Yesterday we broke the news that Aegon had secured a £140 million acquisition of Cofunds from Legal & General (see article
) – and now the company has been slammed for the “arrogance” of the move.
The Dutch company has informed advisors who use Cofunds that they will “upgrade to the enhanced version of Aegon’s platform”. However, the company has been criticised for “shoehorning” this on to advisors and not consulting them or clients.
Speaking to The Financial Times
, Carl Melvin, managing director of Affluent Financial Planning in Renfrewshire, commented it is “pretty arrogant” because “they are saying we know best and this is not a consultative process”.
“What about those advisers who don’t want their clients with Aegon?” he told the publication. “It tells me they don’t consider advisers to be a partner in this relationship; they consider us lackeys.”
His words were backed by Gordon Bowden, of Quainton Hills Financial Planning, who told the publication: “this is corporate speak for wanting to shoehorn clients into one platform to reduce costs.” He went on to say: “we don’t like Cofunds and don’t put new clients there because we think the service levels are poor.”
In response, Aegon’s chief distribution officer Mark Till commented that he wanted to “build a relationship” with advisors and ultimately make their life easier.
Now it appears to be a wait and see scenario to assess how the situation develops before advisors decide what to do with their clients on the platform.