a capability for automatic rebalancing. Driver said: ‘This has the advantage for our clients of ensuring our strategies are closely and consistently reflected in all client portfolios – maximising the impact and speed of implementation of our investment decisions for all our clients.’

The Newton/SLW tie-up in numbers:

- Combined assets: £5.35 billion

- Number of Newton clients: 3,000 high and ultra-high net worth

- Newton charity assets set to transfer: £400 million

- Assets from private client fund ranges: £1 billion (£800 million onshore and £200 million offshore)


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