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All the wage

How important is your bonus to you? Would it surprise you to know that

within intermediary sales, national accounts consultants are the most

dep-endent on bonuses, as 57 per cent of their total earnings of

£64,190 is bonus? Regional managers are least dependent, as only 29

per cent total earnings of £85,250 is bonus.

However, our Senior & Specialist Intermediary Salary Survey May 2001 shows

that even this seems high compared with IFA sales managers whose

£62,500 total income is mainly basic salary. Only 18 per cent of their

total is bonus.

In comparison with product providers, IFA managers earn less overall

despite a higher basic salary because their bonus is a much lower

percentage of the overall package.

As intermediary sales roles differ from company to company, for the

purpose of our study we have defined them as follows:

Regional manager (second line) – responsible for the management of several

sales managers covering a large geographical area.

Sales manager (first line) – line manager of a branch or home-based team

of broker consultants or national acc-ounts consultants for a product


National accounts manager – relationship role dealing with the head office

of national IFAs, networks or banks and building societies with a view to

securing panel position and building key relationships.

National accounts consultant – an intermediary salesperson reporting to a

sales manager dealing solely with RIs, regional offices and members of

national IFAs, networks or banks and building societies.

Pension sales manager – specialist pension intermediary sales manager

working either in support of a branch network of broker consultants or

dealing directly with employee benefit consultancies and key

pension-oriented IFAs.

Investment sales manager – as above but specialising in investment

products (UK and offshore) working for product providers, that is, life

office or investment house.

Assistant branch manager – assistant to sales manager including first-line

management of some or all of the branches of broker consultants but still

responsible for personal target and deriving most of their income from

personal production.

IFA sales manager – first-line sales manager/competent supervisor working

for an IFA. Due to the size and diversity of the market, our sample may be

less statistically significant than for other roles quoted, as there is

greater margin for error. We feel, however, that they give an insight into

comparison bet-ween the salaries of product providers and IFAs.

Broker consultant – intermediary sales consultants are employed by product

providers to generate new business from a wide variety of regional IFAs. In

some companies, this may include national accounts but not exclusively so.

The figures quoted are for comparison only and have been taken from our

updated broker consultant survey to be released later in the year.

The Facts

Basic salary

On the whole, the basic salaries vary considerably, starting at

£27,700 and going as high as £60,000. National account

consultants and broker consultants have the lowest basic salaries of


It is noticeable that national accounts roles pay more than traditional

broker consultants. This is in line with the widely held view that national

acc-ounts roles are senior to those of “normal” broker consultants.

As expected, the highest basic salary goes to the regional manager. With

this exception, it is clear that IFAs pay considerably more in basic salary

than product providers. In particular, a first-line intermediary sales

manager earns over £10,000 less than his/her counterpart at an IFA.

Even allowing for a better benefit package at a product provider, this is


Among intermediary sales professionals, the high level of basic salary

paid to national acc-ount managers (£43,423) may indicate the growing

importance of this role as it is now considerably above the basic salary

paid to the first-line managers and specialist pension roles and only

marginally below the mean basic salary paid to an investment sales manager.

Total salary

Surprisingly perhaps, there is considerably less variation in the total

salary earned. With the exception of regional managers, mean total salaries

are between £52,798 and £72,940.

The importance of bonuses to overall earnings varies according to level of

basic salary. In most cases, those with lower basic salaries are more

reliant on bonuses to shore up overall earnings whereas those with higher

basic salary packages often have bonus packages, which are effectively

capped or at least make it harder to outperform their targets.

Investment specialists currently earn more than pension specialists in

basic salary and total income terms, which probably reflects the buoyant

investment market place in recent years.

While the majority of managers have total incomes of

£60,000-£70,000, 6 per cent of sales managers&#39 salaries were in

excess of £90,000 while nearly 15 per cent of national accounts

consultants and 10 per cent of investment sales managers earned over



This survey was the result of an extensive research conducted over 10

months from May 2000 to March 2001 involving salary information supplied by

136 intermediary salespersons and IFA sales managers representing 31

companies covering the major financial location in the UK.

For comparison purposes, we added broker consultants (sample size 105).


To progress within a product provider, it is no longer necessary to become

a line manager or sales manager. Specialist roles are now the order of the

day, with basic salaries and total packages reflecting this.

This is probably a reflection of the amount of direct influence that

product prov-iders feel the various specialist roles have on business

levels and the value of per- sonal relationships, which are transferable.

The lowest-paid intermediary sales managers are the pension sales

managers. Since the advent of stakeholder, there has been erosion in life

office margins on pension products. This has led to cutbacks in the

number of pension roles.

This may well be the reason for the average pension sales manager earning

£10,000 less basic salary and£12,000 less in total than his

investment specialist counterpart.

In contrast, investment sales managers are greatly in demand as investment

houses expand their retail sales teams by cherrypicking sales staff from

the major life offices. However, the investment sales manager picture may

be a reflection of favourable stockmarkets in recent years.

It will be interesting to see how this changes in the next year if the

current stockmarket downturn continues.

A career in national acc-ounts seems to be very attractive. Initially,

national acc-ounts consultants earn more in basic salary and total income

terms than general broker consultants. If they pro-gress to national

account manager roles, the rewards will be higher than for first-line sales


In addition, we would add that the skills acquired are more transferable

and in dem-and should someone choose to move to a competitor at a later


Although consultants and managers working for product providers have a

higher total income than their IFA counterparts, the higher basic salary

may be attractive to many seeking a more consistent level of income, even

if the total income is lower.

Going directly from a life office to an IFA senior level is very difficult

and the probable route would be to join an IFA initially as a registered

individual to gain competent adviser status. Nevertheless, it is seen to be

a good way forward for people tired of the stress and politics involved in

working for a life office or investment house.


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