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Get the facts before joining a network

I have in the past five years had the misfortune to be a member of one national IFA and two networks.

The national retained a ridiculously high percentage of gross income that it become prohibitive to be associated with them while the networks silently slipped into administration along with my money. I am now in the process of registering direct.

I would strongly suggest that any person facing the network or direct registration decision obtains the facts direct from the FSA and not third-hand information from recruiting networks.

My advice to Stanley Lovell and all networks seeking actively to recruit is as follows:A commission collection service is not a positive. Drop it from your recruiting pitch. I waited up to two months for payment.Pay commission as you receive them or, even better, arrange for the networkmembers to collect the monies direct from the providers, they can then pay the network.Commit to true independence.Ensure all network staff are trained to a high standardMake sure all compliance issues are as required by the FSA. Do not add unnecessary tiers or muddy the compliance water.Setting charges, etc, always work on a transparent profit/cost ratio that is clear to all members.Put all retention monies into a designated account for the IFA membershipDrop the “You must attend this meeting” mentality. Most advisers are capable of structuring their own CPD without attending a session hell-bent on stressing the virtues of using abc products who just happen to be the sponsors of the meetingMost important, treat the membership as business partners. They are not employees.

Martin CastlePFS,Cranham

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