Intermediary confidence grows in the current economic climate

Article date: 22 November 2010

  • More advisers feel that the economy is positively affecting their business
  • Intermediaries are turning to new technology to increase business profitability
  • Nearly half of advisers rely on referrals from other professionals such as accountants and lawyers. 

Intermediary research from Aviva’s second quarterly Hot Issues Tracker shows an increasing number of advisers feel more confident about the current economic climate. Nearly a quarter (23%), feel that the state of the economy is positively affecting their business (compared to 15% in June). This second tranche of research also found that advisers feel there is a growing sense of political stability. As the coalition government reaches its sixth month in office, only 16% of intermediaries believe that the new political agenda is a significant business concern compared to 22% in June. 

Greater confidence
Greater confidence in the macro economic climate has encouraged intermediaries to focus on their own businesses by looking to increase profitability (26%) and develop their business models (18%). Indeed, 42% of advisers believe their revenue will increase over the next three months. With more effective technology cited by one in five advisers as increasing business profitability, a growing number are looking towards platform adoption (7% compared to 3% in June) and 10% are planning on installing new technology.  

Looking to the future
With their future business success in mind, generating new client leads is one of the most important things on the intermediary agenda for the next three months (35%).  In line with the research carried out in June, advisers still think personal relationships are key. Indeed 86% still found referrals from existing clients the best way to generate new business.   

However an increasing number (42% compared to 18% in June) said they also relied on referrals from other professional advisers such as accountants and solicitors. With  the growing number of intermediaries looking to develop their business models ahead of the Retail Distribution Review, the number of advisers who said the size of their business will either remain the same size, or will expand or diversify is high at 86%.

Simon Badley, director of intermediary at Aviva, comments: “After a period of significant instability, it is encouraging to learn that advisers are feeling more confident about the economic and political climate. The fact that a growing number of advisers are actively looking to develop their business models shows the extent to which the industry is looking to the future. It is also interesting to note the increasing number of advisers looking to adopt technology to drive business profitability.

“At Aviva, we understand the great number of challenges facing the intermediary community over the next few years and we are doing everything we can to help make this transition easier.  Whether it is helping advisers adapt to the demands of new technology or preparing them for the post RDR-world, Aviva has a range of support tools and services available.  The Hot Issues Tracker helps us to gather feedback from advisers so we can provide this support where advisers need it most.”  


Aviva Hot Issues Tracker:
This is the second in a quarterly series of surveys aimed at revealing the issues and concerns of the UK’s financial advisers. This exclusive research asked IFAs to respond to questions about their business and as well as answer questions on areas of particular topical interest. The first tranche of this quarter’s research was launched at a roundtable held on 27 October 2010.

The second Hot Issues Tracker surveyed 266 financial advisers between 24 September and 13 October 2010. 

Aviva press office:
Jess Geoghegan 01904 684128 / 07800 695673
David Gwyer 01904 452659 / 07800 693187

The Wriglesworth Consultancy:
Lee Blackwell / Katie de Pelet 020 7427 1400

Notes to editors: 

  • Aviva is one of the world's largest insurance groups* with 53 million customers worldwide and 46,000 employees.
  • Aviva’s main activities are long-term savings, fund management and general insurance, with worldwide total sales of £45.1 billion and funds under management of £379 billion*.
  • In the UK, Aviva takes care of its 19.2 million customers by helping them look after their future, protecting what’s important – from their health to their homes, their cars to their business – and saving for the future.
  • Aviva has a 10.5%** share of the UK life and pensions market and insures one in six homes and one in 10 cars in the UK. It is also one of the oldest UK insurers, with a heritage stretching back more than 300 years.
  • RAC, which is owned by Aviva, provides breakdown and insurance services for individuals and businesses and has around seven million customers.
  • Aviva is carbon neutral worldwide, and is ranked in the top 10% of socially responsible companies globally by the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index.  In 2009 we invested £3.8m into the community. Read our corporate responsibility report at
  • Aviva’s global Street to School programme is working in partnership with Railway Children in the UK to get children living on the streets back into education and everyday life. Find out more at
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* based on gross worldwide premiums at 31 December 2009

** Source: ABI data released August 2010


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