This is a new year but for IFA principals, there is likely to be a familiarity about your responsibilities and priorities in relation to ensuring your firm is RDR ready for December 31, 2012. The reality of timescales is no doubt now sinking in for many.
Essentially, it is t-minus two years and counting. Regardless of the continuing debate which still envelops the profession, we must assume that the RDR is going ahead in its current form and therefore time is of the essence. In this column over the coming months, we will aim to provide some insight into how to get yourself into the best shape possible.
Each month, we will look at a specific area of your responsibilities to deliver your firm’s RDR-readiness. The first
point to make is to be fully aware of the timings – you still have time to prepare, execute and achieve so there is little room for further delay. Procrastination will only make transition to RDR that much harder.
Preparation is crucial – it is not wise to make it up as you go along. If you have not got one already, your priority this month is to establish an RDR business plan. This should not just exist in your head either. Make sure you write down a comprehensive plan, including timescales and targets, to which all parties and stakeholders can easily refer. This plan should also have flexibility built in, allowing you to review it regularly, update it and valuate
your progress against it. The plan should cover the market in which you want to operate in and how you will ensure you understand what your clients want and need, how you are going to charge and what you are going to charge for, the processes you need in place to deliver your
strategy and what infrastructure and resources you need to do this.
Setting out where you are at present is the only way to ensure you know what you have to do to make the transition.
Once the document is complete, share it with your staff and make sure everyone involved in pushing the business forward understands their
responsibilities and is totally committed to delivering it. Finally, ensure you allocate sufficient time to focus on how the plan will be implemented.
A fully functioning plan provides the template for the firm and its staff to follow. It is essentially the first step for every firm wanting to achieve their RDR goals. Don’t pay it mere lip service as a poorly considered plan could be extremely detrimental to progress. However, don’t be scared of the process.