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By Marc Shoffman | Published May 21, 2012

Standard Life launches customer council

The formation of the council, which will contain industry representatives and advisers on a rolling basis, comes after complaints from IFAs that the insurer was contacting clients directly.

Inaugural members of the council are:

· Karen Barrett, chief Executive of unbiased.co.uk

· Nick Caan, chief Executive of the Institute of Financial Planning

· Brian Dennehey, managing director of Dennehey Weller

· Fay Goddard, chief executive of the Personal Finance Society

· Garry Godwin, managing director of Newell Palmer Group

· Ian Hemmingway, director at Ludlow Independent Financial Advisors

· Bruce Kelsall, managing director of marketing at Standard Life (chairman)

· Derek Miles, managing director of Aspira

· Shane Mullins, managing director of Fiscal Engineers

· Stephen Munro, chairman of The Munro Partnership

· Phil Young, managing director of Threesixty Services

The council will meet two to three times a year with a remit to debate ideas for improving communications and develop ways of using customer insight and collateral to benefit advisers

Paul Matthews, UK chief executive of Standard Life, said: “We are introducing the customer communications council to ensure all communications are supportive to both customers and advisers and are as transparent as possible.

“We will continue to look at ways we can reinforce the relationship between ourselves, the adviser and the customer. We’re interested in advisers’ views on the subject of communications and want to work closely with our partners. The establishment of the Council is a way to facilitate this in our aim to set the standard in all our communications.”

Karen Barrett, chief executive of unbiased.co.uk, said: “The way in which the industry talks to its customers, whether they are consumers or advisers, is an important topic to address. I believe any work that goes into gaining further insight on potential issues and implementing improvements to the customer communications process will have a positive impact on all related stakeholders.

“The upcoming regulatory changes present an interesting communications challenge and I look forward to working with the council to set effective guidelines on best practice communications.”

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