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IFA firm in buyout deal for advisers set to retire

Bright Grey products dir-ector Roger Edwards bel-ieves reviewable definitions for critical-illness cover are not consumer-friendly and will lead to over-complicated definitions.

Edwards, speaking at Mortgage Business Expo in London this week, said reviewable definitions help to protect insurance companies from the financial effects of medical advances but can put off consumers.

He said consumers distrust insurance companies and the small print in contracts and they will see rev-iewing definitions as “rev-iewable small print”.

Edwards said insurance companies’ main problem is balancing consumer interests with keeping up with medical advances.

As screenings and diagnoses of critical illnesses become more efficient and accurate, insurers need to decide whether reviewing definitions is to the benefit of their customers, he said.

For example, successful screening for prostate cancer is helping to diagnose many sufferers of a fairly low-threat cancer.

Since early 2003, exclusions have been put on some prostate cancers in their early stages and while this is fully supported by the industry, advisers face having to explain exclusions to clients.

Edwards said: “The question with a CII product that has been very successful is, will it remain so? Will we have a saleable product if it becomes more complicated? We need to help to keep things simple.”

Crystal Financial Services IFA John Stewart says: “Quite often, IFAs feel like they have to have a medical degree to explain some of the terms that are used in definitions.”Mortgage Expo, p14-15IFA the Sunday Group is offering a deal to advisers who are looking to retire within two years.

The firm will acquire an adviser’s business and then hire them to help train younger advisers to advise their clients.

The Sunday Group has grown to 25 registered individuals within 14 months, with 25 more staff working in supporting roles. It is aiming to have 300-400 advisers by 2007.

The group is made up of Sunday Independent Financial Advisers, mortgage arm Sunday Mortgage Centre and fut-ure multi-tie operation Sunday Financial Advice.

Co-founder Dermod Atkinson says he is more interested in advisers working in the middle market rather than IFAs who focus on the high-networth market.

He says: “We will succeed where other groups have failed because we tightly control our overheads.

“One of the problems with small networks is they have had to actively go out and get distribution. We have not had to do that. I believe that a number of those operations will disappear.”

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