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Lifesearch and Standard pick up top MM awards

Lifesearch became the first specialist IFA to win Money Marketing’s IFA of the Year award last week.

The firm also won for best protection IFA and took the IFA professional development award. Other IFA winners included Thomsons Online Benefits for best corporate IFA, Origen for best pension IFA, Alan Steel Asset Management for best investment IFA, London & Country for best mortgage IFA and Positive Solutions for best technology solution.

Standard Life won the award for company of the year despite its problems over the last year. Standard also took the award for best pension provider and Standard life healthcare was voted best healthcare provider.

The awards dinner attrac-ted around 1,300 guests to the Grosvenor House Hotel in Park Lane, London and was hosted by comedian Jack Dee.

In the marketing section of the awards, the IFA campaign of the year award went to agency The Bridge for its Clearly Better Protection campaign for Abbey for Int-ermediaries.

Provider awards went to Skandia for multi-manager, Halifax for residential mortgage and Legal & General for life protection. Fidelity won the award for best investment trust provider as well as for best unit trust/Oeic provider.

Scottish Life head of pensions strategy Steve Bee repeated his success of last year with the industry personality of the year award.

Lifesearch senior technical adviser Kevin Carr says the firm won because it does more than anyone else to raise the need for independent protection advice, driving and influencing the industry for the good of advisers and customers.

Carr says: ” It was a fantastic night. Winning IFA of the year supports the view that the future of advice lies with specialists who know their field inside out and not traditional general practitioner advisers. It also highlights the importance of protection within financial services as a whole. I believe that the emotional and financial consequences of making a mistake are far greater in protection than in any other area of financial services.”

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