IFAs are questioning the size of Standard Life's broker consultancy salesforce in the wake of falling with-profits sales.
Bankhall director of provider management Jonathan White believes Standard is unlikely to be able to sustain its large salesforce without strong with-profits sales, saying it will have to work harder to focus on its productive IFAs and to manage its relationships with others cost-effectively.
John Scott & Partners investment manager Patrick Connolly says across the industry, life companies have moved to cut salesforces and suggests that if Standard does demutualise it will have to do the same.
Standard managing director of sales Nathan Parnaby rejects the idea of cutting back its 370-strong broker consultancy force. He stresses it expects there to be an upturn in business in the second half of this year and into next year.
White says: “Indications are that it may cost up to £300 per call to put a broker consultant in front of an IFA. As a plc or a mutual, surely this is not sustainable?” Parnaby says: “Our IFA salesforce is the jewel in our crown and we have invested heavily in it and our long-term relationships with IFAs. We have seen the benefit of having a large salesforce and support from IFAs remains as strong as ever.”