Institute of Financial Planning chief executive Nick Cann says small to medium sized firms have been quicker to adapt their business models to the regulatory changes brought about by the RDR than their larger rivals.
Speaking at the IFP annual conference at Celtic Manor in Newport today, Cann argued that the RDR is forcing a split in the industry between professional advisers and salesmen.
He said: “When the RDR was originally announced the FSA suggested two main segments. One segment was those who were doing financial planning as certified financial planner professionals or chartered planners, and those that sold stuff. That is indelicately put but to be honest that is what the future is going. That is what we have seen over the last couple of years. The good businesses have become better, and they are financial planners.”
Cann said while financial planners have embraced qualifications, the rest of the industry is unsure of their propositions.
“We see within the IFP that small to medium sized financial planning businesses, those with up to 15 advisers, are becoming specialists and looking at particular aspects of the marketplace. Larger national brands are currently perhaps struggling as to what their identity might look like going forward.”
Cann went on to say that he believed the goal of the IFP was to make financial planning the norm rather than the pursuit of an elite or niche clientele.
He said: “It should be the normal thing to join the IFP and start a career in the financial planning profession and we must work towards these ends so that Government, the regulator and the consumer understand the place of financial planning and have enough context to take decisions to improve their own situations.
“How we connect with young people is also important and needs the right approach. People in suits telling children that they need to budget etc is not going to do it with today’s Y generation so there are some really exciting challenges for us all.”
The IFP also unveiled the first 25 accredited financial planning firms:
Stafford & Co.
Navigator Financial Planning
Fortitude Financial Planning
Dunham Financial Services
Forty-Two Wealth Management
Fort Financial Planning
Lumen Financial Planning
Piercefield Asset Management
Baigrie Davies & Company
Mazars Financial Planning
1st Chartered Financial Planning
Planning for Life
Bourlet Wealth Management
Eldon Financial Planning
Prestwood Etheridge & Russell
Index Wealth Management
Smart Financial Planning
Paradigm Norton Financial Planning
Bloomsbury Financial Planning
Bluefin Wealth Management, Broadway Financial Planning, HS Wealth Management and Tower Hill Associates are currently going through the application process.