Standard Life's position in the premier league of product providers after depolarisation has been called into question by a Datamonitor survey.
Datamonitor analyst Annabel Gorringe, the author of the UK IFAs 2004 – Post-depolarisation Strategies report, puts Norwich Union and Prudential in the premier league and says Friends Provident and Legal & General are likely to be there, with specialist players such as Clerical Medical and GE Life also featuring.
But she believes that Standard Life's status as the IFAs' darling is in doubt following uncertainty over its demutualisation and bad publicity over its solvency.
She says the providers that will not make it into the premier league will be those which lack efficient technology, have low-level brand loyalty and unexceptional product offerings.
Gorringe says that companiesa deciding to multi-tie will either follow a “waterfront” suite approach, where they pick around five providers which are strong in all product areas, or a best of breed approach where the best product is taken from each firm.
She says: “The future of second-division providers in a post-depolarised world is unsure – they will either have to become specialists or improve their range as a whole to get into the premier league – if multi-tie takes off and they are not there then they will be in a lot of trouble.”
Standard Life spokesman Scott White says: “Standard Life has one of the strongest branded propositions in the financial services market. There is significant passion, energy, commitment, focus, desire and ability within this organisation to be one of the few key winners, whatever shape the market takes in the future.”