View more on these topics

How to manage change, priorities and best practice

I recently wrote about the importance of sharing best practice and the events we run to help advisers generate ideas. Although there is some structured CPD available, the majority of the agenda is driven by the attendees themselves.

At the start of every meeting, each attendee gets the opportunity to highlight some of the challenges they are facing and suggest any specific items they would like the group to discuss throughout the day.

All these items are written up on a flip chart, which produces the agenda for the open forum discussions. This exercise raises a wide and varying range of topics.

Topics that are regularly raised for discussion include time management, creating business efficiencies, using technology, enhancing the client experience and charging structures.

As with many subjects like these within our profession, there are many different views and options rather than a clear right or wrong approach.

One method may work for some but not for others, which is why we see such a varying spread of business practices. The idea of these meetings is to discuss these different approaches and for each attendee to determine what would best suit them and their business.

Due to the subjective nature of the topics covered, it has always been useful to determine best practice by asking what good looks like. During our recent round of meetings, we used a well-established management technique known as a balanced scorecard to help categorise the activities highlighted for discussion.

The balanced scorecard is a tool used for looking at business practices and strategies, and aligning these to the vision, goals and objectives of that business.

Although there are different theories on how it is best used, it usually consists of four main areas: financial, customer, process and people. Focus can be given on improving each area to meet the ideal vision, which, in our case, is what good looks like.

There can be overlap within the four categories, with some business activities fitting into more than one area. However, there were no topics suggested by our attendees that did not fit into at least one of the categories.

We therefore started discussions with the financials and asked what good looks like in relation to advice businesses. We then moved on to customer, then process and then people. The table shows some of the output from what was discussed.

Of course, this is not an exhaustive list and discussions provided the attendees with many things to consider. However, the greatest challenge of having ideas is working out how to implement them.

My advice to those considering amendments to practices in their business is not to try and implement objectives and actions all at once, but to prioritise them and execute them in a way that is realistic and achievable.

Trying to introduce too many actions and changes can be over-ambitious, can often be more confusing for both the team and your clients and, in the worst- case scenario, can lead to nothing changing at all.

While there is clearly great benefit to discussing different issues in a group forum, it is, of course, not always possible. For any adviser considering ways to develop their processes, I would strongly recommend the four-category approach.

Tom Hegarty is managing director at the New Model Business Academy



Hedge funds bet against Hargreaves

Hedge funds are betting against UK’s largest broker Hargreaves Lansdown amid increasing competition from large low-cost asset managers and robo-advice offerings from banks. According to regulatory filings, US fund AQR Capital Management and London-based Odey Asset Management have both taken short positions in Hargreaves. Short positions disclosed to the regulator are currently at their highest-ever […]


How should advisers attract and train new talent?

Courses and training schemes aimed at bringing new talent into an industry can only do so if they generate enough interest to make them viable. Earlier this year, the University of South Wales closed its BSc Financial Planning, Investment and Risk degree course to new applicants because demand was lower than expected. Financial planning degrees […]


Andrew Tyrie to stand down as MP

Treasury select committee chairman Andrew Tyrie MP has announced he will not stand for re-election. He says: “It has been an exhilarating 20 years. I have done what I can to make a contribution, particularly in efforts to improve banking standards and to shape a more trusted and resilient financial sector after the crisis of […]

DB transfers – one more factor to consider

Jim Grant – Senior Product Insight & Technical Support Analyst We look at how higher DB transfer values could cause a lifetime allowance issue and how that affects the advice process. Advisers are receiving an increasing number of requests from clients looking to transfer their pension from final salary schemes to personal pensions. This is a […]

Health - thumbnail

Fit for Work: guidance for employers published

On Friday, the Department for Work and Pensions published its guidance for employers on using the new Fit for Work (FfW) service to help ill employees return to the workplace. It also includes more details on the tax exemption for medical interventions that commenced on 1 January 2015.


News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up


    Leave a comment


    Why register with Money Marketing ?

    Providing trusted insight for professional advisers.  Since 1985 Money Marketing has helped promote and analyse the financial adviser community in the UK and continues to be the trusted industry brand for independent insight and advice.

    News & analysis delivered directly to your inbox
    Register today to receive our range of news alerts including daily and weekly briefings

    Money Marketing Events
    Be the first to hear about our industry leading conferences, awards, roundtables and more.

    Research and insight
    Take part in and see the results of Money Marketing's flagship investigations into industry trends.

    Have your say
    Only registered users can post comments. As the voice of the adviser community, our content generates robust debate. Sign up today and make your voice heard.

    Register now

    Having problems?

    Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3712

    Lines are open Monday to Friday 9:00am -5.00pm