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‘ifa’ is our real brand

I think that Simon Parker’s article on branding to take on the banks misses the point in the final analysis (Money Marketing, January 20).

I have worked in a big bank (Barclays) and have run the IFA that probably has the most recognised name, Chase de Vere FS, although even its recognition levels are very low. So the article is right in saying that “IFA” is any and every IFA’s real branding.

But you do not develop a brand, you deliver a customer proposition. A brand is simply a mirror that you hold up and in which you see yourself reflected by the public.

If we do not like what we see, then we have to evolve – not easy, when the last several years have been about survival for many, but necessary if we are to build a brand that is universally recognised and respected.

Many banks talk about being different but they are not and customers see them as all being the same, save, perhaps, First Direct.

Tesco wanted to change and it did.

Mark Bogard
Managing director,


Costs of financial education should not fall on sector

Daniel Godfrey, director general of the Association of Investment Trust Companies, has called on the Government to create a Financial Education Agency. This agency could, he suggests, come under the umbrella of the FSA to provide financial education across the UK.

Standard policyholder wants board seat

Standard Life policyholder and former investment banker Michael Hogan is attempting to gain a berth on the life assurer’s board through a one-man internet campaign. Hogan wants policyholder representation on the Standard board and needs the backing of 250 fellow policyholders to be able to stand for election at the life office’s August AGM.


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