Readers of the City and financial pages may well have seen the news that Standard Life Aberdeen has agreed to sell its life and pensions business to Phoenix Group for £3.24bn.
The announcement follows the £11bn merger between Aberdeen Asset Management and Standard Life last August and confirms that the enlarged group has wasted little time in concentrating on its corporate ambition to become a major asset manager on the world stage.
Omnium Wealth Management has had a long and happy association with Standard Life stretching back many years and any material change such as this attracts our immediate attention. Life and pensions is a people-centric industry where personal service remains of paramount importance.
Phoenix hasn’t enjoyed the best of reputations historically for administration and customer service and you might have seen some commentators warning that, despite reassurances from the group that nothing will change, it is only a question of time before customers see a noticeable change in both service and product terms.
Our own view is that, while we are not thrilled by the news of a change of ownership, it is too early to make speculative judgments or rash decisions. We will be keeping a watchful eye on developments on your behalf and, as always, you can rely on us to advise you accordingly.
The fact that Aberdeen Standard Investments will continue to manage £110.5bn of assets on behalf of the disposed businesses may be cause for optimism that Phoenix’s standards will improve to the benefit of clients and advisers alike.
There is nothing you need to do at this time and no cause for alarm.
Naturally, if there is anything you have read or heard that concerns you, you should not hesitate to contact us. We will be pleased to give you our opinion and advice. If so, give us a call on 01483 205890.