Only 35 per cent of providers value quality of advice offered by distributors as one of the top three criteria they look for when establishing strategic alliances, says Grant Thornton.The findings contrast with the 71 per cent of distributors who believe quality of advice will figure in this top three. Grant Thornton Financial Markets Group partner Ian Gorham says providers need to be careful when setting up business partnerships as the FSA is continuing to analyse the relationship between provider and distributor firms, with a shift of responsibility towards providers distributing wide-range products. The research also shows 59 per cent of respondents across the industry believe there will be fewer providers in the marketplace in two years time due to depolarisation and 59 per cent says the new regime will cut the number of networks. Gorham says although overall consumer choice may rise, further analysis suggests this will only be the case for low-end users, using banks and building societies multi-tie partnerships. More sophisticated users, typically serviced by IFAs, are likely to see choi-ces restricted, he says. Grant Thornton surveyed over 200 financial services companies, including banks, building societies, life insurers, IFAs and networks. Gorham says: “Companies must remember their duty to their customers as they look to take commercial advantage of the depolarised regime. Financial services firms have to be careful to take a long- term view and not be blinded by short-term commercialism. This need has not escaped the attention of the FSA.” Hanson Financial Management director Nicholas Hanson says: “This does not surprise me as the priority for providers is always profit and market share rather than ens-uring quality of advice.”
London wealth manager The Route Group has completed a restructuring programme which will see it aiming at the top-earner market. Route has a team of four IFAs plus a mortgage, tax and property specialist and has introduced a tier of relationship managers. There is a support function of two research and development staff to assist […]
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Mazars’ two brands – Mazars Financial Services and Russell Financial Services – are to be merged under the single brand of Mazars Financial Planning. The firm says it will expand its national IFA operation over the next 12 months and increase its total of registered individual numbers from 20 to more than 25 by the […]
If you are seeking justification for the continued buoyant state of the stockmarket, look no further than the rising level of M&A activity. A trawl through last week’s financial pages would have found mentions of a potential bid for Scottish Power from Eon, a further chapter in the saga over Old Mutual’s long mooted acquisition of Skandia, Deutsche Poste casting its eyes over the books of Exel and even a deck-clearing exercise by Euronext as it looks at a possible offer for our own London Stock Exchange.
As the Pensions Regulator starts to bare its teeth and the changes mentioned in the Budget and Queen’s Speech start to come into force, it is essential that you understand your scheme and the processes you need to undertake to ensure it remains compliant. Our second re-enrolment guide looks at how to audit the key areas of your auto-enrolment scheme.
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