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IFA launches annuity leads business

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IFA Bernard Down is launching an annuity leads business designed to help advisers compete with non-advised annuity brokers.

Advisers can sign up to the service, called the Open Market Option Bureau, for £25 a month.

Advisers will pay £40 for every lead the Omo Bureau forwards. The firm aims to generate 25,000 new business leads a year.

Advisers will be given a license to two local standard phone codes or a share of enquiries from a large city within 25 miles of their location.

The Open Market Option Bureau will use the monthly fee to fund a collective advertising drive to promote annuity advice across TV, print, radio and online media.

Omo Bureau director Bernard Down says: “The open market option annuity market is already huge and will only grow as the regulators seek to optimise uptake of the open market option. The retirement planning potential for new business is enormous.”


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There are 5 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. As far as I am concerned this type of activity should be banned as surely if all of these lead generation companies were closed down than people would actually have a realistic chance of finding a local IFA.

    Google is cluttered with lead generation firms and this type of activity deflects away from legitimate IFA practices that hold a current SPS certificate and can office service.

    Surely as come time for the FSA to ban any company offering a service like this and in force the principle that if you cannot offer the service then you shouldn’t be advertising it.

    I wish IFA practices would stop buying data from these types of companies and thus forcing them out of business altogether.

  2. Hampshire Yokel 7th March 2013 at 8:35 am

    I think it is interesting that this service is offered by an IFA (if we can still call him that) that is an AR of Financial Ltd (although his IFA website incorrectly also states he is an AR of Investments Ltd).

    How many IFAs would want to pay a monthly fee plus a case fee to another intermediary for leads that may, or may not, lead to a transaction?

    Moreover, the reason why non-advised services are being seen by some as a viable option for some annuity business is that, with the ban on commission for advised sales, it is difficult to provide advice on commercial terms. This is obviously more especially the case for smaller pension pots. If I am retiring with a pension pot of £50,000 I am unlikely to be keen on paying an up front fee for advice on how to take it.

    Providing advice on annuities would already appear to be unaffordable to many intermediary firms, so paying a £25 a month retainer and a £40 per case introduction fee would seem an improbable option for most.

  3. Ricardo Vasques 8th March 2013 at 4:04 pm

    AMS Annuity offers a better version of this for free…

  4. The major problem in this area of the market is the non advised companies, who (with a few exceptions) have a business model built around taking as much commission as they can get away with, and then reducing this commission to whatever is required to obtain the business where necessary. The solution lies not with banning advertising, but rather with redressing the ludicrous imbalance RDR has created. Commission must be banned for non advised companies to stop them claiming their service is free, what they get paid does not affect the client, and the other false claims that are currently commonplace. Make them provide a written warning that using a non advised service could lead to the consumer selecting the wrong retirement choice, and make them disclose their charges up front and stick to them.

  5. Gareth Reynolds 12th March 2013 at 7:56 pm

    Surprised at the comments to be honest I thought it was a good idea. Also surprised by the fees discussion.
    I run an advised annuity service for lower values and have a minimum fee of £600 and have no problem with people paying the fee. Only last week I managed to enhance a clients 17k pot by 500 per annum, she had no issue paying me£600 and if you set the service up streamlined and low overheads it can easily be profitable

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