The RDR has seen a raft of consolidators spring up promising “economies of scale” to advice firms who want to get on with the business of advising.
The uncertainty of pricing an advice business, particularly when future trail is no longer a guaranteed indicator of value, has prompted some to question whether we are now seeing the death of the consolidator model. Some consolidator models have fared better than others, and it is fair to say that Perspective has had a more challenging year than most.
From an exodus of its senior management team, to being forced to defer payments to some acquired firms, to shelving flotation plans, the company has been scrabbling to put itself on a more solid footing.
In this week’s Money Marketing, we reveal how executive chairman Paul Hogarth plans to achieve this. A £6m restructure will see advisers take a 38 per cent stake in the business, which seems to have reassured member firms.
No doubt firms that have tied their future to the success (or not) of Perspective will be waiting with bated breath to see if this new and improved model will deliver where the previous model has failed.
Is auto-enrolment collapsing?
The great financial planning Budget, as it is likely to become known, has meant that pensions are never far from the headlines.
The new pension freedoms, the practicalities over who will provide guidance and how it will be delivered have given advisers, providers and journalists plenty
to chew over.
And that was before pensions minister Steve Webb set the wheels in motion for collective defined contribution pensions to be included as part of the Queen’s Speech earlier this month.
But amongst all the noise, the Government’s flagship auto-enrolment policy appears to be coming apart at the seams. It was always going to be the case that big firms with HR departments would be on top of their auto-enrolment duties.
Yet for the firms who were due to stage in April and May, a different picture is emerging. Providers estimate that up to a third of firms who should have staged in the two-month period have yet to do so. It is hard to tell whether this is down to ignorance of the rules or wilful non-compliance.
Only a large, punitive fine from The Pensions Regulator will address the issue, or else the Government is facing a policy failure of calamitous proportions in the build-up to the general election.
Natalie Holt is editor of Money Marketing – follow her on Twitter here