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Managerial incompetence

Like almost every other IFA in the land, I read with knowing sympathy John Morgan&#39s letter (Money Marketing, April 25).

The current state of the financial services industry was mainly brought about by Catmarks, stakeholder and all the other ideas this Government seems determined to ram down the industry&#39s throat. But that is not the whole story.

Many of the problems now being experienced arise from managerial incompetence when it comes to handling change and evolution.

There are still far too many people in the industry earning far more than their abilities and commitment warrant.

The importance of recruiting, training and managing quality admin staff also appears to be sorely overlooked.

Only someone who has no idea at all of what they are doing (and whose work is completely unsupervised) could possibly issue an Isa pack in response to a request for an illustration for an investment bond.

To give just one example of our current spate of prob-lems with life companies.

After countless phone calls to countless people with countless excuses as to why the buck does not stop with them, we have recently managed to extract from Clerical Medical a commission payment that is no less two years late.

But our network cannot pay it on to us because Clerical Medical did not think to relate the payment to a specific client or policy when remitting it to our network. Yet more work lies ahead.

If companies such as these go to the wall, they deserve to – as much as anything else for having meekly surrendered to the 1 per cent world instead of looking to enhance their value, service and investment choice.

My only concern will be the interests of our clients who have policies with them.

Julian Stevens

WDS Independent Financial Advisers, Bristol


Northern Rock – Fifty:fifty Issue 8

Thursday, May 9, 2002GUARANTEED EQUITY BONDType: Guaranteed equity bondAim: Growth linked to the FTSE 100 indexMinimum investment: Lump sum £2,500Term: Five yearsGuarantee: Capital returned in full at end of five year termReturn: Up to 75% of growth at end of termClosing date: June 12, 2002HIGH INTEREST ACCOUNTType: High interest accountMinimum-maximum investment: £2,500-£2mInterest rate: 10% gross […]

Be positive on pensions

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Interest on late payments

I was interested to see the news item on Norwich Union&#39s admin backlog (MM, May 2), having suffered similar problems.NU&#39s systems (as with most life offices) do not generate a commission payment until the policy document is issued. From the reaction I have had from NU (and Standard Life and Scottish Widows), smaller IFAs do […]

Clerical Medical widens choice with bond

Clerical Medical is expanding its offshore business with a unit-linked bond mainly for high-net-worth investors.The CMI global investors bond provides access to 33 internal funds, including with-profits funds, tracker funds and currency reserve funds. Cautious managed, balanced managed and aggressively managed funds are also available, denominated in sterling, euros and US dollars.In addition, there are […]


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