Morgan Stanley to launch first products in March

Ramesh Sharma

January 28, 2006

MI revealed earlier this month that one lender on Advantage’s panel was told by Keith Dearling, founding partner and director of Advantage, that it planned to ditch its lender partners and become a sole distributor for Morgan Stanley, which bought Advantage in December 2005.

At least two of the lenders on Advantage’s panel – which includes Kensington Mortgages, SPML, Platform, Mortgages plc, GMAC-RFC and First National – were keen to drop Advantage before they were dropped by Morgan Stanley, but it is now understood the lenders are waiting it out until a decision is made by Advantage.

The source said: “We know Advantage will be launching the Morgan Stanley products in March, and will drop all its other lenders by August. Why the lenders want to stay until they are removed doesn’t make much sense. The business they may lose will be re-directed to them anyway if they have the right deals for the client.”

Dearling said: “This isn’t the case. The launch date of the products depends on a number of factors like implementing the systems, such as KFI engines. So we have no definitive date. We can’t confirm or deny whether we will be a sole distributor for Morgan Stanley. We will roll out its products and see how it goes and how the products sell. We will do things for the right reasons.”

Peter Beaumont, director of sales and marketing at Mortgages plc, said he confronted Advantage about the situation last week but was told the packager had no plans to remove the lenders. He said: “We won’t pull out of the panel until the circumstances change.”

However, one lender said it is under no illusion Advantage will eventually become a sole distributor for Morgan Stanley.

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