Is North NAB’s Trojan horse?

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC’s) rationale for blocking the National Australia Bank (NAB) bid for AXA Asia Pacific (AXA AP) and the cost to NAB of handing the AXA North product to IOOF have been brought into question by new analysis by Wealth Insights.

In circumstances where the ACCC cited the importance of AXA’s North platform to maintaining competition in the high-net-worth space, the Wealth Insights research has revealed the platform is a comparative minnow.

Wealth Insights managing director Vanessa McMahon said 14 other platforms controlled by seven players commanded more of the high-net-worth market than North, which accounted for only about 1 per cent of the high-net-worth market segment.

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McMahon said that the platform was being used by only about 7 per cent of advisers, and only 2 per cent of them described it as their primary platform.

The ACCC last week announced that it would be reviewing a revised bid by NAB for AXA AP based on it handing control of AXA North to IOOF.

AMP has confirmed that it also remains interested in acquiring AXA AP.

For an examination of the motivations behind NAB's pursuit of AXA Asia Pacific, click here.

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