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General financial adviser is seen as a holding role

JP Morgan Asset Management believes that the general financial planner category proposed under the retail distribution review should be temporary as it considers that most advisers will eventually fall into the certified financial planner or primary advice brackets.

Commenting on the firm’s IFA survey, Surviving the storm, head of UK retail sales Jasper Berens says the general financial planner category will only be a “holding pen” for advisers as the FSA’s drive towards raising professional standards in the industry will see more progressing to become certified financial planners.

Berens says JPMAM expects the migration to certified financial planners will see three different models coming to the market – an investment offering for the mass affluent, a complete wealth offering for high-net-worth clients and a bespoke boutique that crosses both.

He says the growth of certified financial planner numbers would not necessarily be at the expense of other IFA firms as the 50-year savings low means that there will be opportunities for all types of adviser if they raise their professional standards.

He says: “We believe that the IFA market has an a bright future. This migration to certified financial planners will not kill off small firms provided they survive the commercial and regulatory pressure to become more professional. Big and strong will work but some people want the offerings from the little guy on the corner that they can trust.”

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