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NU cribbed our academy idea, says PosSol’s Reeve

Positive Solutions chief executive officer Jim Reeve has slammed Norwich Union and says the company copied his idea for a learning academy for advisers.

Reeve claims that Norwich Union came to talk to PosSol in December last year and seemed interested in becoming involved in the distributor’s own learning academy, which includes study materials and workshops provided by various life offices.

But in April, Norwich Union set up its own adviser academy to help IFAs reach the Chartered Insurance Institute’s diploma level.

Positive Solutions launched its learning academy in July and pledged to foot the bill for its own advisers to achieve the same qualification, with an investment of £5m over the next three years.

PosSol claims it started talking to the market about its academy late last year.

Reeve says: “NU even copied us by using the name aca-demy but it is a poor imitation of what we are offering. Why would advisers want to use an academy owned by a product provider when they can get a class proposition from an IFA network?

“We have involved around 15 providers in producing materials for our academy while NU is only specialist in one or two areas. NU is only helping IFAs to attain a qualification but we are also offering support, personal and business development.”

An NU spokeswoman says Reeve’s claims are “absolute nonsense” and declined to comment further.


Little sympathy for the banks

The preparation for the retail distribution review is most certainly already beginning. I have recently been called several times by IFA networks asking whether I want to join them to shelter under their umbrella. Such consolidation is made necessary by capital adequacy requirements that are part of the RDR.


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