Michelle Andrews, commercial director at Skandia International, provides some insight into the company's success at the International Fund & Product Awards 2012.
Q Is there a single factor product providers should focus on or is it important to try and be good at all the key elements of business?
We have focused heavily on developing services that support the advice process and make things clearer for the customer. This customer-focused approach is driven through all of our developments, whether they are product or service and support related.
Developing products and services in the world we all live in now is very different to doing so a few years ago. There are increasingly frequent regulatory changes, our clients increasingly live within fragile economies with austerity front of mind, and there are greater technological demands from customers and advisers.
Raising standards in offshore
Having a deep understanding of all of these factors can present challenges for companies operating across multiple markets, as clearly no one size fits all. The fact that we have presence, and work very closely with advisers, in many of the large offshore markets has enabled us to build valuable customer insights.
We also recognise that advising on offshore investments can be complex. We are still a people business and pride ourselves on offering current, strong, high quality technical support across our offshore markets.
Winning the Best International Life Group Award for the second year running is an honour, and testament to the passion that people within the business have to continuously improve.
Q The judges rated your internet support as “superb”. Tell us more about this service to advisers
Skandia International has always been renowned for its extensive technical expertise – it is something we pride ourselves on. We invest a significant amount of time, resource and intellectual capital in providing advisers with specialised and dedicated support both off-line and increasingly online.
In addition to the extranet services, our technical knowledge hub – Skandiainternationalknowledgedirect.com – provides advisers with news and information on specialist subjects such as taxation, trusts, inheritance and retirement planning solutions to help them stay well informed.
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