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Who wants to be a millionaire?

Sovereign is offering to make its best performing adviser a millionaire next year. The $1 million jackpot will replace travel rewards previously offered to, but dropped following the events of September 11.

Thursday, November 1st 2001, 5:09PM

The $1 million jackpot will replace travel rewards previously offered to, but dropped following the events of September 11.

Sovereign head of marketing Vena Crawley says the company also wants its reward scheme to stand out from the pack. "Everyone does group travel. We’re trying to move away from the pack," Crawley says.

The $1 million scheme starts next week and runs until June 30. Ernst & Young will audit sales figures during July, and the winner announced soon after. Second and third prizes of $100,000 and $50,000 will be paid, along with six $25,000 prizes. Monthly prizes of $10,000 will also be offered.

The money will be paid to an adviser or an advisory firm, depending on the contractual arrangements, Crawley says.

Although there’s no strings attached to how the money is used, Sovereign is encouraging advisers to spend it building up their businesses. Advisers will be sent a brochure listing business development ideas, such as running branding campaigns, along with an estimate of their cost.

As part of the promotion, Sovereign will also give away $100,000 to five charities, using a vote by advisers to decide what proportion should go to each one.

Crawley says funding for the promotion largely comes from Sovereign no longer offering overseas reward trip due to safety concerns following the terrorist attacks in the United States.

Reward trips have worked well as a motivational tool in the past, but Sovereign believes many advisers will prefer the cash.

"They can still go for smaller trips and have money to grow their business."

Other fund managers say reward trips are a useful motivational tool and, as yet, they haven’t been put off by the terrorist attacks.

AXA, which plans to take about 250 advisers to a conference in Tahiti in April, says it has begun separating the reward and business elements of its trips.

Gatherings like the Tahiti one are now more about having fun, though considerable information networking and business idea sharing goes on, says AXA general manager of sales, Greg Campbell.

Business development now tends to be done at short retreats within New Zealand, he says.

Royal & SunAlliance, which plans to take advisers to Singapore and Thailand next year, expects reward trips to remain popular. However, the key to their success is making sure they are relevant and meet advisers’ requirements, national manager for intermediaries Mike Handcock says.

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