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Chequebooks are out in the dash to gain distribution

Despite the season, IFAs should keep their umbrellas handy in case they

get caught in a hail of chequebooks.

The price range is dumbfounding, from around £18,000 per adviser

offered by one insurer to an estimated £357,000 paid per RI at one

recently acquired national.

These are rough figures but providers are stumping up the cash. The dash

for distribution is upon us. Clearly, the uncertainty over polarisation is

a catalyst for change. But the spate of deals does not make multi-ties

inevitable. Some buys are defensive, others fit with long-term advice-led

strategies although others will take advantage of change.

Money Marketing was the only newspaper to campaign to keep polarisation.

Our position remains unchanged. We will not demonise providers which decide

on a multi-tied strategy and understand if some IFA businesses believe the

hostile environment forces them to tie. But we continue to advocate

polarisation. Too much of the self-belief of advisers and IFA entrepreneurs

is best served by independence. It is also best for consu-mers. The poles

should remain apart.

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