For B/Ds that own manufacturing and distribution, open architecture may be a key to their survival. “Reps don’t want to be compelled, especially in this environment where their objectivity can be called into question, to sell [only] one company’s product,” says Brian Murphy, president of Woodbury Financial Services, a B/D based in Woodbury, Minnesota. “Companies are becoming more restrictive, or are adding more products.” Woodbury, a division of The Hartford, has doubled the number of products it makes available to reps over the last four years, according to Murphy. Some firms, he says, are “separating manufacturing from distribution because they are finding it difficult to manage the risks inherent in both.”
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