Service Awards 16 L&P category
1. Royal London Pensions
Royal London Pensions’s commitment to educating and guiding advisers through the pension freedoms has put the business in good stead, according to Isobel Langton.
The life assurer sits at the helm of the five-star excellent service category, overtaking last year’s winner Dentons, which is now in second place.
The chief executive officer, intermediary, for Royal London said: “We ran a series of roadshows on the impact of the pensions freedoms which advisers have found helpful. Those who attended the events had the benefit of being able to speak with Steve Webb who oversaw the introduction of the new freedoms at retirement during his tenure as pensions minister.”
Highlights of the year include the launch of a range of risk-targeted six multi-asset funds, for customers looking to save into a pension.
It also unveiled a drawdown governance service to help intermediaries manage their clients' portfolios more efficiently. The tool, which uses stochastic modelling provided by Moodys Analytics, produces an overview of clients’ investments and flags when things are going off course, according to Ms Langton.
She added: “We aim to do more of the same going forwards. We look to make better use of developments in technology to better support advisers.”
The personal touch is a major element behind Dentons' retention of the five-star service rating more that one year on from the pension freedoms according to David Fox.
Mr Fox, director of sales and marketing at the firm, said each client and adviser has a named administrator who is responsible for each client's self-invested personal pension (Sipp).
The firm recorded a nine-out-of-10 rating for personal contact - the highest score across all service awards categories.
He added: “We continue to offer one of the most flexible investment vehicles in the self invested market and we recognise that for some advisers, complex property transactions come along infrequently and we can tailor our support to the level of expertise held by individual advisers.”
Dentons has focused on bolstering efficiency through the launch of DPM Legal which, according to Mr Fox, has streamlined the process of purchasing a commercial property.
In addition, Dentons became a member of the Origo transfer system which has cut the time in which investment transactions can often be completed and with less paperwork.
Mr Fox said: “We are constantly reviewing and assessing the service we provide in order to ensure advisers and clients receive a market leading service for their Sipp and small self-administered scheme service. We are aware that to maintain our position as providing the best bespoke Sipp and Ssas service we need to continually invest in our staff and internal systems.”
3. Royal London Protection (formerly Bright Grey and Scottish Provident)