Wrap account

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A wrap account (or wrap service) is a means of consolidating and managing an investor's investment portfolio and financial plans. Wrap fee services are offered by many financial institutions. Often wrap services are offered for a fee or a series of charges. These charges cover all administrative and management costs. This type of service is what is also known as an investment platform or financial platform service.

Wrap services originated in Australia and New Zealand and then came to the UK in about 2000. As of 2010, approximately £230 billion of assets are held on wrap services in the UK. Transact was the first Wrap service to be authorised in the UK. With the forthcoming RDR - Retail Distribution Review - being undertaken by the FSA in the UK more investors are likely to move their investments onto Wrap Services by the end of 2012 if they have a financial adviser.

The better Wrap services or accounts usually enable investors - usually with the advice of a financial adviser - to select from an extensive range of UK and offshore funds and assets – including Unit Trusts, OEICs, Investment Trusts, equities, gilts, cash, structured products, VCTs, Hedge Funds, ETFs, ETCs and other investment products. The service can then be used to allocate these assets to the most appropriate tax wrappers – including ISAs and pensions plans. Both investors and advisers can then view a holistic picture online of the complete Portfolio – all in one place, from anywhere in the world – 24/7.

The potential benefits to investors are:

  • They only have one counter-party to deal with. Saving a lot of time dealing with a diverse range of fund managers, financial institutions and other product providers
  • Investors can view their entire Portfolio all in one place, enabling them to keep track of their current financial position on a daily basis, however complex their financial affairs are
  • They also receive a single consolidated annual tax statement, comprehensive six-monthly statements, documentation of all purchases, sales, deposits and withdrawals
  • The most professional Wrap services make no charge for re-registering assets in specie, on or off the platform.

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