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Practice Manager bids to benchmark advisers

Perception director Phil Billingham is setting up a benchmarking company called Practice Manager which aims to to help advisers position their businesses in terms of the treating customers fairly regime and qualifications.

The firm is a joint venture between Billingham, his business partner Shannon Currie and certified financial planner and South African academic Johann Maree.

Maree has created a database and benchmarking system which the joint venture will adapt to make it suitable for the UK financial adviser market.

It will be an internet-based tool that asks between 80 and 100 questions and produces a report of where the firm currently stands in relation to certain benchmarks.

Billingham cites Hargreaves Lansdown as an example of how to brand an adviser firm but he believes that although some companies have been successful in their efforts at practice management, Britain still lags behind other countries such as the US.

Billingham says: “It will produce a benchmarking of the adviser firm against treating customers fairly and also the standards of ISO22222. It will find out where you are and where you want to be. Once we have those points fixed, then we can give them a map of how to get from here to there.

“Advisers have been very strong historically at building relationships and giving advice. The retail distribution review has forced firms to look at what they are bad at and branding, market planning and succession planning are weak areas.”

Details, p12

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