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Coming up against a wall of cynicism

We are arranging a home-equity release plan for two clients. Keen to ensure every i is dotted and every t is crossed, our network imposes very stringent vetting measures on all such business before we can proceed.

The two providers with whom we have dealt so far all seem intent on being as efficient, professional and helpful as they can. We only use Ship-approved products.

I was asked by the client to contact their solicitor. A strange welcome awaited me. It was clear that this solicitor holds the entire financial services industry in very low esteem, referring to some other provider who had been “peddling” this particular product a couple of years earlier.

I asked if he felt it was really necessary to use such pejorative terminology, not least in view of how far the industry has come since the admittedly bad old days of the Eighties. He was not really interested. I asked him his first name so that I could address the correspondence he wished to be sent to him but he seemed extremely reluctant to disclose this. How odd.

Life companies may be spouting on about the great opportunities available to IFAs in view of the latest developments concerning the responsibilities of trustees towards funds in their care but getting past the wall of cynical disapproval one invariably encounters when prospecting is something most of us would prefer to do without.

Julian Stevens

WDS Independent Financial Advisers,

Kingswood, Bristol


Zan brings in account managers to aid IFAs

Zurich Advice Network is setting aside £4m and recruiting an array of industry heavyweights to provide support and shore up its tied salesforce of 3,500. It has recruited six people for the new role of account manager, who will help advisers in the field. These include Lawrence Hawthorn, who joins from Scottish Life and was […]

St James&#39s Place picks panel of five protection firms

St James&#39s Place is to tie to five of the UK leading protection firms ahead of plans to expand multi-tie relationships after of depolarisation later this year. The move will create a panel of five leading protection firms – Bupa, Norwich Union, Prudential, Scottish Equitable and Scottish Provident – for the company&#39s advisers. The deal […]

Fate of engineering

A few years ago, a product provider invited me to speak on the subject of investment and income drawdown. At that time, according to FSA statistics, the leading investment choice when taking the drawdown route was with-profits. While I accept that Equitable skewed the figures, there were still an unacceptable number of IFAs suggesting that […]

Predictions of boom in equity release

IFAs believe a boom in the equity-release market over the next five years could increase their income by as much as 20 per cent a year, according to consultancy TillinghastTowers Perrin. Its research found that 80 per cent of advisers predict they will conduct more equity release business in future. One in eight expect their […]

Benefits - thumbnail

Global benefits predictions for 2015 from Jelf International

According to Doug Rice, managing director of international services, in 2015, managing their international duty of care will become an increasing focus for UK-based overseas organisations in both managing their short- and longer-term challenges. As a result, strong independent advice and innovative technological solutions will become more important than ever in managing their global benefits.


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