The judges were looking for a group that had a quality range of products but also provided an excell...
The judges were looking for a group that had a quality range of products but also provided an excellent service standard to match. This had to be one that respected and understood intermediary needs and was not prepared to sit on its laurels but looked to raise the benchmark for better service.
The winner in this category last year, Royal Skandia has repeated the feat for 2006. The judges were impressed by its "excellent pensions and savings plans" the innovation it has shown with structured products and real estate investments and the quality of its adviser tools. As in 2005 the judges also noted the high esteem in which Royal Skandia's technical team was held, with Colin Jelly mentioned for his clear-sighted technical support for brokers and his lobbying efforts on behalf of the industry. They were also impressed by its willingness to be out on the road, providing intermediaries with "fresh and innovative thinking".
Overall the panel felt Skandia's purchase by the Old Mutual group was another positive, removing uncertainty surrounding the future of the group and providing it with a strong parent.
While Royal Skandia was the winner, the judges felt Scottish Equitable International deserved to be highly commended. They noted the life office has been improving its proposition to intermediaries in the last two years, not least with a programme of revamped fund links and a pace of reform that shows no sign of slowing.
Meet the judges
Malcolm Kerr, Ernst & Young
Malcolm has worked in the financial services industry for over 30 years and has held a number of senior management positions and gained a great deal of offshore experience. More recently he joined Ernst & Young.
Axa Isle of Man
Clerical Medical International
Friends Provident International
Scottish Equitable International - HIGHLY COMMENDED
Introducing the Architas education series for clients.
What made financial headlines over the weekend?
Developed by industry-wide group
Joined in 2002
'Educate clients' children'