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November 2010

Wesleyan gears up for the RDR

Wesleyan Assurance Society is set to create 90 new jobs at its Birmingham head office over the next two years. The move will see Wesleyan establishing a Sales Relationship Centre (SRC) and put the mutual in a strong position to operate even more effectively as the industry prepares for the introduction of the Retail Distribution Review (RDR) framework in 2012. It will also strengthen contact with customers and improve sales force productivity. The first phase of recruitment is currently underway.

Wesleyan, which specialises in providing financial services for doctors, dentists, lawyers and teachers, piloted the SRC concept after internal research revealed that, as the business continued to grow, financial consultants were spending almost as much time setting up appointments as they were spending with customers. The year-long pilot was highly successful, allowing financial consultants significantly more time with customers and creating an uplift in sales and appointments.

Sam Porter, Wesleyan’s Director of Marketing said: “The pilot shows that creating an SRC will not only help to increase sales force productivity but will also allow financial consultants to spend more quality time with clients assessing their financial needs.

“As a specialist provider we have a clear understanding of the needs of our customers and the issues that are impacting on them and their professions. This insight will allow the SRC to support customers who might be affected by changes in pension schemes or tax legislation, for example, in a timely manner.

“Following the Retail Distribution Review, we anticipate that the demand for the type of high-quality tailored service which we provide will increase further.  The SRC will enable us to deliver this service to an even higher standard.”

Recruitment to the SRC will be phased over the next two years with more than half of the posts due to be filled by the end of 2011.  The SRC will operate flexible shift patterns to enable Wesleyan to speak to customers at different times throughout the day.

Jerry Blackett, CEO of Birmingham Chamber of Commerce said: “It’s heartening to hear of a long-established Birmingham company like Wesleyan bucking the trend and recruiting more staff.  This will be a boost to Birmingham’s reputation for being the UK’s largest centre for financial and professional services, outside of London.

“Wesleyan is one of the few financial services companies to emerge unscathed from the downturn in this sector. Moreover, as a mutual it has no shareholders and is run for the benefit of its members. In these uncertain times, this single-minded focus has been key to Wesleyan’s success.”

Wesleyan currently employs around 1,000 people with around two-thirds based at its Head Office and the remainder forming part of a national sales force.

  • Wesleyan was named UK Life Insurer of the Year at the prestigious British Insurance Awards 2010 for the second time in three years and has been a finalist for the award for the last five consecutive years. 
  • Wesleyan is a finalist at the National Business Awards 2010 which will take place on 9 November. 
  • The Wesleyan Group has in excess of £4 billion of funds under management as at 31 December 2009. 
  • Wesleyan has received a ten-out-of ten rating for overall financial strength for five consecutive years in the respected Cazalet Consulting with profits rating report - the only life office to have achieved this.  
  • In its 2009/10 customer impact survey, the Association of British Insurers reported that Wesleyan’s customer service standards are significantly above the industry benchmark including for overall quality of product and service and overall customer service.  
  • Wesleyan was named Business of the Year at the National Business Awards 2009 Regional Finals and won Best Use of IT in Insurance at the Financial Sector Technology Awards 2009.
  • Wesleyan Assurance Society Head Office: PO Box 3420, Colmore Circus Birmingham B4 6AR. Website: www.wesleyan.co.uk


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