Friends Provident International, the globally-focused insurance savings product arm of the Aviva group, has formally launched its new ‘Purpose Saver’ product – designed to help “affluent individuals meet their short-term savings goals” – into the Singapore market.
The launch of the new product happens to coincide with the tenth anniversary of FPI’s presence in Singapore, which was acknowledged by the company at a gala event last week.
For now FPI said it is offering the Purpose Saver product only in Singapore, but a spokesperson said the company is “looking at introducing this in other markets over time”.
In a statement outlining the details of the new Purpose Saver product, FPI says it offers a number of features designed to provide clients with choice, flexibility and transparency, including a multi-currency feature that’s designed to enable them to save in any of several major currencies – “particularly suitable for those keen to minimise potential exchange rate risk”.
According to FPI, the Purpose Saver is structured as a five-year plan, to help consumers save for a particular goal, such as buying a house or paying for a child’s education. Three- and four-year options are available.
According to FPI, Purpose Saver investors obtain their investment exposure via “an appropriate range of investment-linked funds with underlying funds from professional fund houses”.
Those who prefer a simpler investment option may, however, choose from one of the five risk-rated model portfolios “advised” by Morningstar, the US-based investment management and research firm.
A 24/7 online portal is provided, to enable Purpose Saver investors to check on their investments at any time, as well as to carry out certain basic tasks with respect to their investments, such as switching funds.
Another feature is what FPI calls its “online savings calculator”, to “assist clients in identifying their short-term savings goals, and determining how much they need to save on a regular basis to reach them”.
Available options include being able to choose the frequency with which savings contributions are made, how much the client would like to save, and the option to increase or decrease the savings amount after the first six months.
As an added incentive, which FPI says takes into account the challenge that many people face in having the discipline to save, the Purpose Saver product “rewards persevering consumers”, by giving those who stick to their plan “a savings bonus of between 1% and 3% at the end of their target saving period, depending on how long they save for”, FPI says.
Explaining the thinking behind the Purpose Saver scheme, Friends Provident International managing director Andrew Waddell, pictured above, notes that although financial planning is often associated with long-term investments, peoples’ lives are typically comprised “of many short-term aspirations”.
“This could be anything from setting aside enough money to pay for your children’s education, making the most of a promotion, or starting a business for example – which are too often neglected,” he adds.
“To succeed financially, we must be able to meet both our immediate short and longer term financial needs.
“It was with this in mind that we launched Purpose Saver, which aims to help customers identify their purpose, set savings goals, and provide the motivation, discipline and rewards necessary to make these a reality.”
As reported here in March, Aviva is understood to be looking to sell the FPI business. It acquired it in April 2015, as part of its £5.6bn (US$8.8bn) acquisition of the Friends Life Group, which at the time created the UK’s largest insurance, savings and asset management company.
From its Isle of Man headquarters, FPI provides life assurance and investment products to global expats and domestic high-net-worth individuals in Hong Kong, Singapore, theUnited Arab Emirates and other selected markets.
In April, Aviva announced that it was to acquire the 50% share of its Vietnamese life insurance industry joint venture that it didn’t already own.