View more on these topics

Can IFAs survive without getting stuck in a niche?

IFAs ignore Norwich Union&#39s chief executive Philip Scott at their peril.

Scott, who heads the UK&#39s number one IFA life office, told advisers at Aifa&#39s annual conference they must either get big or find a niche market.

More ominously, he described the middle ground as “increasingly dangerous” territory, as a result of Cat-standard products, lower margins and commission and the challenge of technology.

Encouragingly, Scott characterises the changes IFAs face as opportunities, not problems. But the choice between finding a niche or getting bigger is a stark one.

With tight stakeholder margins and endowments facing constant criticism,the middle-ranking, middle-market IFAhas a lot to think about.

Some already seem to agree with Scott&#39s conclusion and have moved under the protective umbrella of bigger organisations while many regional IFAs have merged.

NU&#39s advice may well be sound but for those who do not want to join a bigger organisation, there are only so many niches, even in a market as diverseand as technical as financial services.

If any group of professionals deserve the title of the awkward squad, it is IFAs. But it is this awkwardness that has helped create and maintain a varied and competitive marketplace across all product ranges.

It would be a great shame if that influence was lost from the mainstream retail market in favour of a few giant organisations and a few hundred specialists. IFAs should pay heed to what Scott says, but in this instance, Money Marketing hopes he is wrong.


Investment Review

In the course of preparing for a seminar, I had to revise a slide setting out the TMT content of the FTSE 100 index. Despite losing a few high-flyers back in June, the latest changes in the index have accentuated the reliance of the UK&#39s leading stockmarket indicator on these three sectors. In terms of […]

Active ingredients

Premier Portfolio Managers – c-lect PortfolioAim: Growth and/or income by investing in actively managed unit trusts, investment trusts and Oeics.Minimum investment: £20,000.Investment split: Three fund of funds – balanced portfolio, growth portfolio, enterprise portfolio.Income facility: Balanced portfolio – monthly, quarterly, half-yearly, yearly.Charges: Initial 5 per cent, annual 1.5 per cent.Commission: Initial 4 per cent, renewal […]


1: What benefits can multi-ties, product ties, white labelling or dep-olarising stakeholder products bring to consumers which the current system fails to deliver?2: How much will any change cost to implement, who will pay for this change and by what method?3: What possible changes to stakeholder and Isas could be made to increase the efficiency […]

Lloyd George Management – Global Information Fund

Friday, 29th September 2000.Type: Open-ended investment company.Aim: Growth by investing in technology, media and telecommunications.Minimum investment: Class A shares – £1,000, class B shares £500,000.Investment split: US 50 per cent, Japan 15 per cent, UK 10 per cent, other 25 per cent.Isa link: Yes.Pep transfers: Yes.Charges: Initial &#45 A shares 3.5 per cent, class B […]


News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up


    Leave a comment


    Why register with Money Marketing ?

    Providing trusted insight for professional advisers.  Since 1985 Money Marketing has helped promote and analyse the financial adviser community in the UK and continues to be the trusted industry brand for independent insight and advice.

    News & analysis delivered directly to your inbox
    Register today to receive our range of news alerts including daily and weekly briefings

    Money Marketing Events
    Be the first to hear about our industry leading conferences, awards, roundtables and more.

    Research and insight
    Take part in and see the results of Money Marketing's flagship investigations into industry trends.

    Have your say
    Only registered users can post comments. As the voice of the adviser community, our content generates robust debate. Sign up today and make your voice heard.

    Register now

    Having problems?

    Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3712

    Lines are open Monday to Friday 9:00am -5.00pm