Frequently Asked Questions

Summary

General

Ratings

Products

Updated Reports & Ratings

Payment

General

What does AKG stand for?

Historically AKG was an abbreviation of Anderton Kemp Gee, names associated with the company’s formation. The driving force behind AKG's creation was the late Nick Anderton, a well known, respected and innovative actuary.

Has there been a name change?

AKG is an independent organisation. Originally established as an actuarial consultancy AKG has, for over 20 years, specialised in the provision of assessment, ratings, information and market assistance to the financial services industry.

As the market has evolved over this period, the range of entities considered by AKG has expanded. Consequently AKG has brought additional skill sets into its operations. This has meant the inclusion of accounting, corporate finance, IT and market intelligence experience, alongside actuarial resources, to deliver an expanded professional capability.

To reflect this diversified foundation, the name of AKG’s operating company was changed in October 2015 from AKG Actuaries & Consultants Ltd to AKG Financial Analytics Ltd.

This new name further reflects the core purpose that AKG has in financial analysis and review services and in the delivery of key value added financial information to support the wider financial services sector and its customers.

Who owns AKG?

AKG is a private limited company. Its shareholders include its directors and senior management.

How can I find out what is available from AKG?

Whilst a range of useful information is available on this site, both for explanation and access (see Product Services and Shop) we would also welcome you getting in touch and will endeavour to help with any questions you might have please contact us.

Who’s who at AKG?

The directors and senior management are shown on the Meet the Team page.

Who are AKG’s customers?

AKG is a business to business company providing information and services to a range of financial service organisations. These include:

Back to top ^

Ratings

What is contained in the AKG Rating Portal?

The AKG Rating Portal provides easy access to all AKG Financial Strength Ratings at a Company (entity) level. It is for use by financial services industry professionals and access is provided free of charge. Along with ratings, a snapshot of supporting information is provided for each rated entity.

What Ratings does AKG produce?

AKG produces a range of ratings. A principal area being Financial Strength, with further key ratings including; Future Performance, Transparency and Service.

AKG Ratings are widely available in the market, both directly from AKG, in particular via the AKG Rating Portal and AKG reports, and often from the rated entity itself. But also in a wide range of leading portals, software systems and publications.

How do AKG’s ratings scales work?

Whilst the assessment behind AKG ratings is complex, the scale used for presentation is deliberately simple to maintain accessibility and comparability. The scales used are a Star  (lowest) – Star Star Star StarStar(highest) scale for star ratings and A (highest), B+, B, B-, C, D (lowest) for the overall and platform financial strength rating.

A

Superior

B+

Very strong

B

Strong

B-

Satisfactory

C

Weak

D

Very weak

What is the Overall Financial Strength Rating Icon?

In 2016, AKG introduced the Overall Financial Strength Rating Icon, which is a unique illustration to AKG. It highlights in a clear, concise and recognisable manner that a company has been through the AKG assessment process, and allows the communication of the associated AKG Overall Financial Strength Rating.

This instantly recognisable logo shows an adviser and their client how strong we believe a company is. It is designed to be used in the market to communicate that for financial strength, an organisation (or entity within it) is rated specifically by AKG.

AKG rating icons (where they include ratings) are intended to represent the current AKG Financial Strength Rating in respect of a particular company in a particular sector, according to a simple scale.

There are three different designs a company may use:

Simple                           Simple Icon

 

Standard                       Standard Icon

 

Detailed                        Detailed Icon

 

Each element of the icon explained:

 

AKG Overall Financial Strength Diagram

 

Why is no report available for a company rating?

AKG rates a broad range of companies, in different sectors, according to a consistent methodology. Within this range of companies some have more widespread use than others and as result there are different levels of demand for further or more detailed information.

Where required by either the rated company itself or directly for market use (primarily driven by intermediary firm use and requests), AKG looks to provide a report. However, where this is not the case, but where AKG still considers that there is some (usually more occasional or peripheral) market use then a rating may still be produced. This will be delivered to the market via the leading third party selection systems, together with its inclusion in the AKG Rating Portal, where it will be accompanied by a presentation of some basic contextual information.

Fundamentally assessment for 'rating only' companies uses the same methodology, including robust review, as any other public information AKG assessment.

Does the participation approach necessarily lead to a higher company rating than the public information approach?

No - either rating approach can deliver assessment ratings across the rating spectrum in terms of the overall financial strength rating or platform financial strength where applicable (these ratings being delivered for participatory and public information assessments).

The financial strength ratings at a product line basis and supporting ratings are only ascribed as a result of the participatory approach.

What the participatory route primarily facilitates, alongside licensed use of rating and report by the rated organisation, is the delivery of more information of a contextual or supporting nature into the assessment and the report presentation. This may be via meetings and or receipt of information that would otherwise not be put or expressed in the public domain. This adds to the depth of information available to the assessment and thus best supports end customers and their advisers, in what is a crucial area.

Where information is absent, whether in an assessment on a participatory basis or public information basis, then a cautious stance is necessitated within the assessment/rating.

AKG would encourage the flow of information regardless of whether any rating is affected either positively or negatively. As it is in the long term interest of rated entities to keep the market as fully informed as possible.

Back to top ^

Products

Delivery mechanism - How quickly will I receive reports ordered online?

Reports ordered online are available immediately via our automated download system. Products ordered offline requiring postage delivery will be posted within one working day unless otherwise advised.

Is there another way to order reports?

In addition to the online facility, orders can be placed by email, fax or by telephone, subject to a handling fee of £6 for orders under £50. Reports will be dispatched by email following invoicing and payment.

What uses are permitted for Ratings and Information contained in the AKG Rating Portal and generally within www.akg.co.uk?

The Ratings and Information contained in the AKG Rating Portal and generally within www.akg.co.uk are intended for reference purposes, including allowing compressive reference access to all AKG ratings at a Company level and the printing of individual records and pages.

Ratings and information from the AKG Rating Portal and this website in general, however, may not be reproduced or disseminated either in original or amended form, without the written consent of AKG.

AKG is pleased to discuss such use and please contact AKG in this regard to establish appropriate permissions or licensed use, or with any questions.

Can I print electronic reports?

Yes, whilst copyright restrictions prevent onward distribution or sale of the reports either in entirety or part, purchasers may print copies of any purchased AKG report for their own use.

Can I forward or add reports to our network/intranet?

Please contact us to establish appropriate use and permission for any forwarding or presentation of AKG reports either in entirety or part. We are happy to discuss such use and can specify any licence requirement. Please contact us.

Back to top ^

Updated Reports & Ratings

What happens if a rating or report is updated mid-year?

The ratings and assessments which sit alongside them are produced using AKG's leading approach of providing a long term view. However, ratings and assessments are under constant scrutiny and AKG has the facility to review and reissue ratings at any point.

The AKG Rating Portal will always display the current financial strength rating(s).

Revised ratings are also provided directly to the leading third party selection systems and portals.

Where reports are produced a rating change will usually give rise to a new report being issued. Should a rating be changed before a new report can be produced, then any existing report will be withdrawn, at least as a temporary measure.

Back to top ^

Payment

Is the payment method secure?

Yes, we utilise the market leading WorldPay service to provide secure online ordering and payment.

Is there a delivery charge?

Online orders are free of delivery or handling charges.

Offline orders above £50 are also free of delivery or handling fees and the fee for offline orders below this amount is £6.00.

Back to top ^

Related Links

Contacting AKG

Call us on +44(0)1306 876439 for more information.

Click here to email us »