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Click here to see the Platinum Award winners

Standard Life

Standard Life has successfully turned itself around to be an IFA favorite, developing extensive Internet support for the market. The Edinburgh-based life office has launched the Navigator e-commerce services, which is designed to meet the needs of all IFAs offering online access to application forms and to servicing departments at every stage in the sales process. It also offers training and development for IFAs in other areas such as recruitment, business planning, branding, client retention and lead generation. Corporate affairs director Gordon Arthur says: &#34This award regonises the determined effort Standard Life has made over recent years to position itself as a leading UK life office. Achievement in one particular year is admirable but no longer sufficient in today&#39s highly competitive environment. Success is impossible without consistency, something which Standard Life has worked hard to achieve.&#34

Scottish Widows

Scottish Widows has been a key participant in delivering G10 and G60 training to IFAs and the life office has a permanent team on the road trying to help IFAs gain advanced qualifications. Widows was one of the first off the mark to offer a telesales services in response to IFA requests and the life office actively solicits feedback from the market-place in an effort to keep its services up to scratch. IFA sales director Sandy Hogg says: &#34It is always encouraging to receive an award but when that award is in recognition of performance over an entire decade, it is received with even greater appreciation. This is another spur for us to redouble our efforts to meet IFAs&#39 needs in the future.&#34


Fidelity has consistently been in the top five over the years due to its commitment to IFA support and its innovative use of new media. The investment manager was the first to offer online Isa account-opening facilities for IFAs it has introduced a tailored KFD Internet service to make life simpler for the IFA market. Earlier this year, Fidelity launched a promotional campaign highlighting the need for advice. Fidelity Investment? UK wholesale marketing associate director David Cowdell says: &#34This unique award means a lot to us because it represents the views of thousands of IFAs who who each year for the last 10 years have recognised our dedication to product design and innovation, customer service and marketing.&#34


Skandia was singled out by IFAs for Platinum award for its commitment to IFA servicing and its innovative products. The life office&#39s USelect asset allocation and fund selection software tool has been well received by the market. Skandia&#39s continued commitment to service is also evidenced by the continuously upgraded regional support offered to IFAs. Its pioneering multi-manager approach to investment has also proved popular. Senior group marketing manager Andre Oszmann says: We are delighted to be recognised for our efforts we have put in for IFAs. It is particularly gratifying given we are still a relatively young company and the calibre of the other Platinum winners, which are practically household names. It makes all the hard work worth while. We are singularly focussed on IFAs and it shows.&#34

Norwich Union

Norwich Union has gone through several changes to its corporate structure over the past few years but has endeavored not to lose sight of its mantra, &#34putting the IFA first&#34, which qualifies it for an MM Platinum award. The life office has pioneered the use of business television, providing coverage of the issues that matter to the Ifa market and specifically tailoring the services to IFAs&#39 needs. It has managed to do so without using it as a platform for self-promotion. It has also been instrumental in helping Ifs enter new markets and service clients by issuing innovative marketing packages, which incorporate new media. Long-term savings chief executive Philip Scott says: &#34We are delighted with the award for our performance over the last decade. It is a testament to our commitment to provide IFAs with first rate products, outstanding customer service and innovative marketing support.&#34


Money Channel putting Faith in Sofa members

Adam Faith&#39s Money Channel has resorted to looking down the side of theSofa to findIFAs for its programmeMoney Matters.A lack of suitable candidates from other sources has seen the programmemaker plunder the database of the trade association in an effort to findinformed comment and debate.The channel uses the Sofa IFAs in the weekday programme&#39s listeningaudience […]

Don&#39t get caught in the web

This year will see ever more IFAs and financial services businessescreating websites and that is a good thing. But they will also be venturinginto a world of security risks, data protection responsibility, copyrightand intellectual property issues, with risks of seeing their own materialstolen or misused or of inadvertently misusing somebody else&#39s material.Even reproducing an article […]

Synaptic signs up as sponsor for IFP

The Institute of Financial Planning has won further sponsorship.The latest business to back the examination body is product researchinformation provider Synaptic Systems.This sponsorship is intended to help increase the institute&#39s membershipand promote awareness of the finan- cial planning profession.Synaptic will be supporting marketing and special project initiatives,including development of the IFP&#39s website. It will also […]

Networks in offer to buy out retiring members

Networks M&E and Interdependence will use money from new partner MurrayJohnstone to buy out retiring members.The businesses will besold on to members who want to expand.Fund manager and venture capitalist Murray Johnstone became the majorshareholder in the networks when it contributed £7.25m to the recent £17mmanagement buyout.M&E chairman Barry Kayes says the benefits of the […]

Is three a crowd?

The pension versus Isa debate has raged on and off for years. Les Cameron, head of technical at Prudential, asks if three’s a crowd.   I think the debate was arguably settled by pensions freedom when the biggest downside of pensions – limited access and poor death benefits – was fundamentally changed. Total access, albeit with […]


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