Clerical Medical invests in Misys IFA portal

Clerical Medical invests in Misys IFA portal

Clerical Medical, a subsidiary of HBOS, is to take a ten per cent stake in Misys' AssureWeb portal for independent financial advisors.

In January of this year, Friends Provident, Norwich Union and Scottish Widows collectively made a £9.2 million investment in AssureWeb, as well as committing to payments of £16.8 million for services related to usage of the portal.

The three providers originally acquired a 40 per cent stake, which will now be shared by all four providers. Misys retains a 60 per cent controlling interest in AssureWeb.

John Edwards, chief executive, Clerical Medical states: "The direction indicated by reviews such as Sandler and Pickering is an environment of increasing pressure on margins and costs for both IFAs and product providers. Against that backdrop it is clear that the industry must work more closely together to accelerate the growth of business-to-business e-commerce."

AssureWeb will continue to provide open access to all product providers and all IFAs, regardless of whether or not they are an investing provider or one of the Misys network members.

Misys is also reporting an additional 13 product providers have signed up to new, and long term, membership agreements. The companies signed up to the new agreements, in addition to the four investors are: Aegon (Scottish Equitable), AMP, ANFIS (Scottish Mutual/Scottish Provident), AXA, Britannic Retirement Solutions, BUPA, Liverpool Victoria, Prudential, Royal London (Scottish Life), Skandia, Standard Life, Swiss Life and ZIFA.

Graham Dumble, managing director, Scottish Equitable, comments: "The partnership reinforces not only our commitment to developing technology but our long held belief that technology is a critical component of improving service and reducing costs within the industry."

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