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Fisher told MM that company took no commission

Comments made this week by Towry Law chief executive Andrew Fisher appear at odds with claims he made in 2007 that neither his advisers nor his firm takes commission of any kind.

It emerged last week that Towry Law takes £6m a year in trail commission for clients it cannot identify. Fisher insists they are not Towry clients but clients of life companies. In June 2007, Fisher, who has been a vocal critic of commission, called on the FSA to abolish payment of all initial and trail commission to advisers.

The following week, Informed Choice chief executive director Nick Bamford challenged Fisher. In an open letter, Bamford said: “Can you confirm that none of the advisers employed by you, or Towry Law itself, receives commission in any form from existing clients and their products or from new clients? One imagines you have told the product providers in respect of all your existing clients to cease immediately the payment of renewal commission and you do not use ‘commission offsetting’ as a device for the payment of client fees?”

Fisher replied to Money Marketing: “None of our advisers take commission of any sort, nor does the firm. We charge an hourly fee and any commissions received are returned to the client. We do not offset commissions.”

Speaking to MM this week, Fisher said: “For new business, that is absolutely true. For trail business, I have always been absolutely clear and open that legacy trail business, as declared in our accounts, is an introduction fee for a client who was int- roduced prior to us buying the company. Obviously, there is an agreement between the life company and ourselves which predates the acquisition of the firm and the life company should pay us that money.”


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There are 23 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Please look at the attached definition and come to your own conclusions

  2. This may in fact be more appropriate


    deceit (plural deceits)

    Any attempt or disposition to deceive or lead into error; any declaration, artifice, or practice, which misleads another, or causes him to believe what is false; a contrivance to entrap; deception; a wily device; fraud.
    Any trick, collusion, contrivance, false representation, or underhand practice, used to defraud another. When injury is thereby effected, an action of deceit, as it called, lies for compensation.
    (law) The tort or fraudulent representation of a material fact made with knowledge of its falsity, or recklessly, or without reasonable grounds for believing its truth and with intent to induce reliance on it; the plaintiff justifiably relies on the deception, to his injury.

  3. The trail commission is keeping the business afloat. Without it the business is worth substantially less. No incentive to dispose of the trail commission as it becomes less attractive to a future buyer

  4. Is Mr Fisher, in fact, a politician – saying one thing but subsequently claiming that he meant sonething completely different?

  5. I look forward to him being appointed to the FSA as head of their TCF strategy !!

  6. Fisher has been the champion of RDR and the voice of PFS. How long now before the Towry Law board gives Fisher the sack? This is the sort of publicity that no one would want and it’s all because of an egotist that can’t keep quite! Which ever way you look at it he has placed at risk 6m in trail fee!

  7. Why does Andrew Fisher always look like he’s suffering from chronic constipation and/or that a gorilla’s got hold of his nuts?

  8. Looking at the literacy of some posters on MM, and other places, I wonder what their RW letters look like and whether they have been through basic education and obtained any favourable exam results, in English for instance.

  9. So when a Towry Law client came to me and claimed they were being charged a fee in addition to the annual servicing commission Towry Law were receiving as part of the original agreement, the client was telling the truth and not confused. I hope the FSA now arranges for Towry Law to refund all those clients who have paid twice for their regular advice.

  10. Neil F Liversidge 19th November 2009 at 10:51 am

    How the world turns. I’m almost starting to feel sorry for The Fish.

  11. If you look down that hole, right down at the very bottom, you will see Fisher digging to save his career.

  12. Is this Mr Fisher’s Gerald Ratner moment?

  13. I believe I may have been moderated before for posting something anon. I will therefore simply ask people to check what they think of this saga against this
    and hope that MM chosoe to leave it.

  14. Why does Andrew Fisher always look like he’s suffering from chronic constipation and/or that a gorilla’s got hold of his nuts?

  15. Having worked at TL until 12 months ago I can confirm that there are thousands of clients where the company are more than able to confirm the policies held.
    However if those clients holdings are less than £100k they are not interested in speaking to them and therefore just let them sit on the database and take the trail commission for doing nothing. If you see a client and it is deemed not suitable to move their holdings into the TL funds (something management would be very unhappy about – they are the best you know!!) and the client therefore simply stays where they are resulting in ‘leave it at that and lets not speak again’ the trail doesn’t get turned off then either – its not as if they don’t know those clients. I can also confirm that the employee benefits side of the firm does a very large amount of its annual business on a commission basis. New business with firms is done on a fee basis but the majority of firms being looked after are still on commission terms!!

  16. watch The Fish swim offshore – to lands where regualtors totally ignore – that way he can take as much as he wants – and swim in murkier waters along with all the other sharks!

  17. I don’t see any confusion. Old business includes trail commission which is what JS&P bought when they bought TL. New business is fee based only.

  18. Neil F Liversidge 19th November 2009 at 4:27 pm

    How the world turns. I’m almost starting to feel sorry for The Fish.

  19. at least 2 of the posts on this blog have been made by someone at TL, or even Fisher himself!

  20. How stupid does the FSA look now?
    Pull up your socks guys or you are all out of a job before the next election!
    Fisher does not understand anything about what he has been asked to manage.
    He has to float the company with the
    minimum of overhead and maximum of AUM. Otherwise the underwriter will not underwrite or worse.
    wake up! If you are going to get shares 3000 is an insult! Minimum has to be 30,000. Then negotiate upward, but don’t stop there, ensure that your stock is not restricted and sell out within days of the IPO! This all assumes you will be a part of the IPO.
    Don’t forget your loyalty is to the customer first, you second, and the company third. Let me emphasize this – company third !!!
    This is my opinion.

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