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Correspondent&#39s week

Monday morning, 6am, and I struggle out of bed. On the way downstairs, I look in on my baby twins, peacefully asleep in the next room and completely unaware of the effect their nocturnal activity has had on their father&#39s ability to face the new week.

After a huge mug of coffee, I feel marginally better and set off to do battle with Britain&#39s wonderful motorway network. It is not a good start. A lorry fire means that the M4 is not moving and it is still over 200 miles to Leeds.

Two hours later and at “just over 70” in the outside lane of the M1, I find myself talking (hands-free, of course) to a journalist who, as usual, has exactly half an hour before his copy deadline. I&#39m in full flow, describing the benefits of Skandia&#39s new wrap service, when I realise that I have just flown past a marked police car. Luckily, the officer is in a good mood but, suitably chastened, I slow down and proceed uneventfully for the rest of the journey.

Once in Leeds, I spend some time in our regional office. It is their monthly sales meeting and I have been asked to do a presentation. I then pay a visit to James Dalby at Bates Investment Services. He is also interested in Skandia Wrap and, following a successful live demo, we discuss potential business opportunities.

Up early again on Tuesday and, after checking my email, I am back on the M4. I need to be in Bristol for 10am for another Skandia branch meeting. This time I am presenting my plans for Skandia&#39s fund supermarket.

I spend most of the afternoon writing an article which is to appear in Informer magazine, our monthly publication for IFAs.

I am at head office in Southampton on Wednesday, mainly in meetings. We are preparing for the next tranche of our structured product, the Skandia Protected MultiManager Plan, and there is lots to plan ahead of next month&#39s Skandia Cowes Week.

I eat lunch with Rob Page and Mark Hilliam of New Star. Officially we are there to discuss some joint PR and marketing plans but we get rather sidetracked recounting our recent triumphs and disasters on the golf course.

In the evening I go for a run. I have agreed to run in the Windsor marathon for charity and need to start training. Twenty minutes and a few breathless kilometres later and I am beginning to realise the scale of the task I have taken on.

The following morning I travel up to London to meet one of Skandia&#39s newer fund partner groups. I am interested in their view that UK interest rates are at the bottom of the current cycle. On leaving the building, I am even more interested to spot an Evening Standard billboard declaring: “Bank of England in shock interest rate cut.” You can&#39t win &#39em all.

Having remembered (just) how to fasten my bow tie, my evening is spent attending an industry black-tie dinner. I am royally entertained – no pun intended – by my host for the evening, Sam Mettrick.

The dance floor action is just hotting up when I am dragged away by another Framlington legend, Mr Regnier-Wilson, on an odyssey around the finest private clubs of the West End. The group ends up in the hotel bar and by silly-o&#39clock in the morning the conversation has moved on to the sayings of Confucius and Taoist philosophy.

I decide the best policy is to beat a hasty retreat to my bedroom to catch at least a couple of hours of shut-eye.

Friday gets off to a somewhat later start at our London office. I am meeting with Skandia&#39s new investment management company to finalise the positioning of their new multi-manager funds within our overall investment proposition.

After a couple of other internal meetings, I head home to enjoy a few cold beers and a barbecue with some good friends.

Ian Thomas is investment products marketing manager at Skandia


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