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It is that time of year when people start making plans for 2012. For advisers, 2012 may prove the busiest year of RDR transition yet, depending on how far they are down the road to compliance.

Our survey of the main challenges remaining for advisers shows that there is still a significant lack of clarity around many of the issues. In fact, one went as far as to say that there was barely a single issue where the regulatory framework could be said to be finalised. The definition of independence remains not fully defined and platform guidance is still under review, for example.

But, as Cliff Gray, our cover star for this week, says: “I am still working on the assumption that it is going to be what it is going to be, when they say it is going to be.”

The majority of advisers have decided that waiting for regulatory clarity is unlikely to give them enough time to transition their businesses and have just gone ahead regardless.

Gray shows how much work is involved in transition. He suggests that moving his 30-strong business to RDR compliance has been a full-time job, one he could not have undertaken with a full client portfolio.

But the rewards are clear. He has built a scaleable, profitable business, of which his advisers are happy to be a part.

This is also the experience of our diary columnist Lisa Chantrey, who says moving to fees has been an “unexpectedly positive” experience. She has spent a long time recruiting like-minded advisers to engender a sense of community rather than rivalry in the business.

Both are evangelical about advisers being mutually supportive and working together.

Certainly, one of the positive aspects of the RDR has been the way advisers have come together to share best practice, tips and helpful information. As we go into the final year of transition, it is a difficult road to walk alone.

Cherry Reynard, Consulting Editor, Adviser Evolution

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