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Pru boosts face-to-face advice team by 50%

Prudential is boosting the number of staff working within its face-to-face advice service from an initial target of 80 to 120 by the end of the year.

The insurer began rolling out its Prudential Financial Planning service in February following a pilot with around 20 field-based staff. The service offers face-to-face advice for existing customers that came to the Pru through its direct salesforce, which was axed in February 2001 to focus on telephone, online and workplace customer service.

Pru had originally planned to grow staff numbers to 80 during 2012 but it has exceeded that target.

UK chief executive Rob Devey says: “We were targeting 80 in the first year but we are ahead of that. In terms of total numbers now, we have got 90 in the field and will probably have another 30 in place by the end of the year.”

Devey says while recruitment to Prudential Financial Planning “has gone slightly better than anticipated”, it will remain a small proportion of the company’s overall distribution.

He says: “The vast majority of our business will still be through IFAs. We very much focus Prudential Financial Planning only on a subset of existing customers that came to us from the Man from the Pru.”

Facts & Figures Financial Planners managing director Simon Webster says: “The Man from the Pru has never been serious competition to a professional IFA. Customers with smaller amounts of money with relatively simple needs will probably revert to services such as the Pru’s. That said, my heart is very much with those life offices that remain IFA-only.”

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  1. Prudential Financial Planning? More like Prudential Product Floggers. How can you advise when all you have in your briefcase is a small bunch a brochures on one company’s products? When will the FSA draw a clear line in the sand between sales consultants and (proper) advisers? Why are the banks still allowed to call their sales [people advisers when, in reality, they’re nothing but SALES consultants?

    Whilst on the one hand the FSA continues to bray like some demented donkey about the importance of IFA’s providing (and charging for) advice rather than merely selling products (and there’s nothing wrong with that as a professional aspiration), on the other it does nothing to prevent the blatant misappropriation of the term adviser on the part of tied and direct salesforces.

    Personally, I find it objectionable for members of DSF’s to be allowed to call themselves advisers when they don’t have to jump through a quarter as many hoops and hurdles as I, as an IFA, do.

    But hey, ho, the FSA obviously has much more important matters on its plate such as fretting about people with more money than sense buying on an execution-only basis into online unauthorised crowd investment schemes.

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