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RDR paper attacked for ignoring specialist skills

The FSA’s retail distribution review discussion paper has been criticised for not recognising specialist advisers.

Speaking at Money Marketing Live in Manchester last week, The Money Portal head of distribution and strategy Alan Easter said: “It is arrogant and offensive of the regulator to even put as a discussion point that in order to be professional, you need to reach a certain level of qualification.

I think it is an outrage that an adviser with 15 years as a specialist in pension transfers cannot call themselves professional or independent unless they sit hours of additional examinations, most of which is of no relevance whatsoever.”

Worldwide Financial Planning IFA Nick McBreen said he believes specialist advisers are the future and sees generalist IFAs as increasingly a thing of the past.

He stressed that advisers should look to add to their qualifications as part of an ongoing review of their competence in a constantly changing environment.

McBreen said: “Advisers need to be marketing themselves as specialist. To ask advisers to get to chartered from a standing start is going to be very difficult but clearly to specialise would be more achievable for many people. For me, the days of the generalist adviser are gone.”

Warwick Butchart chairman Len Warwick said he was disappointed by specialisms not being recognised in the RDR paper. He questioned why an adviser with 15 years’ experience and a strong track record in niche pensions and investment work should then have to take eight or 10 other modules to achieve the AFPC.


HMRC relents on reinsurers’ tax relief

HM Revenue & Customs is expected to redraft pre-Budget report proposals to remove tax relief on reinsurance following consultation with the Association of British Insurers and member firms. Experts predict the new rules will still add 3 per cent to premiums.

Alexander Wynaendts to succeed Shepard as Aegon chairman

Aegon chairman Donald Shepard will stand down next year after 37 years of service, to be succeeded by Alexander Wynaendts.Shepard reaches retirement age next year and will be replaced by Wynaendts, who is currently Aegon’s chief operating officer, from April 23, 2008.Wynaendts is a member of the boards of Aegon’s main country units in theUnited […]

Bupa fears over premium pressure

Bupa says some IFA networks have been asking protection providers to increase their basic premium rates to boost adviser commission payments.The firm says it has been urged by networks to put up premiums , most recently for critical-illness cover.Individual protection product and marketing manager Steve Casey says he is concerned this will encourage dual-pricing and […]

Gale quits Sesame

Sesame chief executive Patrick Gale is standing down next month after seven years with the company.

Simon Fletcher

Auto-enrolment: pay attention or pay the price

By Simon Fletcher

As a chief executive officer of a business in the financial services sector, I have been dealing with the introduction of auto-enrolment for our clients for some time, but I can also speak from an employer’s point of view, having to go through the process ourselves.


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