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Unconvinced by ZAN’s proposition

Having read the report on De Montfort Chase’s battle with Zurich Advice Network, I see little grounds for sympathy (Money Marketing, November 23).

A few years back, I was visited by the flamboyant Simon Chamberlain, who tried hard to persuade us that selling into ZAN would be a good thing for us.

I realised fairly quickly that, in reality, ZAN was nothing more than a pre-depolarisation multi-tie and that locking ourselves into that scenario was likely to cause us all sorts of problems.

All my efforts to meet with other IFAs who had already made the transition to ZAN somehow never came to anything.

The list of excuses just went on and on until I stopped asking. I never could get a straight answer to my question about using providers other than those on the ZAN panel.

The whole pitch was just about money and nothing to do with how I might have wanted to develop my business, least of all in terms of services to clients.

I wasn’t promised earnings of £10m or anything like it although, had such a huge figure been mentioned, I would have been downright dismissive.

There are certain laws of economic gravity which do not simply cease to apply as a result of tying one’s horse to an organisation such as Zurich Group.

Trying to operate two different types of advisory model from a single premises seems to me to be a recipe for conflict and confusion from the word go.

If Mark Robinson was taken in by a promise of earning £10m, I imagine that he must now be sorely regretting having been so gullible.

The old adages still apply, not least that if something looks too good to be true then it almost certainly is too good to be true.

Julian Stevens


WDS IFAs, Bristol


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