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Noel Butwell: Is your business ready for anything?

Noel Standard Life

The financial world is changing faster than ever. Which means being prepared for anything has never been more important.

What’s actually changing?

It’s not just technology that’s creating this fast-moving environment. It’s the behaviour of our customers, the values of our employees and the regulations that surround what we do. So how can we be ready?

Being able to adapt to change is becoming increasingly important. It means adapting to the evolving landscape.

New pension freedoms might mean more choice and flexibility for those in retirement, but at the same time they mean more complexity, and demand, for financial advice firms.

As for technology, we’re seeing the rise of platforms: managing clients’ money efficiently across different tax wrappers; and ‘Robo-advice’ – giving advice to the masses. It really is a futuristic world we’re living in.

But we also need to empower our employees, which means more than reward packages. Looking ahead also means empowering employees to become leaders of the future.

Strengthening current leadership is also crucial: a single-minded focus gives the ability to secure commitment from people and manage change.

Financial advice firms working in this way should ultimately build stronger client relationships, and create customer loyalty and advocacy – which can in turn contribute to increased revenue and business value. They’ll also help manage compliance risks and reduce costs while protecting both company and personal reputation. In other words, they’ve a great chance of being more successful.

For financial advice firms, it’s vital to future-proof and understand that this is a moving market. My advice? Look ahead, adapt to change – and be ready for anything.

Noel Butwell is Distribution Director at Standard Life

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