View more on these topics

Class act

The past month has seen the 10th anniversary of Helm Godfrey and while I obviously took the time to appreciate the good fortune our company has had over the decade, I have also used the occasion to cast my mind back to when it all began.

Things have changed enormously in just 10 years. 1999 was the era of dotcom euphoria. Everyone seemed to be making money, the FTSE was peaking at nearly 7,000 and we had had an unprecedented decade, where the markets finished above where they started for 10 years in a row.

Flash forward 10 years and the picture is very different. Over the last 10 years, the FTSE 100 is down by 30 per cent and unemployment is at its highest level for nearly 15 years. Suddenly, boom and greed has made way to fear and trepidation and while people still depend on good advice, the industry in which we advisers operate is almost unrecog-nisable to the one that existed when Helm Godfrey was born.

A key change is advisers’ ever increasing and complex regulatory burden. Tax rates have changed dramatically and higher-earners are looking at a 50 per cent tax rate, with a significant change to how they fund their retirement income. At the same time, final-salary pension schemes are all but dead in the water.

The great thing is that, in response to these challenges, we are also seeing a new genre of adviser emerge, which is committed to raising the standard of advice to a level not seen before. Less sales-focused, they appreciate that there is much more to quality financial advice than selling products for up-front commission.

Improvements in technology are one reason for this, as they have hugely increased our ability to offer a better service to our clients. Exams are ano-ther key part and while many of the older generation may not always see their necessity, I believe they are essential if we are ever to stand shoulder to shoulder with other professionals such as lawyers and accountants.

As tax changes and regulations become ever more complex, as I have no doubt they will, more and more people are going to need advice at a higher level and with the RDR likely to completely overhaul the industry and people becoming increasingly knowledgeable about their own finances, genuinely independent advisers are not only going to become a bit thin on the ground, they will also be in high demand.

The actual style of advice from these chosen few will continue to change as well. We have already seen the emergence of the new model adviser and many of these are turning to life planning. This is something that I expect to continue in the future as more and more advisers realise the importance of life planning and the profound effect it can have on their clients and themselves.

Bruce Wilson is managing director of Helm Godfrey


People on the move: Investment

Jupiter Asset Management has hired Investec’s John Tenevan as sales director for global financial institutions. Tenevan will join Jupiter in May 2010 and the new role will see him responsible for helping develop relationships among global wealth management businesses. Barings Asset Management has appointed Roberto Lampl as head of Latin American equity. The newly created […]

Seeing Woodford for the trees

Who would be a UK equity income fund manager? I don’t mean from the point of view of quality of life, which is presumably no shabbier than that of any other manager, nor am I alluding to how the hunt for decent, sustainable and, ideally, rising yields is not as straightforward as it used to be. After all, these days, a portfolio yield of 4 per cent is generally deemed quite competitive, thank you.

Oil industry: only the fittest will survive

The actions of OPEC have forced the oil supply to fall and producers to cut costs and rationalise, says Richard Hulf In an interview with journalist Alexis Xydias, Richard Hulf, manager of the Artemis Global Energy Fund, explains the impact of the fall in the oil price on energy companies. Alexis also quizzes Richard on […]


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