Lincoln Financial Group in Philadelphia has created a distribution arm to streamline marketing for its diverse subsidiaries.

Wes Thompson, chief executive officer of the new Lincoln Financial Distributors, said it will handle marketing for all the conglomerate’s subsidiaries, which include the mutual fund company Delaware Investments, First Penn-Pacific Life Insurance Co. of Schaumburg, Ill., and Lincoln Life and Annuity Co. of New York .

Lincoln Financial Group now will use only four distribution channels — banks, wire houses, independent financial planners, and managing general agents. Each channel will have a number of key account managers responsible for directing product offers to clients, Mr. Thompson said.

Phil Holstein, previously the head of Lincoln Financial’s U.K. sales operations, is the new bank channel head.

Lincoln is consolidating distribution because its diversity had become unwieldy for its wholesalers. “The old system created a lot of confusion as to who was doing what,” Mr. Thompson said.

For instance, he said, the distributors had more marketing materials than they could handle. Now, “when brokers are sitting with an affluent client, they know that the client has a variety of needs, and our system will help them meet those needs,” Mr. Thompson said.

He said the restructuring addresses an issue of self-definition that many banks, brokers, and advisers are confronting. In a recent meeting with several bankers who distribute Lincoln products, “they didn’t refer to themselves as a bank, they referred to themselves as a firm,” as brokers tend to do, he said.

Other large financial services companies with long product menus want to make similar distribution overhauls but are prevented from dong so by internal turf battles, Mr. Thompson said.

Despite the confusion that it hopes to resolve with the restructuring, sales of Lincoln’s mutual funds have grown about 25% this year, while the individual life insurance business has grown 34%, Mr. Thompson said.

He said few employees lost their jobs to the revamp and many of those whose jobs were made redundant have been reassigned.

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