Online response to last week’s Martin Bamford column headlined, Is the IFA model ever scalable?
Very interesting questions from Martin, to which my answers are, not scalable and not a bad outcome. A growing business can achieve economies in the ways you suggest in the article but it is the advice (being personal and, crucially, independent) that is not scalable.
This is a strength of the UK market and if you want to see what happens when a market is dominated by a few “advice” businesses that have achieved scale, look to Europe and you will quickly conclude the UK is a much better model for the consumer/client.
I think most high quality independent advice busin- esses could only achieve scale profitably by diluting the independence, breadth and personalisation of their proposition. Ironically, that probably involves destroy- ing the value of what it is they were providing that put them in a position to aspire to scale.