In the Spotlight: InvestAcc

Posted on July 18th, 2012 | Categories - Investments, Retirement, SIPPs

Spotlight InvestaccIn the latest of our ‘In the Spotlight’ articles we catch up with Nigel Bennett, Business Development Manager at InvestAcc.

Investment Sense:

InvestAcc have been offering self invested pensions for 20 years now, but it’s probably fair to say that you are not the most high profile of SIPP providers, can you start by telling us a bit more about InvestAcc’s history?

Nigel Bennett (right):

Sure. The business started in 1992 and was originally operating as a practice based around self invested pensions for business owners. We were working from an office in the Lake District, but relocated to Carlisle when we were in need of larger premises and more people to join our team. We branched out in to SIPPs in 2003, and our customer base increased steadily through referrals from advisers around the UK. We’re making great progress but we never lose sight of what we do, and the need to maintain our excellent service for existing and new clients alike.

Investment Sense:

Following the recent launch of your new Lite SIPP product you now have three SIPPs, can you explain the key differences?

Nigel Bennett of InvestAcc

Nigel Bennett

Contact Nigel on:

01228 538 988

nigel.bennett@investacc.co.uk

Nigel Bennett:

The Minerva SIPP is our original “all singing and all dancing” full SIPP product – it allows a large range of investments, including purchase and development of commercial property and land with very low charges.

SIPP Lite is an even lower cost product – it allows one simple investment (that could be an investment platform, Stockbroker account, Discretionary Fund Manager (DFM) account, Structured Product, Insurance Company Trustee Investment Bond or a deposit account) in addition to the default SIPP bank account. It can be upgraded to the full Minerva SIPP at any time, without charge.

Finally, Flexi SIPP is specifically aimed at groups of individuals purchasing commercial property together (3 or more members, when it becomes more effective from a cost and administration point of view).

Investment Sense:

So why did you decide to launch the Lite SIPP? What gap does it fill?

Nigel Bennett:

We recognised that many of our new SIPPs were simpler to administer, because they were invested in just one place. Behind the scenes, the client may actually be investing across lots of different assets, fund managers etc but if we’re only dealing with one “investment account” the ease of administration for us meant that we could charge less and still deliver great service. It fills the gap between full SIPP and less flexible pensions.

Investment Sense:

What are the key reasons why IFAs recommend InvestAcc to their clients?

Nigel Bennett:

Once they’ve heard of us (!) then I think it’s service first and foremost, followed closely by our very competitive charges, straightforward approach and the fact that we’re very easy to deal with. Apparently that’s not as common as it should be! We’re also highly rated on a number of research panels / tools.

Investment Sense:

You are one of the few SIPPs to pay more than bank base rate on the SIPP deposit account, why is this the case?

Nigel Bennett:

We have a close working relationship with Newcastle Building Society, who used to be the SIPP provider for the Minerva SIPP (we just did the administration in the early days). After the regulations changed, we took on the provider role but as our SIPPs still have many millions of pounds deposited with the Newcastle then we get their best terms. We actually take a small amount of fees from them to help fund our administration costs, and the clients are still getting more than bank base rate.

Investment Sense:

Are there any future developments at InvestAcc you can share with us?

Nigel Bennett:

A year ago we only had one SIPP product, and now we have three. I think in the short term we just need to keep delivering on what we say we will, and continually look to improve whenever we can. Our eye is very firmly on the ball.

Investment Sense:

Turning to the wider SIPP market, what do you see as the main challenges over the rest of this year and into 2013?

Nigel Bennett:

SIPP providers have come under increased scrutiny from the Financial Services Authority (FSA) and, for good reason; we think that there will be increased regulation in the market. We’re very relaxed about that, and think it will be good for the market overall. It may shake out a few providers with lesser business models.

Investment Sense:

We’ve seen Flexible Drawdown become more popular over the past 12 months, will this be a big area of growth for you?

Nigel Bennett:

Yes it has already been a good source of growth and I can only see that improving as more people retire over the coming years.

Nigel Bennett of InvestAcc can be contacted on 01228 538 988 or by emailing nigel.bennett@investacc.co.uk

You can learn more about InvestAcc by clicking here to visit their website or here to visit their dedicated pages on the Investment Sense website by clicking here:

Lite SIPP

Minerva SIPP

 

The views expressed in this article are those of InvestAcc.