Advisers have criticised Skandia’s decision to close its nine regional offices and scale back its salesforce, saying the move will see IFAs move away from the firm.
Skandia plans to close the offices and operate a centralised adviser direct centre from its Southampton headquarters. The centre will work with Skandia’s regional business consultants, who will be based at home. Around 100 sales staff are likely to be at risk of redundancy in the changes to be phased in over the next 12 months.
Positive Solutions adviser Mike Cox says: “Skandia always had a very close relationship with IFAs. This move will cut those ties. The firm is a bit tired and the platform is not the best thing since sliced bread, so advisers will migrate away. Skandia’s people were the glue between the IFAs and the company.”
Bluenote Independent managing director John Hooper says: “Perhaps Old Mutual is preparing the company for a sell-off by stripping it down to the core business. It needs to come clean on its intentions.”
Skandia denies it is cutting ties with IFAs, pointing to the central support it will offer, and refuses to comment on speculation over Old Mutual.