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Former paraplanner launches online system to assess advisers

A former adviser and paraplanner has set up an online IFA search listings service to provide details of advisers that meet its professional standards criteria. has been set up by managing director Chris Smith to refer prospective clients to advisers.

The site will only list independent advisers qualified to at least QCF level four.

The electronic application process requires advisers to provide copies of relevant qualifications and their CPD record.

Clientela will also ask to see a copy of an initial disclosure document, a fact-find and a case study completed by the adviser with the client details removed.

Once listed on the site, clients can review advisers using a star rating system.

There is no application charge but where an adviser gains a client through the site, an introducer fee of 20 per cent of the initial adviser charge will be payable to Clientela, plus 5 per cent of ongoing earnings.

Smith says: “This is about having a very structured way of assessing advisers before bringing them on board.”

Evolve Financial Planning director Jason Witcombe says: “The service’s success will depend on the interest it can generate to get consumers on the site.”


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There are 8 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. What a waste of time – he should go out and get himself a proper job. Why would any IFA with an ounce of self-respect wish to submit themselves to the scrutiny and subjective assessment of this guy. If he was any good at financial services he would have been an IFA anyway and then could have tried to make a proper living instead of scrounging off other hardworking IFAs.

  2. Well as people increasingly turn to google every time they need a product or service, I suppose this is a market we cannot ignore. Throwing in some quality control is something we’ve seen across many other industries so it’s no real surprise to see this. Having looked into what they are doing here, it would appear that their customer reviews are actually very well structured and avoid ambitious questions or subjective terms. This is more likely to be appropriate for the younger generation of IFA that are looking to establish themselves.

  3. I like this idea. It gives us lot who have worked hard getting qualified and building a proffessional practise, the chance to grow our businesses without having to fork out thousands on marketing or hours on prospecting.

  4. How do we apply?

  5. Chris Smith @ Clientela 25th May 2012 at 5:59 pm

    @MJ, thanks for your kind words of support.

    The concept here really is no different to a Which review. We use years of experience of dealing with IFAs, the regulatory framework and a structured (not subjective) process to identify professional IFAs for the benefit of those looking to deal with one.

    We expect to clash with IFAs who oppose the RDR and attract those who already embrace it.

    As David points out, people turn to Google for nearly everything these days and as a society, we have become increasingly dependent on product/service reviews when making buying decisions.

    Our business builds on that concept and aims to offer more than just a name, with an incentive scheme that rewards best practise rather than best sales pitch.

    Details about IFA partnership can be requested via

  6. Alastair Russell 25th May 2012 at 6:47 pm

    Great idea, there is nothing like the threat of a ‘bad review’ to incentivise the best quality of service.

  7. Interesting… Other companies like this charge set fees for referrals regardless of whether or not business is done. Others charge to feature on the website. This new way seems fairer although I imagine it has the potential to generate more revenue for the introducer using a percentage split on business..

    That said, we pay our introducers anything between 20% to 50% on all revenue so not a bad deal or a bad idea if, as Jason says, they can generate the flow of customers to the site.

  8. Another one climbs on the bandwagon. Is there any organisation NOT making money off the backs of IFAs’?

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