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PFS Conference: Retainers work for younger clients

Offering advice on a retainer basis for younger clients provides a profitable revenue stream, says former Personal Finance Society president Carole Nicholls.

Nicholls, partner at Nicholls Stevens Financial Services and PFS president in 2007, has run her business on a fee-based model for a number of years.

Speaking in a panel session on adviser charging today at the PFS conference, Nicholls said she found that working on a retainer basis, where a monthly fee is charged for advice services, works best with the firm’s younger clients.

She said: “We do have retainers but not for all of our clients, so we have them on a client segmentation basis. We actually find that retainers are very good for younger clients because they do not have a lot of issues for which we would charge them an upfront fee, but they do have this need for ongoing reviews.

“We do not charge them huge amounts but we do charge them monthly retainers and we see that it is a very good way of building up that bit of our client base for the future, so that we have them there for when they do need ’chunkier’ advice.”


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There are 2 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Will the ‘chunkier’ advice result in additional fees or will they use ‘credits’ built up over the years when they needed little or no advice while they were paying off their student loan, would the monthly retainer be better spent on reducing student loans and overdrafts?

    What does the FSA make of the practice of charging fees for doing nothing?

  2. Let’s face it. The whole RDR, fees issue will cause confusion to the general public and will further dent the desire of ordinary people to seek financial advice. It is just an excuse for the self appointed ‘regulators’, the IFS and Cii, to make a lot of money and will do nothing long term for the industry or it’s image. There it has been said. What a lot of people privately admit.

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