BOSTON, Dec. 18, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Today DALBAR released the 2014 winners of its annual Financial Intermediary Service Award. The following firms emerged as award winners and service leaders in 2014 (in alphabetical order): BlackRock, Deutsch Asset & Wealth Management, Goldman Sachs, Lord Abbett, and Pacific Life.

For nearly three decades, DALBAR has conducted rigorous testing of service delivery via its Service Quality Measurement Programs. Each year, DALBAR identifies those firms that rise above their peers in service to financial professionals after a full year of comprehensive evaluation and recognizes those elite institutions with the DALBAR Service Award.

DALBAR found the service these winning firms provided to be superior to the industry at large, particularly when it came to creating positive first impressions. Strong first impressions can make a lasting impact long after the service call is over. These elite service providers understand that and greeted financial professionals with immediate respect, confidence and efficiency in 90% of the service experiences evaluated. This compares to the non-winning firms at only 77%.

"Financial Professionals do business with many financial services firms and expect to get quality service and support when making sure they are selecting the right product(s) for their respective clients. These award winning firms understand that service is a critical differentiating factor within such a highly competitive marketplace," said Kathleen Whalen, Managing Director at DALBAR.

The DALBAR Service Award is based on systematic testing of customer service throughout the year. DALBAR conducts thousands of tests to measure how financial companies respond to the service needs of their customers. Companies that exceed the award level benchmarks after one year of testing earn the DALBAR Financial Intermediary Service Award.

DALBAR , Inc. is the financial community's leading independent expert for evaluating, auditing and rating business practices, customer performance, product quality and service. Launched in 1976, DALBAR has earned the recognition for consistent and unbiased evaluations of insurance companies, investment companies, registered investment advisers, broker/dealers, retirement plan providers and financial professionals. DALBAR awards are recognized as the marks of excellence in the financial community.

Kathleen Whalen