The move is a part of a sweeping integration plan which Aegon announced today. Dutch-owned Aegon aims to integrate the two platforms to offer users the “best of both the Cofunds and Aegon services” on proven platform technology rather than building a new platform from scratch, it said. Cofunds is one of the largest UK adviser platforms and was bought by Aegon in January.
In contrast, Standard Life has chosen to keep its two platforms, Standard Life Wrap and the acquired Elevate platform, as separate brands.
Cofunds’ features will be increasingly built into Aegon’s platform. For example, Natural Income, a feature currently available on the Cofunds platform, will go live to ARC users shortly.
Natural income will enable clients to be paid dividend income from their investments separately from any capital growth.
Aegon and Cofunds users will move to an enhanced version of the Aegon platform next year but Aegon says that given Aegon users will not start moving till later next year it has taken the decision to add some of the technology upgrade benefits early.
Cofunds users will move to the enhanced platform in the coming months and ahead of the change, training for advisers will begin shortly enabling them to familiarise themselves with the new website.
As retail advisers and clients move to a single technology Aegon will “simplify” its platform offering under a single Aegon brand and over time the Cofunds brand will be gradually withdrawn as users begin moving over to the new version of the platform.
Mark Till, Aegon chief distribution and marketing officer said: “The integration of the Cofunds and Aegon platforms is progressing well and we’re a few months away from users of Cofunds moving to the latest version of the Aegon platform which combines the best of both the existing services.
“As we integrate our business, we will eventually offer the same technology and service to all our customers. Cofunds has a proud heritage as an investment business and Aegon in pensions. What we’re creating is a business which builds on both specialisms and puts advisers and their clients front and centre in its thinking.”