Norwich Union would be IFAs' number one choice as a partner among the third of IFAs who would consider multi-tying if polarisation is scrapped, according to research by Sway.
The research, exclusive to Money Marketing, reveals that 93 per cent of IFAs considering multi-ties would choose NU first. Standard Life is second with 77 per cent, Legal & General third with 50 per cent and Skandia Life fourth.
The survey of over 800 RIs by the financial services consultancy found IFAs are not keen to tie to providers they perceive as having narrow product ranges, such as Scottish Equitable which is seen as a pension specialist.
Thirty-four per cent of IFAs would consider multi-tying or splitting their business into multi-tie and IFA firms although the vast majority prefer independence. Only 20 per cent of IFAs open to multi-tying say they would adopt it fully.
IFAs specialising in protection business would be most likely to multi-tie, with 46 per cent saying they would consider it. The least likely to multi-tie would be investment IFAs, with 87 per cent discounting a move, and 66 per cent of pension IFAs ruling it out.
ScotEq hit back at the findings, saying the perception it is just a pension provider is out of date as it is also in areas such as protection, personal investment and the international market.
NU director of marketing Robert Fletcher says: “If multi-ties become a reality, we would be keen to move forward in a positive way but there will always be a place for the independent sector.”
IFA Clifton Associates adviser June Williams says:”I would rather not multi-tie but if I did I would want things such as a good spread of business and flexible contracts.”
Sway chief executive John Maguire says: “With such numbers saying that they would multi-tie, it is time for IFAs to come out of the closet on this one.”
Details of the report are available from firstname.lastname@example.org.