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Shepherds Friendly in sales talks with IFA support firms

Shepherds Friendly Society is in advanced discussions with Sesame and SimplyBiz about making its products available to both companies’ advisers.

The Manchester-based mutual first approached the IFA market in November 2006 after declining sales forced it to rethink its strategy and it has so far signed up distribution deals with 30 local IFAs.

Chief executive Geoff Spencer, who was brought in a year ago to review the friendly society’s distribution strategy, says that Shepherds is aiming to get around 150 IFAs on its books by the end of 2007.

Shepherds offers an income protection product from the Holloway Friendly Society, a with-profits bond and a life insurance product.

The company is also looking at launching a mortgage payment protection plan in the near future.

Spencer says: “Traditionally, we have sold to the public through our own employed salesforce but, like Prudential, Pearl and other providers, we have realised that it did not work and we had to move on. We believe IFAs are here to stay and we see them as our main distribution route in the future and so are in advanced discussions with Sesame and SimplyBiz.”

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