There is nothing like a deadline to focus the mind. There is just one year to go until the FSA expects full compliance with the RDR, which may induce a warm and fuzzy feeling in those that see the exhausting process of transition finally coming to a close or blind panic in those who have yet to re-engineer their business.

The reality is that most businesses fall somewhere in between, not as far along as they would like to be but not at the start of their journey either. However, early findings from a benchmarking survey from Taxbriefs that we will be featuring in the magazine during this crucial transition year shows that many advisers are not as far along the route to compliance as they think they are. David Lees introduces the survey this month and we will be reporting on its findings in our next edition and online.

This month’s issue demonstrates how some of the biggest and most successful companies of the pre-RDR world are adapting. Sometimes it is these very businesses that have the biggest hill to climb. Whitechurch Securities, for example, has had to build a new mindset among its advisers but energetic leadership has helped pull it through to Chartered status.

Equally, Simon Chamberlain will be associated in many people’s minds with some of the largest and most successful pre-RDR advisory groups but is now building a different kind of business with Succession. He talks about how advisers need to “corporatise” their business, even if they are only preparing themselves for an exit. No one wants to buy a completely non-transitioned business. Two of Succession’s adviser groups also give their individual experiences of transition.

Ultimately, for those with a long way left to go, it is easy to be daunted into paralysis. But it is worth quoting Confucius that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Planning and processes are vital but so is action. It is time to get busy.

Cherry Reynard, Consulting Editor, Adviser Evolution