Financial services stalwarts Robert Reid and Roderic Rennison have launched a consultancy business, The Ideas Lab, aimed at the adviser and provider market.
Syndaxi Chartered Financial Planners managing director Rob Reid and Rennison Consulting director Roderic Rennison say the service helps advisers making the transition to a post-retail distribution review environment.
Reid says the firm ideally wants to work with a small number of big firms, including those who plan to sell and leave the industry ahead of the 2012 RDR deadline.
It offers RDR impact assessments and transition optimisation services, as well as help with the development of acquisition strategies, funding sources and integration processes.
It also focuses on helping advice firms select IT solutions, implement IT strategy and carry out any data migration that might be required.
Reid says The Ideas Lab will also work with IFAs to select either individual providers or panels, choose platform providers.
On the provider side, the firm will help with market intelligence and analysis and product development and implementation. It also offers help with distribution strategy and salesforce training.
Reid says for advisers aiming to obtain the QCF level four qualification by the 2012 deadline, it is essential they start studying immediately. He says: “There are only 10 exam sittings between now and 2012 and advisers will need to sit six exams to pass four subjects.”
Reid says written examinations are a better option for most advisers than oral exams, due to the difficulty of non-written assessment and the associated cost. He says: “With oral exams there is no paperwork and no safety net. In order to have experienced assessors and detailed questions, it could cost three to five times the cost of written exams. It is also easier to sit in an examination room where you can take notes, take your time with questions and really think about your answers.
“For people that are committed to a future career as an IFA there is no reason why they can not pass these exams. Age does not come into it as a factor, it is all about commitment and attitude. There is a lot of support available to advisers in the shape of study groups and adviser academies and there is nothing stopping IFAs from forming their own study circles.”
On adviser-charging, Rennison says firms should start moving some clients across to fees now, so processes can be perfected before the 2012 deadline. He says: “You cannot flick a switch on January 1, 2013. Advisers should be switching a percentage of their business over to fees now so they get experienced in adviser-charging. It is better to phase in a new charging structure than flipping into it in a hurry.
“We want to help build sustainable businesses so that post-2012 firms have the resources and ability to meet the new requirements and stay on course in the years to come.”