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Aegon rethinks network of ScotEq sales centres

Aegon UK is replacing its 28-branch network with 17 enlarged sales centres for the distribution of Scottish Equitable products to IFAs.

The company says the new system – which will be put in place in the first half of this year – will be better suited to the new sales environment of fewer, bigger firms as the IFA sector consolidates.

The national network will be complemented by an enhanced role for ScotEq&#39s call centre operation – IFA Access.

IFA Access, which was launched in 2000, offers to service IFAs by phone and internet and accounts for 5 per cent of all new business.

The firm says the rationalisation of its branch system will lead to cost-cutting efficiencies and improved service.

Aegon UK has created a network of IFAs through acquisitions over the last two years which puts it among the top 10 IFA firms in the UK in terms both of adviser numbers and revenue. The company says it intends to become a top five player in the supply and distribution of financial service products.

Chief executive David Henderson says: “As well as fewer product providers, there will be fewer and bigger financial adviser companies in the fut-ure. This will put more at stake in terms of managing provider/adviser relationships. Because they will be bigger businesses, there is an opportunity to build genuine business partnerships with IFAs for their benefit and ours.

“In the longer term, our goal is to be as firmly embedded as a top five distributor as we are in the provider market. The experience that we have gained through owning IFA businesses is starting to inform what we do in other parts of the group.”

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