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Royal London chief ‘open-minded’ to Ascentric name change

Outgoing Royal London chief executive Phil Loney has said he is ‘open-minded’ about a move to rebrand the wrap platform Ascentric in 2019.

Royal London chief ‘open-minded’ to Ascentric name change

Departing Royal London chief executive Phil Loney has said he is ‘open-minded’ about a move to rebrand the wrap platform Ascentric in 2019.

Loney, who announced this morning he will be leaving the mutual insurer next year to focus on philanthropic work, told New Model Adviser® after Ascentric has finished replatforming it could get a new name.

‘A lot of intermediaries I talk to say: “why don’t you rebrand as Royal London on the Ascentric platform?” Frankly we have just been very focused on completing the replatforming but we are very ambitious in that space.

‘[I am] very open-minded about future branding, but the proposition will remain the same.' 

Last month the Ascentric platform closed down many of its functions while the majority of IFAs were migrated onto the new Bravura-run platform.

Loney said this migration has ‘gone down pretty well’ and the only remaining part is to move Succession customers from the white-label platform used by the consolidator.

He added he has ‘no regrets’ about the replatforming project which he estimated will cost over £600 million for the whole company.

‘We have replatformed several areas of the business because we need the right tech in place for a more digital future. But of course that is incredibly hard work and we will have spent over £600 million by the time we finish on various areas.

‘Ascentric is only a small part of it, although it has got a lot of press attention, but we have brought new systems in for finance, actuarial, life assurance and pensions. I hope that means Royal London is underpinned for the next 20 years.’

In 2019 Royal London plans to increase its high-net-worth market share, currently at 3%, through the Ascentric platform, he said. The firm also plans to launch new fund ideas particularly in the drawdown space.

Loney has been at the helm of Royal London since 2011, over which time the company has grown to become a much more recognisable household name, as well as growing from £46 billion assets under management to £117 billion at the end of June 2018.

He is departing the mutual insurer for charity work focused on the international development sector and helping people with learning difficulties.  

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