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MAM’s Williams clarifies ‘expensive’ financial advice claim

Gervais Williams 450

MAM Funds managing director Gervais Williams has contacted advisers following an article in The Sunday Times where he was quoted describing financial advice as ‘expensive’.

In the Sunday Times article, Williams was quoted as saying he did not use financial advisers because of the cost.

“I struggle to understand the huge amount of verbiage that comes from some financial advisers. They are expensive and you just want to make some money without losing your shirt along the way,” it reads.

Williams (pictured) explained in an email to advisers that his point was one borne of specific personal experience and was neither stated nor intended as a generalised comment on the market or advisers.

He says that he relayed a story regarding a pension situation many years ago at Gartmore as it moved from a defined benefit to a defined contribution scheme.

In the email, Williams says: “My one experience was then presented as my view of the entire industry, which is not true.”

The original comments have drawn surprise from a number of advisers. contributor Philippa Gee highlighted the value a good financial planner can add in a response to the Sunday Times piece.


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There are 4 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Who are we trying to kid ?

    Independent Financial Advice is very expensive but of sheer necesity, we are a personal service business, the costs of staying in business are exacerbated by the increasing regulatory costs, hiked up PI bills due to the CMC culture and costs of systems, administration, paperwork and other sundry requirements such as comensation levies (unlimited)

    BUT if a consumer wants professional and suitable advice, especially on investments and pensions they will have to pay for it.

    If you pay peanuts you get monkeys.

    My total operating costs as a percentage of turnover are between 40-50% of turnover at present, (not including taxes and NI) so to make a living in future my charges will rise exponentially.

    RDR will have an effect on consumer behaviour, that is a given, it will also ensure that we do not spend time and money dealing with time wasters or those who consider our services as some form of charity.

    If we could set up websites which did all the donkey work and never have to sit in front of a client, just recommend a product and charge a fee for both the advice and implementation, we could cut the costs by half, but as soon as you get into the realms of giving advice, up go the costs.

  2. Agree with Ned.

    If I was a run of the mill consumer I would not pay what would be required to provide a fit and proper financial review it would simply be too expensive.

  3. You could say that fund managers are expensive when looking at their track records.

  4. Becoming a headcase IFA 5th December 2012 at 9:04 am

    Williams is probably a very clever guy but the statement he made did come across as pretty general and when you reread it still does and he has been a bit of a plonker in regards to this.

    I also agree with Dan that you could, indeed, say that fund managers are expensive, but they, no doubt, think they are worth it.

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