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Eight on short list for IFA Woman of the Year

Axa’s third-quarter results show an increase in life and savings revenues for the UK.

Worldwide life and savings revenues dropped by 0.5 per cent to £24.2bn from 24.6bn a year ago, the UK saw a 5.5 per cent rise to £3.2bn from £3.05bn in the previous year.

Total revenues for the UK increased by 3 per cent, mainly driven by continued growth in sales of single-premium unit-linked bonds, which rose by 8 per cent.

The rise was offset by a 9 per cent fall in individual pension business. Axa says this is the impact of action taken in 2003 to improve profitability.

Worldwide property and casualty revenues increased by 4.1 per cent to £9.8bn from £9.3bn, while asset management revenues increased by 15.1 per cent to £1.6bn from £1.46bn.

International insurance revenues dropped by 3.9 per cent to £2bn from £2.37bn as Axa Re reduced its revenues by 12 per cent in line with its strategic repositioning implemented in 2002.

Chief executive officer Henri de Castries says: “Revenue trends for the first nine months of 2004 demonstrate our continued focus on profitable growth. Total revenues in our life and savings activities were slightly down but business mix continues to improve significantly as reflected by the increased percentage of unit-linked sales in our total revenues.”

The Women’s IFA Group has shortlisted eight women for this year’s IFA Woman of the Year award.

The award evaluates women IFAs’ ability to demonstrate the full range of skills required to be a top IFA, including applied technical knowledge, interpersonal skills and analytical thinking.

The eight are: Jillian Thomas of RA Cowen and Partners (Financial Planning); Saran Allot-Davey of Heron House Financial Management; Dawn Slater of Capital Planning (UK); Carolyn Corless of Blooms- bury Financial Planning; Lisanne Mealing of MDM Associates; Amanda Davidson of John Scott Holden Meehan; Sarah Oughton of Inter-Alliance and Marlene Shalton of Chambers Morgan James Financial Management.

These eight candidates will go forward to the second round of judging and a further short list will be selected. The winner will be announced at a gala dinner in Canary Wharf, London on January 20.

Wig founder and chairwoman Fiona Price says: “The calibre of entrants has once again been outstanding and demonstrates that women make excellent independent financial advisers. Being an IFA in 2004 demands strong client focus, attention to detail, integrity, flexibility – qualities which women possess in spades.

“The IFA Women of the Year Award is raising the profile of women in our sector and demonstrates the excellent contribution they make.”

Lead sponsor Axa head of IFA distribution Alison Burns says: “This award is a great idea. There are not enough women IFAs and we need to help women get to the top by showcasing leading practitioners. We hope will also encourage more women to consider a career as an IFA, to which they are well suited. Women bring some great qualities to the work of an adviser, which can help raise the sector’s perception with the public. Axa are keen to support initiatives such as this.”

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