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‘Concentrate on specialist advice, not taking exams’

Technology-based national IFA 2Plan says chartered status is a more important aspiration for adviser firms than it is for individual advisers.

The firm, which opened its Leeds HQ last week, says individual advisers should focus on specialising rather than taking lots of exams.

Chief executive Chris Smallwood says: “We do not believe every adviser needs to be chartered. If they specialise in a certain field, providing they are appropriately qualified, that is sufficient. If you practise regularly in a certain area, you will become more competent in that area. If you are just interested in collecting a load of exams, you cannot really call yourself professional.”

2Plan, which is 15 per cent owned by Standard Life, uses a central paraplanning function offering pay-as-you-go specialist research, which it says reduces costs.

Launched by former Positive Solutions directors Smallwood and Chris Davies, 2Plan uses technology built by sister firm Figure Out, which is headed by IT director Mark Smith.

Smallwood says: “If advisers have more complex or big cases and need extra help, they submit the e-fact-find and supporting documentation outlining the situation and client needs through to the paraplanning team of technical specialists who then produce the research and suitability letter and return it to the adviser electronically.”

Advisers writing £100,000 business a year would pay around a 17 per cent charge. Additional research costs £250 per request.

2Plan has launched a two-way novation arrangement, saying it will not lock in IFAs.

Managing director Chris Davies says: “We are confident about what we are doing and if people want to leave we will not stand in their way. If and when the time comes, we will make it easy for you to leave, with no need for paranoia.”

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