December 2020

A lot has happened in the world of platforms this week — most of it in Scotland. First there was the news that Standard Life Aberdeen is selling Parmenion, one of its three platforms. Hot on its heels was the announcement that its Edinburgh neighbour, Nucleus, had received offers for its entire share capital. Last but not least, Novia is reportedly changing hands before Christmas (OK, Novia is technically not Scottish but bear with us).

After a couple of months of speculation, M&G has reached an agreement with Royal London to purchase its platform, Ascentric. The deal, subject to FCA approval, brings £14bn of assets and over 90,000 clients to the M&G, in what seemed at first like an oddly timed move.

Old Mutual Wealth announced it is simplifying its charging structure and expanding its client linking feature to offer discounts to family members. Both changes come into effect in April 2020.

Hargreaves Lansdown published its interim results on Friday. Chris Hill, CEO, stated that the platform will be introducing changes to its research process with the aim of providing more detail and greater transparency. There will also be new functionality for customers who want a deeper, more autonomous dive into fund research.

The first day of the Chinese New Year, also known as the Spring Festival or the Lunar Near Year, fell at the weekend on Saturday 25 January. It also heralded the start of the year of the Rat, the first in the 12-strong Chinese zodiac.

Ethical, responsible, sustainable, eco-friendly, green. The last few years has seen a dramatic rise of these buzzwords across all products and sectors. The public is far more conscious about its impact on the world. As a result, companies are keen to be, or at least perceived to be, as responsible and doing their part to improve the environment and society at large.