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Fay Goddard: My goodbye message to the profession

This is my last column as CEO of the Personal Finance Society but rather than look backwards over the past five years, I want to look to the future.

The face of financial planning is changing, new business models are evolving and new technologies are helping to deliver services in ways not thought possible even five years ago.

Yes, the RDR has accelerated some of these changes but most would have happened anyway – perhaps just in a longer timeframe.

Platforms are not a regulatory creation and the growth in the use of model portfolios and discretionary investment services are market solutions, designed to improve and widen services to clients.

The market leads innovation, regulation follows these developments. A clear example is the further delay in the final rules pertaining to platforms, where the market is moving faster than the regulator can draft the rules.

So what will the future of the profession look like?

The advisory market appears to be dividing into primarily three business models; highly professional financial planning services targeting the wealthy, more transactional based services for the mass affluent and non advised product sales.

There also appears to be a growing number of businesses that are offering more than one type of service, even amongst smaller firms. This is not surprising as the need for financial advice is wide ranging, as is the type of person that requires our services.

Whilst the recent changes do not appear to have had much impact on existing clients, reaching the disengaged and gaining their trust is still a big challenge that will take time and small but regular steps.

Someone who lacks confidence in financial services generally is unlikely to sign up to a full financial planning service on day one but may start on the journey by seeking advice on say, an Isa investment or contact about auto-enrolment.

How we deal with these clients will determine the length of their journey to becoming life-long clients, which is why acting professionally and with integrity at every stage of the process is essential, whatever the service, including non-advised.

This message is endorsed by the regulator, who has already started to take a close look at the non-advised market.

Having spent 28 years of my working life in the world of financial advice, I have seen many changes, including four regulators, the decimation of traditional life offices, the introduction of fund supermarkets and platforms, the growth in passive investment and the notable move from selling products to financial planning.

The emergence of a chartered financial planning profession has helped raise the professionalism and perception of what we do and we need to keep building on the success.

As for me, well, I will be sad to leave the PFS as I have had five years working with some of the best people in the business, both within the CII and externally.

I am delighted however, to be handing over the mantle to Keith Richards, who, with his great experience and knowledge of the sector, will be an excellent leader of the PFS and ready to take on the next phase of challenges.

Fay Goddard is chief executive of the Personal Finance Society


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There are 7 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Well Done Fay it’s been brilliant working with you and look forward to seeing you out and about

  2. Becoming a headcase IFA 5th April 2013 at 12:09 pm

    “new technologies are helping to deliver services in ways not thought possible even five years ago.”

    In some ways, yes, but there is mountains more paperwork than I ever thought possible a few years ago, as well.

    “The emergence of a chartered financial planning profession has helped raise the professionalism and perception of what we do”

    Not amongst the public it hasn’t.

    I doubt whether I will be seeing Fay out and about as I will never be in Fay’s earnings bracket, like most other IFAs (except for the usual suspects, of course).

  3. Fay – Decimation refers to 10% of a legion and is usually carried out by the other 9 “squadies at the instruction of their CO as in the case the Romans when legions broke in battle conditions.
    The reduction in adviser numbers needs a much stronger numerical description as a result and it was NOT carried out by it’s peers with the agreement of it’s peers, it was carried out BY it’s supposed leaders for their own reasons.
    As you admit Fay and I quote “the RDR has accelerated some of these changes but most would have happened anyway – perhaps just in a longer timeframe.”, many of us were saying that was all that was needed, including the TSC, but with the CII and PFS senior staffs tacit support the FSA ignored what the TSC and many STILL EXISTING IFAs and those who said, enough is enough…. were telling them and now we see all the senior FSA staff have jumped ship except Rory Percival and you are being replaced by a former Network Head!
    As Harry Katz and others have said – Independance is defined in the dictionary and all that seems to happen is that others want to remove the right to be so and free thinking.

  4. Bye Fay
    Hope your retirement is as bright as those of older advisers who have been accelerated out of this God Forsaken industry.
    One word and you will always be remembered……GRANDFATHER.

  5. Well done Fay- you can be proud of your time at PFS. I thought you acted with complete integrity and professionalism.

    A very difficult job well done!

  6. RegulatorSaurusRex 9th April 2013 at 2:43 pm

    Your assistance in the decimation of adviser numbers has been invaluable.

  7. As beloved as Thatcher

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