IFA route most important: Pru
Prudential’s financial planning arm will only make up a tiny percentage of the UK business as it remains committed to the IFAs, Rob Devey has claimed.
The chief executive of Prudential UK said the financial planning division, launched in September 2011, was performing well, but the IFA route was most important.
He said: “We are an IFA shop first and foremost for new business. People have their head around this. Our access to new customers is through IFAs. There are a subsets of clients that our financial planning staff will target that have more complex needs that are reaching out for advice. Typically they were advised by Pru in the past.”
Mr Devey said there were more than 100 advisers in the division, and it could grow to 250, adding: “The unit still represents a tiny percentage, below 10 per cent.”
Prudential Financial Planning was launched in 2011 with 80 advisers.
Prudential reported operating profit in the UK of £353m for the first half of 2012, the same as 2011. Its new business profit was £152m, up from £146m in 2011.
M&G, Prudential UK’s investment division, reported a net investment inflow increase of 53 per cent to £4.3bn.
The figures showed Pru’s with profits fund had a surplus estate of £6.1bn and its earnings for the first half of 2012 were £490m.
Mr Devey said the firm did not see too much profit growth in its home market, but remained committed to it.
Tidjane Thiam, group chief executive of Prudential, said profits were driven by growth in Asia, where operating profits were up 26 per cent to £409m.
Denis Mitchell, managing director of Cornwall-based Demelza Lifestyle Financial Planners, said: “The perception of Prudential from the consumer point of view is very strong, which goes back to the ‘Man from the Pru’ days.
“However, as an adviser, I would like to see a more consistent strategy to show that the insurer is committed to specific markets.”