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Rating:Skandia Dazzles with Wrap Stars Not Rated 3.0 Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Tuesday, April 10, 2001

Skandia Dazzles with Wrap Stars

Reported by Tamiko Toland

American Skandia has enlisted some name brand advisors for its wrap program, ranging from well-known individuals to institutions. Harry Dent, La Jolla Economics, Prudential, and Barlays Global Investment Advisor now contribute their investment expertise in the form of allocation strategies among the firm's funds for its Strategists Solutions. A fifth deal with an unnamed advisor is still in the works.

With star power already glittering in Skandia's lineup of funds and variable annuities, why hire on more celebrities?

"The successful marketing tool is to say that we have global research and really savvy strategists who can capture the attention and the confidence of the advisor and their clients," explained Patti Abram, senior vice president/national markets director for life insurance and wrap products.

With up to quarterly allocation readjustments, investors can keep up with the times. The au courant strategies sometimes raise eyebrows, even at American Skandia.

"Victor Canto [of La Jolla Economics] was the presidential advisor to Reagan during the Reaganomics era. His aggressive model is 40 percent bonds," said Abram, herself surprised by the prevalence of a conservative vehicle in an aggressive strategy. Her office checked to make sure the unusual allocation hadn't been the result of a clerical error she said, continuing, "Victor is a very dynamic modeler and he thinks that an aggressive investor is one that seeks maximum returns over the next twelve months."

The BGI strategies are fashioned after defined benefit plans, with target retirement dates of 2010, 2020, 2030, and 2040. "Instead of having to change models," explained Abram, "the model itself is changed each year as you get closer to that date."

None of the four currently sub-advises American Skandia mutual fund or variable annuity products, although a future relationship with any of them would make sense.

American Skandia's third wrap product, Advisor Solutions was originally slated for March but has yet to see the light of day. Abram asserts the launch pushback is unrelated to the firm's recent announcement of layoffs. "We have delayed due to the need for substantially more IT development than was originally anticipated," she explained.

Related Stories:
New Year, New Territory, Jan 5 2001 

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