Axa is shifting its tied sales operation, Axa Adviser Network, to its intermediary subsidiary Thinc Group, lifting Thinc's adviser base by another 260 advisers to over 1000 intermediaries.
Thinc has a business model which offers advisory firms the option of running tied, multi-tied and whole of market offerings but while the AAN arm will be treated in exactly the same way as other advisers officials say there is “much work to be done now on the details of how we will manage the integration”.
Axa’s move is similar to that announced by Royal Liver in December 2005 when it transferred the direct sales force of its operations to Park Row, its intermediary arm.
Royal Liver’s shift allowed the sales arm to expand its advice options into the multi-tied market as well as give employees greater career options, as Royal Liver advisers could eventually work their way up to becoming independent financial planners.
John Simmonds, managing director of AXA Advisory Services, says the move is part of the firm’s ambitious plans to grow the advice division.
“Creating a single advice business, by integrating our tied network into Thinc, means that we can focus all of our efforts on both running and growing our business quickly and efficiently,” says Simmonds.
Have Your Say: David Kirkpatrick of David Kirkpatrick Associates in Ballyclare, says:
The Thinc/AXA rationalization has just made me realize that in the 20 years since I’ve set up my little IFA business we’ve had:
FIMBRA, PIA, FSA, insurers buying estate agencies, insurers selling estate agencies, insurers starting direct sales forces, insurers closing direct sales forces, insurers selling direct sales forces, insurers closing branches, insurers outsourcing claims handing to Asia, insurers closing claims handling centres in Asia, insurers merging, insurers refocusing, and still my little three person practice still keeps on going dealing with the same clients we were dealing with 20 years ago.
And Alex Roy from the ABI thinks the current retail model is unsustainable? Perhaps the insurers, regulators et al should put their own houses in order before turning their attention towards IFA’s, the only constant throughout that period.
If you have any comments you would like to add to this story or would like to speak to its author about a similar subject, telephone Julie Henderson on 020 7034 2679 or email [email protected].IFAonline
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