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AXA Wealth cuts 30 jobs from sales team

by Jun Merrett on Jan 30, 2013 at 08:10

AXA Wealth cuts 30 jobs from sales team

AXA Wealth is cutting 30 jobs from its sales division in a move it said was prompted by the restructure of the business.

AXA Wealth employees were informed of the life company’s decision to cut 10 sales team members and 20 sales support staff members from its 250-strong sales division this week.

Marketing director Tom Wilkinson is also set to leave the company, which said it was examining a new role for head of specialist support Gary Thomson.  AXA Wealth said these changes did not relate to the cuts.

An AXA Wealth spokesman said the cuts had been prompted by the restructure of the business following the sale of part of its life business to Resolution, the retail distribution review (RDR), and the growth of the Elevate platform. 

‘Those three things have resulted in the requirement for fewer jobs going forward,' he said. ‘As the business develops, a small number of frontline sales roles will be lost (we expect this to be a circa 10 net reduction) with a further 20 sales support roles, as we focus on the opportunities of the post-RDR world. We will actively look at reducing the number of redundant roles as far as we can through non replacement of leavers, redeployment and reskilling wherever possible.  This still leaves AXA Wealth with one of the largest sales teams in the market.’

AXA Wealth will also create five new roles for tax wrapper specialists in its sales team to support advisers operating off-platform.

The company underwent a restructure in January 2012 which put 50 jobs of its then 300-strong sales team at risk and halved its regional managers from nine to five.

13 comments so far. Why not have your say?

Just sayin'

Jan 30, 2013 at 08:26

Life company?

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Simon H

Jan 30, 2013 at 09:25

AXA support in adding value through Personal Development and Technical training has been exceptional. This is a real backward step to risk losing one of their key differentiators.

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Simon P via mobile

Jan 30, 2013 at 09:37

Lets not jump the gun. It's just over 10% of the sales force and it isn't clear what roles are going. Lets wait until we have the detail to assess whether or not this will have a significant impact.

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Michael Brown

Jan 30, 2013 at 11:08

Since the last "cull" I have yet to see any person from the company. Hence no more to Winterthur, Opps AXA Wealth.

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Neil Mumford

Jan 30, 2013 at 12:48

From my understanding some of this is from the technical support team who have produced some excellant and invaluable training over the years. In a world that is becoming ever more complex with the constant changes in legislation we need more of this support not less. In my opinion they are one of the few companies that have actually delivered unbiased or sales orientated seminars.......

Some of the professional edge guys are also going, shame as they have added a lot of value to a number of firms. I guess AXA think it is job done and now onto accumulate the assets with no doubt further cuts in support at ground level to come . I am sure that the fat could have been cut from elsewhere.

I agree with Simon H a backward step

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Tim Page

Jan 30, 2013 at 13:09

@Neil and Simon: The days of "free" technical advice from life insurance companies have been numbered for years.

IMHO the quicker we get to a point were we all pay for this stuff the quicker we'll become a profession.

#ducks4cover

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alan mcintosh

Jan 30, 2013 at 13:38

Just the start of things to come

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ANDY WOOLLON

Jan 30, 2013 at 14:18

Very valid comments about the value of technical training provided by Life companys/platforms etc and this is a direct consequence of cost-cutting, BUT ALSO advisers demanding (beyond healthy competitiveness) that Platform costs are driven down and down and down. Of course the biggest cost is people (and let's spare a thought for those at risk yet again) - the very people that you have said above that you value/want to deliver the technical service etc - until eventually (as Tim Page has eluded to), you will end up paying for it or doing it all online or over the phone yourself, which will increase your costs.

If we look at what has happened to Comet, HMV, Jessops etc, their demise has been to (try) offer a F2F service in an online world. Whilst people value F2F contact, they don't want to pay for it, which is where we are increasingly getting to in financial services.

Consider this. Whilst you may use the cheapest Platform available, if there is no/limited support, which therefore increases your costs - be it because of poor service/no technical support etc - then this will increase your adviser charges, meaning that the client may then switch off your adviser charges and move to a cheaper Adviser (who uses a slightly more expensive Platform, but which keeps his costs down because of the support/service etc).

For me, we need to keep in perspective the overall client picture/total cost of advice, from adviser charges to Platform/tax wrapper costs and to fund manager costs/rebates, otherwise all we will end up doing, is moving costs from one to the other, but destroying choice, competitiveness, service as we go.

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Bridge North

Jan 30, 2013 at 15:40

Its a pity that people shall lose their jobs in what is an already shrinking sector.

Hope they get payoffs to soften the blow.

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Richard Hardy

Jan 31, 2013 at 10:55

MAS is recruiting!

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EVHE

Jan 31, 2013 at 14:10

Hopefully AXA will still retain some of their excellent technical support as it is certainly a rare commodity. AXA, Skandia and a few other have always offered tremedous support which makes them different from merely just providing a system to take the clients money.

It will be interesting to see how closely monitored this diminishing resource will be managed to ensure that the right advisers receive the appropriate support and that its not just thrown to everyone who asks for help.

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Mike Musson

Jan 31, 2013 at 22:02

And then there were ...........................none RIP

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Bindair Dundat 2

Feb 01, 2013 at 08:59

On 28th November 2012 I wrote

Here we go again – guess what happens next…..?

NMA article reads “AXA cuts jobs as margins are squeezed”

When will folk smell the coffee and realise that a few basis points here and there in a total TER of say 200bps (75bp to adviser 35bp to platform and 90bp for fund say) should make next to no difference at all – Value to client should be the driver. What AXA has done is simply play for share via the naïve members of a community that have for years relied on price to shift product. Given that Elevate is a darned good solution then I am struggling to see sense in this strategy

The FSA will see this as good for consumers in that costs are being driven down even further. The danger is that we end up with “anorexia industrialis” where all parts of the value chain become so lean and fit they emaciate and die which leaves further sectors of the public under served again

On 28th November 2012 Paul Riddell replied

This has no impact on profitability etc. as suggested. The model is built on making the new pricing as clean and simple as possible, in response to requests from advisers, many of whom already benefit from an individual pricing deal that suits them and their business. Therefore our published pricing was already long out of date with the reality of what we were actually charging. I can send you a pack if you'd like the details.

On 1st February 2013 I rest my case!

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