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
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
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.
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.
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' 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.