Taking the stats published by Goodreturns we calculated the change between the average of the June 2011 and September 2011 sales and the December 2011 results. The table below is the result:
The arrows are editorial, of course. Reflecting the obvious shifts of advisers from established industry players to the dynamic newcomer, Partners Life.
A number of inferences can be drawn from the table. But the one I shall draw attention to right now is the stability in sales of companies with diversified distribution, or distribution which is bound by contract and other ties to an insurer to a greater or lesser degree.
While, for example, AMP has not been a stellar performer in terms of growth over the years, it's distribution network is highly integrated and very hard to move. Sovereign on the other hand perhaps benefits more from diversity than control. CIGNA is perhaps immune to the current force for change - the massive Partners Life impact. Banks all operate like walled gardens, but even these can suffer if institutional knowledge is not well enough embedded to prevent it's loss when key staff change.
It seems that as in financial planning, diversification has value.