This autumn, it comes as no surprise that the overriding theme at adviser groups’ annual conferences is the RDR. With my finger in the air to gauge which way the wind is blowing, I sense widespread optimism over its outcome.
It seems the bickering between adviser firms has calmed down and there is a general feeling of unity. Now, I do not think you will all be singing from the same hymn sheet for long (nor would I wish that, for it would make our jobs somewhat less exciting) but there is a collective challenge ahead that requires a collective response.
Positive Solutions believes its technology puts it one step ahead in terms of facilitating all proposed advice models while Bankhall thinks, as a bigger group, it is ideally placed to house multiple models under its roof. As does Tenet, as does Sesame.
But the fundamental mindset seems to be that the proposals outlined in the RDR discussion paper will not prevail in their current forms.
Of hundreds of IFAs I have been speaking to over the last few weeks, I have yet to find anyone who is seriously worried about their future.
Advisers are still upset at the “act first, think later” approach of the FSA which is causing much frustration. Aifa is generating huge support on its campaign trail, with the likes of Clarkson Hill joining the fight and IFA Consortium also signing up. Aifa has seen a record number of new joiners in the last six weeks, with 131 new firms in the last month. The RDR has helped the organisation in one way, at least.
With The Money Portal’s Sage network and Burns-Anderson’s summits just round the corner, hopefully there will be a collective sense that something can be done to convince the FSA to change some of the more difficult details.