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Skandia cuts 20 jobs in sales team restructure

by Michelle Abrego on Dec 10, 2012 at 10:17

Skandia cuts 20 jobs in sales team restructure

Skandia has cut 20 jobs as part of a restructure of its adviser sales team, dividing the division into two roles; wealth management consultants and development consultants.

Under the restructure, numbers in the sales team will reduce from 100 to 80. The Old Mutual-owned provider said wealth management consultants would focus on helping advisers grow their businesses while development consultants would provide ongoing support.

Steve Powell, sales director said:The new 80-strong sales team will be nimbler and more effective, with a strong leadership team.  

‘Advisers will continue to receive dedicated, specialist support, and we are confident this new approach will provide unrivalled adviser support, something we will continue to be renowned for.’

In October, Skandia announced Steve Powell as the new sales director for the UK, reporting into Peter Mann, managing director for the UK.

Nick Jones, head of sales for the South, will report into Powell, as will Gary Stirrup, head of sales for the North and Nigel Jeffries, head of strategic relationships.

12 comments so far. Why not have your say?

Dante

Dec 10, 2012 at 11:08

Forbrydelsen

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Vinylman

Dec 10, 2012 at 11:25

‘The new 80-strong sales team will be nimbler and more effective, with a strong leadership team' - charming. I bet thats not quite how our recently redundant Skandia Consultant sees it - he wouldnt be the first to admit to being nimble but he was certainly effective!

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EVHE

Dec 10, 2012 at 11:55

Not sure how losing some of the best consultants in the business with 10+ years service will improve the level of support and service for advisers.

On the bright side I'm sure the other platform providers will be snapping up the individuals for their skills, relationships and intellectual capital.

It will be interesting to see how many of the 80 are existing Skandia consultants and how many are brand new employees to Skandia or brand new to such a role.

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Philip Wise

Dec 10, 2012 at 13:12

Come on, this story's been up all morning and nobody has blamed RDR yet. Why didnt Skandia blame RDR?

Perhaps it's RDR's fault that nobody has blamed RDR for this.

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Asim Macci

Dec 10, 2012 at 13:18

You can actually blame RDR for anything and get away with it these days!

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Rosie Falco

Dec 10, 2012 at 13:33

As an ex-Skandia consultant of 10+ years', who had to go through the last round of redundancies and apply (succesfully) for my own job, I am perhaps better qualified than some to comment.

Skandia is still trying to manage to metamorphosis from life company with fund supermarket, to full wrap provider with life company tacked on. The former required a lot of consultants, the latter does not. Knowing the level of consultant support typical in the full wrap provider space, I would anticipate that there will be more cuts made in Skandia's salesforce in future. It's an inevitable consequence of the market and the competitive pressure on margins and profitability.

It's obviously sad for the individuals concerned, but this is a dynamic business and there are always opportunities to exploit. Sometimes, being pushed out of a comfort zone is the best thing that can happen to an individual who can't quite bring themselves to leave of their own volition. Happily, I left at the time of my choosing, and I am relishing the challenge of life on the other side of the fence, as an IFA. I can recommend it to any ex- Skandia consultant - know your worth, and you won't have a problem finding another position, whatever you want it to be.

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Bob Donaldson

Dec 10, 2012 at 14:53

Put these companies in the order that they will disappear from the financial services industry following RDR:

Skandia

Aviva

Legal & General

Scottish Provident

Etc

Etc

Is it down to RDR or is it down to Skandia and the parent company Old Mutual.

RDR is the death of the industry by a thousand cuts. It is only when the FSA realise no one is left to regulate or extort money from will they realise that the industry is dead!

Under insured, under saved under pensioned and only because it is easier to get a credit card than it is to arrange a £10 per month savings plan for someone.

Watch this space for further information as companies wither on the vine includnig advisory firms!

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John Burchett

Dec 10, 2012 at 17:14

Within every industry there is change and since the advent of technolgy the changes are more frequent. RDR is only part of the background reasoning for some of the changes that providers are making, and have made. Everyone wants something for nothing and in order to stay in business you have to stay lean and mean. If this results in the rearrangement of the workforce and consequent redundancies this is regrettable but necessary.

What Skandia need to ensure is that they communicate effectively, act honourably, and make sure they do not alienate the IFA community which has made them what they are today.

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Bob Donaldson

Dec 10, 2012 at 17:20

@John Burchett

Would that the be same way in which other companies have gone before a classic example being NPI a former major pensions office.

Companies have done a great job of selling off their back book of business leaving advisors picking up all the costs of trying to obtain information statements etc etc.

I trust this is not the way Skandia will go but I would foresee future losses and Old Mutual will cut them off like the dead branch of a tree.

Change is inevitable but when it is not necessarily for the better then it becomes change for change sake.

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SJH

Dec 14, 2012 at 18:26

I am a big Skandia fan - they helped turn my own business from an "also ran" to a very successful and profitable one. The guy that provided the help and support has now accepted the redundancy and left and his enthusiasm will be missed.

I met with their MD, Peter Mann a few weeks ago, and it struck me how much interference they are getting from OM in South Africa. There have been rumours circulating about the viability of SIS in recent weeks, i guess mainly started by their competitors.

• Will they take on their own advisory team (International Adviser on 29 November for one) and poach IFA clients - sorry, assist ex IFA clients who find themselves without an adviser. My now ex Skandia Investment Solutions Consultant says that while Peter Mann is around, they won’t but he’s only likely to be around for another 3 years, and then who knows?

• They are haemorrhaging cash at the mo – there’s no way they can survive on that new charging structure and stay afloat without the rebates they were receiving.

• They’re not interested in being a big player for IFAs. They see themselves as a big player in the Restricted market and not competing with Wraps for IFAs, hence the push on OM funds and the new series of “managed solution” funds and the reported focus on selling these funds on price.

I’m not sure of the validity of these claims, but I know Skandia people read these pages and indeed join in using pseudonyms - what’s really going on.

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EVHE

Dec 15, 2012 at 20:24

Sadly it seems that the Skandia employees that built the business are now leaving in volume to be replaced not only by Old Mutual employees but also Old Mutual in name.

Based on the number of excellent number of individuals that decided to take redundancy rather than apply for a "development" role I would be interested to see how these long term relationships that have been broken will affect in flows of new business and retention of old business.

L

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SJH

Dec 16, 2012 at 17:26

One thing is for sure, they need to be getting press releases and their remaining consultants out fighting all the negativity that there is around Skandia at the mo. otherwise, the competition will be quite happy for these rumours to continue "trending" and may even be encouraging them, See "retweets" from the more prolific twits.

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