he New Year is already well underway and with it comes the reminder that RDR is just around the corner. It is tempting to greet this with a groan and think of all the things that remain outstanding.
However, the one thing that everyone who has cracked the RDR has in common is that they have treated it as an opportunity rather than a chore. The importance of this lesson has been outlined well by Lisa Chantrey in the Adviser Evolution diary column this month. Barry Fleming & Partners had been a strong and well-functioning business with a rich bank of happy clients.
Change seemed both counter-intuitive and counterproductive. But as she and the rest of her team have begun to implement some of the RDR initiatives, she has realised that RDR is not simply an irritating boxticking exercise. She is seeing real benefits for her business and reports that the whole team has changed its mindset as a result. Lisa’s experience highlights another important point, however. Those who start with a blank page are at a distinct advantage. Re-engineering an otherwise well-functioning business is tough, particularly a business that may have been built lovingly from scratch. It is also the reason why many business managers struggle to pull their staff along with them.
David Shelton has some thoughts on how to engage staff members on page 9.
Certainly, Neil Shillito of SG Wealth Management believes that it was the freedom to decide how to build his business that has helped him shape it into its current success story.
However, he admits that at the time his business plans drew a fair few raised eyebrows and its launch in the midst of the early noughties slide in markets also did not make for plain sailing. Read how he overcame these challenges on pages 12 and 13.
Positive thinking may be a dated concept but it has a place in moving towards the RDR. The new regulatory regime requires an incisive look at your business and, ultimately, this is likely to be no bad thing. Those who have started from scratch have the advantage of a lack of nostalgia – they don’t feel like they are losing anything from these changes. If others can pull their thinking round to what can be gained from the RDR, the transition process may become easier.