Axa Wealth’s H1 results revealed that the Isle of Man-based company’s offshore FUM had reached £9.1bn at the end of the first half of 2014, a 3% rise on the £8.8bn recorded in the same period last year.
The year’s first half also saw total offshore bond sales reach £389m, 2% higher than last year’s £380m.
The results follow the company’s February figures, which saw 2013 offshore bond sales increase 13% on 2012 to £790m, and total funds under management rise 8% to £9bn.
Axa Wealth International’s managing director Mike Foy said the company has seen year on year growth because the international market is continually adjusting to regulatory changes.
“The industry has definitely faced a number of challenges in the last 18 months, not least among them the disruption to distribution channels, which was bound to have an impact on sales volumes,” he said. “That being said, the fundamental benefits of portfolio bonds for UK-resident asset rich clients remain strong.
He said that “now was the time” for product providers to adapt to the post-Retail Distribution Review world by introducing new products and acknowledging platforms as a “major distribution channel”.
“Going forward, product designs need to embrace greater flexibility in all aspects of the core proposition.”
Today’s results also showed increases across the board for Axa Wealth, with total funds under management reaching £26.7bn, a 10% increase on £24.3bn in H1 2013.
The company’s wrap platform, Elevate, also saw funds under management up 31% from £6.4bn to £8.4bn, while sales for its Retirement Wealth Account SIPP rose by 10%.
Long term saving
Chief executive Mike Kellard said that, despite strong results, there was still a lot to do to help people “save and invest for the long term”.
“The Budget has transformed the way we all plan for retirement, and recast what retirement means to the great majority of the population,” he said. “Our own research shows that as an industry we still have lots to do to convince people of the need to save.”
In June, Axa Wealth International announced changes to the way advisory fees are charged on its offshore bonds.
Following guidance from HM Revenue & Customs, under certain circumstances, advisory fees on several of the company’s offshore bonds will be taken from the life company itself rather than the policyholder’s 5% tax deferred entitlement.