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Andrew Fisher says consensus on restrictive covenants is ‘impossible’

Towry chief executive Andrew Fisher says it will be “impossible” to develop industry-wide standard protocol on restrictive covenants.

In February, Tisa announced it will try to form an industry consensus on how restrictive covenants should apply in financial services, after Towry attempted to sue Raymond James and seven former Edward Jones advisers for £6m in damages over alleged client solicitation. The High Court dismissed all claims brought by Towry.

Speaking today at the Tax Incentivised Savings Association client retention seminar, Fisher (pictured) said: “Achieving protocol would be impossible because of the different types of firms in the market and the different needs of their clients.

“There is a large difference between the protocol of a large financial planning firm and a two-man band with one adviser leaving.”

Fisher added: “Clients know what they want, but they do not necessarily know what they need and that is what we should be giving them.”


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There are 10 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. [Fisher said]
    “it is not what clients want that is important.”

    “Clients know what they want, but they do not necessarily know what they need and that is what we should be giving them.”

    This man shouldn’t just be in charge of a company – he should be prime minister!

  2. Chris Stilwell 30th May 2012 at 3:44 pm

    “Fisher added it is not what clients want that is important.”

    Is it me or doesnt this just say it all?

  3. Simon Webster 30th May 2012 at 3:49 pm

    Interesting thoughts in the important area of client retention. I can just imagine…

    client: I want a Mercedes
    fisher: but you only need a Skoda so that’s all I will let you have…
    client: Like hell! – I’m off!

  4. Let’s face it Mr Fisher, you screwed up and lost the case, man up and get on with looking after your firms clients before someone else does.

    Do the job you are paid for by the clients and the charges you levy and they won’t want to go anywhere else.

    If an adviser leaves your firm and his clients want to go with him, you have no right to claim loss, this would not be an ethical stance to take and in the future the ethics of what we do is going to be a major issue.

    Who would want to work for a firm like yours who seek to restrict advisers right to trade and who they are allowed to deal with.

    As a member of one of the most ethical networks in the UK, I know if I left, my contract is clear, clients can go with me, so why should I leave.

    Ask yourself some searching questions about WHY those advisers left, not whinge on about how to introduce restricted covenants in

    The best way to retain clients goodwill is to look after them properly.

    Arrogance and intransigence will be your firms downfall.

  5. Well written. RDR fee charging will be a significant barrier to advice on pensions and investments its sheer madness.

    The additional gap fill is not the issue but the RDR unintended consequences.

    1. Firms will fold leaving client with no adviser. Result poor consumer outcome.
    2. Orphan clients who would have been serviced under the commission’s already paid face paying a fee to a new firm for on-going advice on existing contracts. Result poor consumer outcome.
    3. Orphan clients and a large percentage of working and middle classes are not likely to pay for advice. Result poor consumer outcome.
    4. Client’s that are willing to pay fee’s will also pay VAT. Result poor consumer outcome.
    5. Firms advising on pensions may have difficulty getting paid. Result less firms advising and arranging pensions. Result poor consumer outcome.
    6. RDR = less consumer choice. Result poor consumer outcome.
    7. RDR = Reduction in adviser numbers. Result poor consumer outcome.
    8. RDR = More pressure on financial compensation scheme paying for claims of failed authorised firms. Result poor consumer outcome.
    9. Higher compliance costs as a result of RDR will be reflected in the charges clients pay. Result poor consumer outcome.
    10. All unintended consequences of RDR that are yet to be discovered. Result poor consumer outcome.

  6. Simple. No restrictive covenants for anyone – let market forces decide.

  7. @ John. What the heck has this story got to do with RDR?

    Stop trolling man!

  8. Who’s looking for consensus?

    Not all advisory firms are signed up to the US protocol but 826 have in the last 8 years so it’s a pretty good assessment that the majority of firms think it’s a good idea.

    Why is Towry afraid? They could have saved millions in legal fees if we had the protocol in the UK.

  9. @ John.

    Some people will do anything to turn an article into an RDR debate. Spend your time getting your business ready for 2013 rather than cut and paste your pro/forma RDR reply.

  10. Exasperated Me 30th May 2012 at 10:38 pm

    He is exasperating.

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