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Standard Life looks to direct distribution

Standard Life chief executive David Nish says he is looking to break the insurer’s dependence on financial advisers by exploring other distribution routes, including direct to consumer and through employers.

According to the Mail on Sunday, Nish says despite the greater focus on a direct offering, he will look to support advisers as they adapt to customer agreed remuneration.

He says: “I want to bring the outside world into Standard Life. We’re doing something we’ve never done before, which is talk to customers. We do not serve 70 per cent of the market, those people who do not use advisers. That is daft.”

Nish says he is adamant that people should see Standard Life as a savings and investments provider as opposed to an insurance company.

He says: “I am not running an insurance company. We are a long- term savings and investments business. I want to distance ourselves from being viewed as an insurer – of being slow, not consumer-oriented and not understanding the long-term savings market.

“We must construct appropriate savings and investment vehicles to help people accumulate for retirement. If we do this, Britain can be a genuinely exciting place for Standard Life to do business.”


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There are 7 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. You have to bear in mind that Standard LIfe has maintained and grown its Direct Client Division (known internally as DCD) for many years and has been contacting ‘Orphan’ clients on this basis accordingly.

    I am sure that their experience of using this direct offering will be invaluable in expanding their service to other ‘Orphan’ clients and alike.

  2. Another nail in the coffin for IFA’s. Just think when RDR comes in and IFA’s have to charge a fee , SL will say they do not have to, who will the client go to? Ths is the tip of the iceberg more companies will follow. The FSA will get its wish of getting rid of advisers

  3. Mr Nish seems to forget that the 70% he refers to is mosly managed by the big 5 High street banks, most of whom have an I.F.A. distribution arm for the high net worth clients who need it.

    Sounds like the first rallying call for a direct sales force to me ! offering limited advice and maximising profits for the Product provider.

    Is this not the model that has lead to countless
    pieces of in approprite advice been given in the past and the reason for review afyter review from the F.S.A.

    This is called completing the circle mr Nish and offers nothing but grief for the” Market” he refers too.

  4. This shift of strategy started nearly 10 years ago when Standard Life unilaterally stakeholdered (i.e. buggered) all the PP’s we’d written with them over the previous decade. Standard Life didn’t even have the decency to forewarn us, let alone seek our consent. As a result, we have done not a single item of business with Standard Life since.

    Remember the old adage: You have no friends in business.

  5. Surely this is the way that the life co’s are going to go. Actually from a distribution perspective this actually does make sense. If 50-75% of IFAs pack it up post RDR, then the Life co’s distribution arm has therefore gone. So, I guess they thought that direct was probably the way to go…… no choice I assume.

    The bit they forget however is that direct sales forces (or large national IFA arms) produce bad advice to consumers,and lots of fines and recompense for the life co as the salesmen flog any old cr*p to get their commission!

  6. Retail Destruction Review

  7. So the new model adviser types who have jumped onto Standard Life wrap may be in for a shock. Shame really.

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