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AKG Update Issue 22
9 June 2016
 
DFM due diligence DISCUSed

As part of the development work that AKG has been carrying out in order to establish our forthcoming DFM related assessments and ratings output, we have also been considering the wider due diligence conundrum for financial advisers.

With the FCA monitoring adviser due diligence processes in relation to the research and selection of solutions, including those offered by platform operators and DFMs, there would appear to be a requirement for these processes to become more robust. We have been talking about this with DISCUS (Discretionary Investment Services Coming Under Scrutiny), the excellent new DFM information resource for advisers. You can read our thoughts on this here.

A proposed due diligence framework comprising four key areas of consideration for advisers when selecting DFMs is suggested and this includes a step which seeks to carry out some form of assessment on the DFM entity itself. This is a core area for AKG in terms of the provision of independent assessments of financial services entitites and an area where we are keen to support adviser businesses.

Guy Vanner

AKG's Managing Director
What next for the SIPP market?

With the introduction of the FCA’s new capital adequacy framework for SIPP operators looming large in September 2016 the next six to twelve months promises to be a fascinating period for the SIPP market. AKG is following developments with great interest and we have certainly seen a growing interest in SIPP related issues from our contacts across the industry. In particular adviser businesses would appear to have a greater requirement for information relating to the financial strength and capacity of SIPP operators.

AKG already covers SIPP operators within our assessment work but we are actively seeking to enhance our coverage to meet demand. In our position as an independent market observer we are also in a strong position to comment on how the SIPP market is responding to its current challenges and to assess future outlook for the market.

Readers of Financial Solutions, the magazine published by the Personal Finance Society (PFS) for its members, will be able to read our recent piece – What next for the SIPP market? – on pages 20 and 21 of the May/June edition. A copy of this article is available here on the AKG website.

Matt Ward

AKG's Head of Communications
Rating Activity

Life Companies, Friendly Societies & Similar Providers

Alliance Trust Savings Limited
Overall Financial Strength
B [Confirmed] Issued 16 May 2016

AmTrust at Lloyd's Limited Syndicate 44
Overall Financial Strength
B- [Previously C] Issued 16 May 2016

ANV Life Insurance (Syndicate 779 at Lloyd’s)
Overall Financial Strength
Rating withdrawn 31 Jul 2015 [Previously C]

Cigna Life Insurance Company of Europe S.A.-N.V. (UK Branch)
Overall Financial Strength
B [Confirmed] Issued 2 Jun 2016

Covéa Life Ltd
Overall Financial Strength
B- [Confirmed] Issued 24 May 2016

Hawthorn Life DAC (UK Branch)
Overall Financial Strength
B- [Confirmed] Issued 24 May 2016

Investment Funds Direct Ltd
Overall Financial Strength
B [Confirmed] Issued 16 May 2016

Lutine Assurance Services Limited
Overall Financial Strength
B- [New rating] Issued 16 May 2016

Suffolk Life Pensions Limited
Overall Financial Strength
B- [Previously B] Issued 26 May 2016

Teachers Provident Society Ltd
Overall Financial Strength
Rating withdrawn 2 Jun 2016 [Previously B-]
 

Offshore Life Companies

Aviva Life International Ltd
Overall Financial Strength
B- [Previously B] Issued 20 May 2016

AXA Isle of Man Limited
Overall Financial Strength
B+ [Confirmed] Issued 19 May 2016

Cardif Lux Vie S.A.
Overall Financial Strength
B [Confirmed] Issued 16 May 2016

La Mondiale Europartner S.A.
Overall Financial Strength
B- [Confirmed] Issued 24 May 2016

Private Estate Life S.A.
Overall Financial Strength
B- [Confirmed] Issued 24 May 2016

Note: This section refers solely to our Overall Financial Strength Ratings/Platform Financial Strength Ratings.
Report Releases

Company Profile & Financial Strength Reports

Covéa Life
Short Report – Issued 24 May 2016

Suffolk Life
Short Report – Issued 26 May 2016
 

Offshore Profile & Financial Strength Reports

AXA Isle of Man
Full Report – Issued 19 May 2016
Report Withdrawals

Company Profile & Financial Strength Reports

Teachers Assurance
Short Report – Withdrawn 2 Jun 2016
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