The industry’s best and brightest were recognised at the 2015 Financial Adviser Life and Pension Awards, held at the swanky Sartoria restaurant in London’s Savile Row on 22 April.
The sun shone both outside and inside as delighted financial advisers and providers scooped the coveted top prizes, acknowledging their good customer service client propositions.
The host for the afternoon was Ros Altmann, currently the government’s business champion for older workers, who entertained guests with a question and answer session from the floor.
When asked, for example, whether pensions freedom was about the consumer or tax-raising, Ms Altmann said that it was not entirely consumer-driven. There was a tax angle, she said, but in large part it was about the consumer.
Speaking in support of the newly established government service Pension Wise, which offers guidance on defined contribution pensions, Ms Altmann said: “We need a greater advertising campaign. Adverts should be shown on television, during Coronation Street for example, to allow people to know that this type of service exists.
“This service will help people appreciate the need for financial advice.”
Tensions were mounting during lunch as the guests awaited the results, to be announced by Ms Altmann.
Carl Lamb of Almary Green Investments, Norfolk, landed the overall adviser of the year crown, and Royal London was named pension provider of the year, while the pensions guru award – a new addition to the awards – was presented to pensions commentator Steve Bee.
Mr Lamb, Mike Carberry, Alan Lakey and Gareth Higton came out on top in their respective individual life and pensions adviser categories.
On the provider front, Royal London and Legal &General scooped four awards each, while Aviva, Bupa, LV, Standard Life, Just Retirement and AJ Bell also left the event victorious.
Once the formalities had drawn to a close, most of the guests congregated around the bar to toast their successes, topping off a highly enjoyable afternoon.