A hybrid solution

05 September 2006 Angelo Coppola

Mark Shaw, an ABI consultant from the UK, speaking about advice and whether agents should be tied or not, says that the UK instituted the polarization of agents and they needed to decide whether they were tied or not, more than 10 years ago.

Today in the UK, there is a move back to advisors offering advice and being either tied or independent. Its market segment dependent and both cohabit quite comfortably today, says Shaw.

Mike Elliot, from LIMRA, says that the lower end of the market is where the major problem is. Some 6.5 million people are located in the middle to upper end, while there are an estimated 11 million people at the lower end of the market.

In terms of training and level of advice, Mike Jackson of the LOA says that the level of education that the advisor and the cost of the education must be taken into consideration.

In a nutshell Jackson says that there is no need to train and educate advisors to doctorate levels when the advice they will be providing is of a lower level.

Editor's thoughts:
* People operating in a particular market sector should be trained to deal with issues that relate to that target market. Determining the level of appropriate training is a challenge and despite what some pundits are saying people still require advice.
* I would venture to suggest that all advisors should be trained to the level of rocket scientists, as, if they are doing their consulting and advice correctly, they will grow with their clients and benefit from an annuity-type fee basis
* The one-hit wonder approach to advice and consulting simply doesn't work, is tiring and not very efficient. Stop selling and start advising.

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