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New investment proposition gives “unique flexibility” for advisers

22 January 2009

Scottish Life, the pensions specialist arm of the Royal London Group, has launched a new investment proposition, introducing a range of investment portfolios and lifestyle strategies which advisers can customise to fit with their own business model. The 'Custom Range' is available with Scottish Life's own governance or can fit within the adviser's governance.

The core Custom Range offers nine risk-graded portfolios plus a choice of fixed or flexible lifestyle strategies, and has been designed for the individual and group pensions markets.

Main features include:

  • can operate on "autopilot" throughout the working lifetime, so helping advisers to efficiently deliver a quality investment service to their clients
  • straightforward, 3-step process to build a custom lifestyle strategy, using Scottish Life's comprehensive governance process:
    1. select the appropriate lifestyle journey(s), using 3 of the 9 governed portfolios
    2. choose the equity fund(s) from a range of 56 funds provided by a total of 17 managers
    3. choose the target at retirement - either cash, for annuity purchase; or one of 3 portfolios, for income drawdown
  • choice of comprehensive ongoing governance from Scottish Life at no extra cost; or flexibility for adviser to use own governance process; or a combination of the two
  • option to "own brand" any of the portfolios or lifestyle strategies used, including branded factsheets

Commenting on the launch, Nick Leitch, Head of Investment Marketing at Scottish Life, said:

"The challenge we gave ourselves was quite simple - to design and deliver an investment proposition for the individual pension market which offers unique flexibility, functionality and value.

"The new proposition emphasises the crucial importance we attach to strong ongoing governance in all respects, while giving advisers the option to use some or all of their own governance process if they wish."

The new proposition incorporates:

  • a wide range of risk-profiled portfolios
  • refinements to the asset allocation process
  • automatic monthly portfolio rebalancing
  • option for advisers to select monthly, quarterly, half-yearly or annual rebalancing, within their own governance process
  • increased flexibility for lifestyling towards the planned retirement age
  • increased range of risk/lifestyle options

ongoing comprehensive governance available, at no additional cost, covering the asset allocation model; the lifestyling model; and the performance of the investment funds in the core range, (as regards returns and risk)

broad choice of investments - 85 funds from 18 different managers; 56 equity funds from 17 managers - within the full governance framework

The Custom Range sits alongside Scottish Life's Governed Range, which will also be attractive to many IFAs for some or all of their individual pension clients. The Governed Range is particularly suitable for use with Group defined contribution pensions.

Nick Leitch added:

"We worked very closely with leading consultancy Barrie & Hibbert, to develop key elements of the new package. And a new risk-profiling tool was developed for us by leading academic Alistair Byrne, of the Pensions Institute.

"The development also involved a considerable amount of discussion with, and feedback from, advisers. This was absolutely crucial in helping ensure that the finished package was not just theoretically sound, but also that it was very closely matched to the practical requirements of advisers, operating in the real world.

"The recent FSA letter, 'Pension Switching Advice'*, gives some classic examples of this real world. For example, to quote from the letter "Where an 'asset allocation' approach has been recommended, the scheme needs to be reviewed periodically, and rebalanced where necessary, to ensure it continues to be suitable"

"The demands on advisers today are clearly significant. Our new investment proposition has been designed to help advisers comply with regulatory requirements; to provide a leading-edge product for their clients; and to achieve greater commercial success within their own business."

For more information about the Custom and Governed Ranges, advisers should speak to their normal Scottish Life contact (or call 0845 6040800) or go to

* FSA letter, ‘Pension Switching Advice’ dated 9 December 2008


- ENDS -

For further information please contact:

Scottish Life

Alasdair Buchanan, Head of Communications
0131 456 7133
07919 170 413

Polhill Communications

Nicola Pierce
020 7655 0530

Editor's Notes:

Investment returns may fluctuate and are not guaranteed.

Advisers should ensure that their advice process complies with FSA suitability requirements and with their own internal compliance requirements.

Scottish Life was founded in 1881 in Edinburgh as a proprietary company, becoming a mutual company in 1968.

On 1 July 2001, Scottish Life demutualised and transferred its business to The Royal London Mutual Insurance Society Limited. Scottish Life is a division of Royal London and is the specialist pensions business within the Group, providing individual and group pensions to the market via intermediaries.

Scottish Life and Royal London's other intermediary businesses are based mainly in Edinburgh where 1,200 staff are employed, with 740 working in other parts of the UK and overseas.

Royal London Group is a specialist financial service provider. Its businesses focus on those sectors of the market which value quality propositions, operating through a number of brands:

  • Scottish Life - UK pensions market
  • Bright Grey - UK protection market
  • Scottish Provident - UK protection market
  • Phoenix Life Assurance Limited (which is now being rebranded as Royal London) - provides life and pensions products to Abbey's national branch network
  • Royal London 360° - offshore investment markets
  • RLAM - fund management
  • RLAS - life and pensions administration
  • Fundsdirect / Ascentric - funds supermarket; Wrap platform

Royal London is the largest mutual life and pensions company in the UK with Group funds under management of £34.5 billion. Group businesses serve around 3.5 million customers and employ 2,900 people. Figures quoted are as at 30 September 2008.