View more on these topics

Phil Wickenden: Next generation advice models

December 2012 had all the hallmarks of finality. A galactic alignment 26,000 years in the making and an historic “year zero” according to arcane texts, signalling a great end to the world as we know it.

This was expected to be the day that massive solar flares were to burst off our sun, scorching the planet’s surface, sparking gargantuan earthquakes, monstrous tsunamis and the end of humanity.

RDR? Mayan prophesy? Well, that was the theory. But then death-wish zeitgeist has been part of the human experience for centuries. Why do we keep trying to kill ourselves off? Who knows. Yet, to date, most forecast apocalypses have turned out better than expected.

One of the perhaps overzealous views expressed is hyperbole regarding the polarisation of client behaviours. On one side, there were those espousing that hundreds and thousands of people would awake on 1 January, shunning the strains of the night before, emboldened and sufficiently educated to make difficult financial decisions all on their tod.

Their argument followed that once the true cost of advice is revealed, many will fail to see the value and “do it themselves”. On the flipside, many played
down this assertion, holding tight to the undoubted complexity of
financial affairs and the expected continued reliance on an adviser to “do it for me”.

As is usually the case, the answer most probably lies somewhere in between. This goes part way to explain the shift (finally) from robo-chatter to next generation advice models – which sound and seem far more fit for purpose.


To justify fees evidently requires ongoing service. Can that service be delivered to mass affluent clients? How? The traditional face-to-face approach will be right (and financially justifiable) for some, but how many? Is it more likely that most individuals, irrespective of wealth, will not want or expect to use one or other of these approaches?

It may be convenient for us to put clients in neat boxes but the chances are they will prefer to interact with advice in a number of ways at different times.

And so we should consider the possibility that most clients (if we take into account their needs rather than our preferred segmentation models) could be better defined and served as “do it with me”, which looks far less static and requires far tighter integration between pieces and players across the advisory value chain.

Phil Wickenden is managing director of Cicero Research



Advisers hit out at £49 suitability report writer with ‘no IFA input’

Advisers have hit out at a service offering suitability letters from as low as £49 with “no input” from the IFA. Just Reasons Why Letters is marketing itself as the “UK’s only 100 per cent ‘done for you’ suitability report writing service”. IFAs send JRWL the information they need to produce a report. The service […]

Transact IPO to value platform at £650m

Transact has revealed it is targeting a £650m valuation as it plans to go public. Listing details for Transact parent IntegraFin Holdings’ IPO on the main market of the London Stock Exchange show it will be selling shares at 196p with a market capitalisation of £649.4m. IntegraFin has confirmed its intention to go ahead with […]


Scottish savers told to notify HMRC to get extra 1% tax relief

HM Revenue & Customs has published guidance on how new income tax bands in Scotland will affect pension schemes and their members. The note is a response to the Scottish Government’s confirmation it will introduce five income tax bands for 2018/19. Pension savers in Scotland currently receive pension tax relief at their marginal rate but […]


Pensions minister: New guidance body will not slash staff

Pensions minister Guy Opperman says most of the staff who work for the three separate public guidance bodies as it stands will end up at the single financial guidance body once it is established. In a letter published yesterday, Opperman gives more details about how the single body will be created from merging the Pensions Advisory […]


News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up


There is one comment at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. If you choose “do it with me”, who take the lead? At what point does it become ‘working with an insistent Client’, who does all the research, CPD and pays the PI? Sounds like it would be a similar approach as ‘What’s yours is mine and what’s mine is my own’?

Leave a comment