View more on these topics

Identity crisis

At our last Meeting of Minds event, which brings together the chiefs of all the top distribution firms, a key conversation was the trend towards offering defined service solutions to the client.

However, the view was expressed that it is sometimes difficult to offer a defined service solution where the person representing the corporate entity in its dealings with the client is not branded with this corporate identity and in some cases is seen as practically a freelancer.

As the wave of RDR change washes over the industry and, whether or not you agree it has been successful, you have to admit that business models are subject to re-examination, maybe now is the time to focus on strengthening the relationship between the corporate and its clients.

I think we will all agree that “trusted brand status” is likely to become a rather well worn phrase over the next few months as wealth managers seek to draw a line between their financial service offerings and those of the banks.

Your poor old clients are desperate for reassurance and, much as they might trust their IFA, would they not feel a lot more comfortable if they had full confidence in the company behind the IFA?

There are companies where the key contact point for a client is their IFA’s mobile and not much else or advisers are using their own personal letterhead. In other words, little evidence that they are backed up by a good, solid, reliable entity.

What solutions were on offer? Well, the most obvious was to increase the various “touch points” with the firm. I am not wild about the phrase but it does say it how it is – a range of services, access points and communications designed to strengthen the bond. If your company was to provide access to specialists in areas such as tax planning, that would immediately broaden the relationship. A useful website with market updates would encourage interaction, an emailed newsletter might help them feel the business cared about them as much as their IFA.

Not rocket science, but such a response is acceptable only if you are doing something about it. To allow clients to be looked after by an “asset” who could easily move to a better paying firm and take said clients along does not exactly sound terribly sensible to the chiefs of the big distributors.

But it is not about marginalising the IFA. Big distribution firms need to do more to encourage them into the corporate entity. Right now, with the looming demands of qualifications and the prospect of dealing with rather less easy- going clients, they might just be rather tempted to come further into the fold.

So, while putting together that defined service proposition, how about creating a defined employment proposition that will be attractive to the advisers? That way, everyone wins.

Evie Owen is joint managing director of Owen James, organisers of A Meeting of Minds


Rowanmoor boosts sales team

Rowanmoor Pensions has appointed two new consultants to strengthen its sales and consultancy teams based in regional offices across the country.

FTSE falls below November lows

The FTSE 100 has fallen to 3,772.45 sinking below last year’s November bear market low as fears deepen about the global banking sector.

Averse and worse

“We have met the enemy and he is us,” said the political cartoonist, Walt Kelly. The importance of emotions in financial markets cannot be underestimated, as recent volatility has demonstrated.


Case study: administration — implementing a management log

Our client is a leading video game and publishing company best known for its console role-playing game franchises. The client provides a number of benefits, at varying levels and cost that attract a P11d liability. With the absence of a management log to track data for benefit movements, enormous administrative and therefore cost implications were occurring each year just to comply with P11d reporting requirements.


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