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NU bids to break Standard&#39s regional grip

Norwich Union is aiming to become the number one provider to regional IFA firms and break into what it says is Standard Life&#39s stronghold in this market.

It says it will focus more resources on IFAs with turnovers between £500,000 and £3m a year involved in corporate business with principals well known in their regions and likely to remunerate on a fee basis as well as commission.

NU says firms such as London-based Holden Meehan, with around 30 RIs and 70 per cent of its business in fees, would be a target in this sector which includes about 200 firms.

It says this is part of its strategy to be the top provider in the IFA market as a whole by increasing its market share to 20 per cent from 14.3 per cent, taking it ahead of Standard Life&#39s 14.9 per cent.

NU says it has previously neglected regional firms with its focus on big networks such as Misys and Bankhall but its regional and national account teams will be refocusing resources to help them with training, making professional connections and entering new markets.

NU director of IFA dev-elopment David Barral says: “This sector is key to our business and we have been punching below our weight. We intend to challenge Standard Life&#39s stronghold and become number one.”

Standard Life sales director of IFAs Paul Matthews says: “We will continue to do what we do well – providing good products and service to all our IFA markets.”

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