ING DIRECT has announced it will re-shape its distribution model in a bid to better service the holistic needs of brokers and planners.
According to a statement from the bank, as part of the business model re-shape, Mark Woolnough will be appointed to the role of head of third party distribution.
Having previously held the role of head of broker distribution, Mr Woolnough will now be responsible for looking after the sales and service support functions of the broker and financial planning teams.
ING DIRECT’s executive director of distribution, Lisa Claes, believes the move supports the bank’s overall approach to the advice industry which is continuing to converge, and intends to take a more holistic approach to banking and wealth management to align with the changes already seen among many key aggregator partners and dealer groups.
“While there will always be room for specialisation, I have long been an advocate about the benefits of convergence, be it a co-branded, fully integrated or a referral business model, as well as the vertical integration of banking and wealth,” she said.
“We remain committed to maintaining our focus on the core needs of our third party distribution partners whether they operate under a converged model or focus exclusively on mortgages or wealth.
“This new service structure reflects how we intend to capitalise on this trend for the benefit of our customers and third party distributors, which continues to gather momentum. It provides us with the capability to service the broader financial needs of their customers should they desire.
“It also benefits the bank through economies of scale by leveraging internal synergies, broader geographical access to all third parties and improved career opportunities for our people.”
The combined third party distribution teams, including its business development managers and relationship managers, have already begun training on both wealth and mortgage products that are offered through brokers and financial advisers. Their technical knowledge will be complemented by continual investment in building exceptional sales capabilities which will benefit all third party partners.