Big firms steal march in top-rated adviser guide

Large firms have seen their representation increase in adviser directory VouchedFor’s annual list of top-rated financial planners.

More advisers from the likes of True Potential, Foster Denovo, Origen, and Hargreaves Lansdown – which has around 100 of its own advisers – are represented in the list this year, VouchedFor says.

The list features a total of 1,172 financial and mortgage advisers from 737 firms, with a combined 21,664 client reviews since the start of 2018 and an average rating of 4.9 out of 5.

To make the list, top-rated advisers must have at least 10 client endoresements. They are then checked against the FCA register and other checks are dpme by VouchedFor over areas like qualifications to ensure they are a fully verified member.

True Potential was the firm with the highest number of total reviews at 1,896, follow by 2plan Wealth Management with 1,332. Hargreaves came in fourth place with 705.

VouchedFor chief executive Adam Price notes that ongoing uncertainty around the UK’s political and economic future is encouraging more people to seek advice.

Top-rated advisers receive a background report from VouchedFor “to reassure people considering advice that they are in good hands”.

VouchedFor managing director Alex Whitson says: “This is a year-long campaign which will reach millions of people. It will build public trust in financial advice and shine a light on those financial and mortgage advisers who we know are consistently doing a great job for their clients.

“The guide wouldn’t be possible without the efforts of thousands of advisers and clients who share our commitment to celebrating the value of great financial advice and helping more people access it. My sincere thanks to everyone who has contributed.”

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Comments

There are 8 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. This list means next to nothing, as to the quality of advice, in my opinion.

    • Hi Patrick, it’s worth taking a look at some of the excellent client reviews that informed the listings. VouchedFor, who I work for, checked each is from a genuine client and also ran multiple checks on each of the advisers featured. This gives me confidence that every adviser on this list is doing an excellent job for their clients. Best wishes, Alex

  2. VouchedFor just ‘vouchsafe’ that an adviser is breathing! Smaller

  3. VouchedFor just ‘vouchsafe’ that an adviser is breathing! Smaller IFA’s do not need them as Client referrals are the best references. I saw a ‘trumped up’ set of ‘reviews’ 3 years ago from someone that I knew and have never been near their website since.

    • Hi Ted, I agree that client referrals make for the best enquiries. Helping drive these (and professional referrals) is at the heart of our proposition. As to the authenticity of reviews, we police this extensively via a fraud algorithm and dedicated team. We remove advisers from the platform where there’s any doubt their reviews are genuine. Please do email us with the name of the adviser you reference here and we will investigate it thoroughly I can assure you. Thanks, Alex

  4. @Alex

    So you and VouchedFor are perfectly comfortable with the statement; “over 3 years our portfolio has increased by over 35%.”, in September 2015, and you have thoroughly checked the circumstances and the numbers? fyi the FTSE100 went from 7070 in April 2015 down to 6042 in September 2015, and from 5847 mid-Aug 2012 up to 6585 on 3rd July 2015? Not an exact science but 12.62% being a good indicator and someone quoting 3 times this is astounding?

  5. Does having more ‘reviews’ really mean anything about the level of advice or the quality? Or is it simply that some companies can encourage more of their clients to complete an on line form?

    HL have 705 reviews out of how many clients? That is a very low percentage, so a company with lets say a couple of hundred clients is a) going to struggle to get a large enough percentage of the client base to complete the form to even appear, never mind appear high in this list and b) want to appear in the list as they are probably happy with the number of clients they have.

    All this is going to do is ‘shine a light’ on the advisers who are prepared to pay Vouchedfor quite a lot of money to appear in a list of large firms.

    • Hi @MW, I can see how the slant of this article might lead you to that assumption. But if you’d read the guide itself, you’d see that the 8 pages of listings highlight the reviews of individual advisers not firms.

      Each of these advisers pays a modest £45 per month for verified VouchedFor membership, which covers all of our checks and gives them the ability to qualify for the guide – if they get enough recent, positive client reviews.

      It is true that, separate to the main listings, there is a tiny table which ranks firms by total reviews, which would advantage firms with lots of clients and/or advisers on VouchedFor. But large firms (and large wallets) have no advantage in driving the individual adviser listings that make up the majority of the guide. As this article states, 1,172 advisers from 737 firms featured in the guide.

      Important to note also, as mentioned elsewhere, that the editorial content in the guide is highly positive about financial advice and its value. I’d think this is a good thing for all FAs, whether mentioned in the guide or not, given the months of negative press about the profession, inspired by the actions of an unscrupulous few.

      Btw – I’d be happy to pop a copy of the guide in the post to you if you share your real name.

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