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Providers should get their own houses in order

I would like respond to the report in MM concerning the survey by Camp Chipperfield Hill Murray.

One provider said: “What would you be paying for if you buy IFAs? The management? That&#39s a joke. The systems? That&#39s an even bigger joke” and another saying it is “like herding peacocks. They strut with their beautiful plumage saying &#39aren&#39t we beautiful&#39 but they screech in the night.”

Many providers should first take a look at themselves. I have worked for two big providers in my time, one for 10 years, and therefore I believe I am qualified to comment.

I started my own IFA practice 20 months ago and now have even more experience of the managers and services that providers themselves offer. First, I would say that people who are making these comments on behalf of providers are merely employees. What do they know about management and running a business? If their track records are anything to go by, they have failed miserably in closing the savings gap despite being the biggest players with the biggest marketing budgets.

When it came to miss-selling, who were the biggest culprits with the biggest fines? I have seen the levels of procrastination that exist in provider&#39s offices.

They arrange meetings to discuss and arrange other meetings. They spend half their time on the golf course and the other half with their card behind the bar smoothing the cogs with potential business suppliers.

From a systems point of view, can they explain their expert management and logistical skills in planning for stakeholder which, let&#39s face it, they only had five years notice of its coming? There is only one provider that I have dealt with that seems to be able to cope with the volume (and remember this is a failed market) – the rest are terrible.

From an e-commerce point of view, every deadline is missed and the majority of promises are broken. You then have to listen to droning music when phoning because they have ignored your snail mail and email (which they cannot cope with) and maybe somebody will answer this year.

Then the department that you need to speak to “does not take incoming calls” and staff are generally demotivated and unhappy.

With respect to whether you wish to buy an IFA firm or not. Remember, it is not your money, it is the shareholders money, built up by my clients&#39 money. Do you understand the value of any business that you are considering or will you just write out a big cheque to pay somebody else to value the business in question?

If you are really that good and we are so weak, why do you work for somebody else? Why not set up your own IFA practice and show us how it should be done? I now do it for myself, quite successfully thank you, because there is a species of “employee” in providers&#39 offices that spend a lot of their time spouting off how weak others are and covering their backs and their own little empire and actually achieving not a lot.

People in glass towers should not throw stones.

Ashley Clark

Chartered insurer director, Roberts Clark,

Need An


Aon Consulting – The Aon Sipp

Friday, 14 June 2002 Type: Full Sipp Minimum investment: £1 Investment choice: All Inland Revenue permitted investments Administrator: Aon Consulting Charges: Initial £500, annual £500 Commission: Subject to negotiation Tel: 020 8970 4614

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