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Furore as wrap chief says there are only 5,000 credible IFAs

Advisers have reacted angrily to Nucleus boss David Ferguson’s claim that only 5,000 of the 30,000 IFAs working in the sector can be deemed “credible”.

Ferguson says this means that new players in the wrap market have a very limited audience because most of those “good” IFAs have already committed to a platform.

He says: “There are only really 5,000 good IFAs working in the UK at the moment. As the retail distribution review becomes imminent, I think that 5,000 number will start to rise and over the next three to five years, we will end up with a much larger sector of quality IFAs but at this time, it really is a small audience.”

Tenet distribution and development director Keith Richards says his firm has 5,500 members, all of whom he believes are credible IFAs. He says: “This must mean we have the entire population of quality IFAs under our umbrella.

“It is a dangerous and sweeping assumption to make and, to be quite frank, offensive to the majority of the IFA population, who have worked hard over the years and are committed to continued professional development. The statement is simply not helpful or constructive.”

Simply Biz chairman Ken Davy says Ferguson is misjudging the ability of the vast majority of IFAs He says: “We are already seeing significant progress among the firms that we serve to embrace both the increased professionalism, service levels and product design aspects that will probably be required of them in the coming years.”

Responding to the criticisms, Ferguson says: “I am in agreement with Davy in that I believe that change for the better is already under way. But I don’t think it is dangerous or unconstructive to make this kind of observation as we have to confront these issues. Until more IFAs are willing to operate on a completely transparent model, many will still not be the target market for wraps.”

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