Standard Life is reassuring IFAs that its service to them will not be affected by its structural changes to its direct salesforce.
It is splitting its direct customer division into three parts – telesales, corporate account management and direct client management.
The number of staff will more than halve from 630 to around 270. Ten direct-sales branches will close, bringing the total down to 11 from 21.
Sales managing director Nathan Parnaby says direct sales only account for about 5 per cent of its business inflows and its 700-strong broker consultancy force will not be affected in “any way, shape or form”.
He says: “We are committed to keeping a face-to-face business. What we are doing is taking the direct sales business and dividing it into three units with each part a business in its own right and to make a profit. It is simply about tackling the issue in our direct-sales operation and should not affect the IFA salesforce.”
Informed Choice managing director Nick Bamford says: “I would have thought it is potentially quite beneficial to IFAs. Some of them might well decide to become IFAs. I think this is the way direct salesforces are moving, becoming, small elite units rather than stack them high, sell them cheap style forces.”