our of the most visible UK money managers have agreed to a joint venture, as yet unnamed, offering fund administration and services to UK financial advisors.
The new fund supermarket will be funded with £20 ($30.5 million) by: Gartmore
, recently purchased by Nationwide
; Jupiter Asset Management
, part of Commerzbank
, which is owned by Prudential
; and Threadneedle Investment Services
, owned by Scudder
The new company, which will operate independently of the four investing firms, will have its own management team, headed by Sam Jensen
, 37, the new chief executive officer, who had been director of marketing for Goldman Sachs
Mutual Funds just prior to the new appointment. Jensen also worked with Paul Hondros
in establishing the Fidelity FundsNetwork
in the US.
Initially, the supermarket will offer a "consolidation" process for advisors, providing dealing, settlement, switching and valuation. There will no charge to advisors utilizing the service; the new company will be compensated by the fund companies offering their products on the new platform.
Jensen is adamant that the new service will differentiate itself from the the Prudential's retail platform through Egg
, the recently launched Fidelity UK supermarket, and the other platforms in the works, via its exclusive nature for advisors. Jensen said that three- quarters of all UK investors choose some form of advice prior to investing.
"We really want to put the advisor on the pedestal as the client," said Jensen. "We'll share all the information that we can possibly share with them, and we'll have strong legal agreements in place to ensure that."
When queried about the potential conflict between Prudential's existing service through its online Egg service, and its investment in the new company, Jensen saw no conflict.
"Egg is a directed retail site for consumers -- ours will be a complementary service," said Jensen.
The site's first product will be launched later in the year, after a "period of consultation" with advisors.
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