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&#3999 million quotes show Exchange is service of choice&#39

A primary focus for The Exchange in 2003 is the level of interaction

we have with our IFA customers. One of the biggest lessons we have

learnt throughout our 12 years of providing technology solutions to

IFAs is that, for technology to be of practical benefit to IFAs, it

must fit their current business processes as closely as possible.

This knowledge and experience is one of the key reasons why our Exweb

portal is the service of choice for the vast majority of IFAs today.

We are proud of this position but do not take it for granted. We are

committed to continuing to develop our services in line with the

needs of IFAs. That is why the feedback we receive from our customer

helpline and client surveys and the face-to-face contact we have via

IFA focus groups and industry conferences is vital to us.

It is this that shapes our products and services and helps us deliver

the functionality and depth of service that we hope adds real value

to an IFA&#39s business.

A key indicator of the value our portal gives to our customers is the

level of usage it receives. At the moment, the best yardstick is the

level of quotations that are processed and, in 2002, Exweb processed

99 million quotes. This positions Exweb as the key facilitator of new

business in the intermediary sector and demonstrates its vast

distribution capability.

This distribution capability that can help drive up the volume of

fully end-to-end electronic transactions within the intermediary

sector. This is a key point. Exweb is much more than a quotation

engine. IFAs can already research, quote and apply for new business

electronically via Exweb.

The reason why our volume of quotations is such an important figure

is because the quotation is the starting point of the application

process. There is a natural transition from online quotes to

electronic transactions and eventually end-to-end processing. Exweb

is ideally placed to enable this transition.

This year we will be making significant enhancements that will give

our service the capability to revolutionise the way many of our

customers run their businesses. The dynamics of the market are

changing and the needs of our IFAs are evolving. There is increasing

demand from consumers for complete financial planning services that

encompass all the individual&#39s financial affairs. This is shifting

the emphasis within an IFA&#39s business from simple product and

provider selection to managing the client relationship and providing

advice at appropriate times throughout the relationship.

The next generation of Exweb will match these changing needs. The new

service will include all the current services but will also provide

intermediaries with the necessary functionality required in the

changing marketplace.

This will include a client database enabling IFAs to store all their

client records in one place and identify marketing and cross-selling

opportunities, online workflows and audit trails, consistent

processes across providers, application tracking and aggregated

policy valuations.

Our top priority is to ensure we add value to our customers&#39

businesses. If we can do this, we will remain their technology

supplier of choice.

We value highly the views of IFAs and there can be no better

indication of which portal offers the best service. Last week&#39s Money

Marketing reported the findings of the Money Marketing/One Account&#39s

State of the IFA Nation poll which showed that 71 per cent of IFAs

believe The Exchange offers the best service of all the portals. This

figure is hard to argue with.

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