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.”