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M&G Wealth unveils ‘low-cost’ hybrid advice offering

As Charles Stanley announces ‘simplified’ financial planning operation

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M&G Wealth has joined forces with global technology specialist Ignition Advice to create a hybrid digital advice service.

The firm expects it to be complete in Q4 2021, and the “low-cost” offering will still be provided by a human adviser with the support of digital technology.

M&G Wealth’s existing customers will have priority to access the proposition before it gets marketed to the wider population.

The company said the service will “reduce the time and cost to deliver advice allowing improved outcomes for those seeking to invest or retire with smaller sums of money”.

The delivery will be carried out by M&G Wealth’s existing advisers and will be “complementary to the much wider support M&G provides to independent financial advisers”, the firm added.

Ignition Advice is headquartered in Sydney but has recently set out plans to relocate to the UK and establish teams in London and Edinburgh. It has had a presence in Dublin since 2017 as well.

‘Accessible and inclusive’ advice

Richard Caldicott, deputy chief executive of M&G Wealth Advice, said: “We want as many people as possible to access advice in an efficient, understandable, convenient, affordable and sustainable way.

“There is no doubt that there is a large population of investors who would benefit greatly from financial advice, but they perceive it to be inaccessible and too costly. This is at the root of the advice gap and something we are fully focused on addressing.

“We want to be innovative, flexible and accelerate our delivery in all aspects of advice through first class digital experiences for our customers. Our whole focus in M&G Wealth is to enable our clients to have the best possible financial futures by building a planet friendly advice service which is accessible and inclusive for all.

“After a thorough due diligence process Ignition Advice is a fantastic partner to enable us to do just that”.

Terry Donohoe, chief executive for Europe at Ignition Advice, added: “Digitally-led solutions make advice more accessible, easier to navigate and more cost effective, while still retaining the benefits of human relationships. We share M&G’s commitment to delivering accessible, inclusive advice for all and are delighted to be partnering with them to both evolve their offering to clients and further scale their proposition in the market.

“Our experience in Australia and the Republic of Ireland has shown us the value of this model to consumers and the potential it has to democratise financial advice. We’re excited to bring our tried and tested tech to the UK market with M&G Wealth Advice”.

Simplified offering

In other industry news, UK wealth firm Charles Stanley is setting up a central financial services division next year to “address client needs for simplified advice as opposed to full service discretionary management”.

In its results for the year ended 31 March 2021, the firm said the arm will incorporate model portfolio services, foundation financial planning and execution-only services.

Paul Abberley, chief executive of Charles Stanley, said: “As we move through the new financial year, we will be continuing with our growth and efficiency initiatives.

“In particular, the creation of a new division, central financial services, to address client needs not currently met in the marketplace is important.”

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