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No adviser is but an island? Until recently, the majority of advisers did a good job of pretending otherwise. Scattered around the country, they would meet at the occasional conference, perhaps carp about the regulator but the concept of sharing information and best practice remains a relatively new one.

It has taken off with vigour in recent years and should be of huge benefit to the industry over the longer term, making it more professional and improving general practice. On Linked In, for example, there are now numerous IFA networking groups, counselling each other on everything from the most appropriate exams to running a small business to the use of social media. It has something that has long benefited other industries and the financial advice industry is making up for lost time.

In many ways, this is a reflection on how the industry is changing. In the old days, everyone was sales-driven and was therefore - theoretically at least - competing for business. This is not a mode of working that naturally fosters partnership. But there has been an increasingly evident shift in thinking by many advisers. It is a signal of how far the industry has come.

In this month’s Adviser Evolution, we have an article from Lesley Hankin of www.marketing-hub.co.uk who reflects on how advisers can learn from, and partner with, their competitors to the benefit of their own business. It also features a profile on Plutus Wealth Management, a group
built on consultancy lines where individual advisers refer work to one another.

Client loyalty is therefore built to the group rather than to individual advisers. Again, it shows a new way of thinking on the part of advisers - for many years, every adviser held their client bank close because if it walked, so did their income. The RDR is changing this way of doing business.

Elsewhere, Steve Billingham talks through the “critical non-essentials” that can enhance an advisory business while David Shelton talks about different remuneration structures. Getting remuneration right for advisers who are newly employed (rather than self-employed) will be key
to building the adviser business of the future.

We welcome your feedback, so please send any comments on this or previous month’s issues to reynard_cherry@hotmail.com.

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