A recent advertisement on the back page of Money Marketing read: “Do you want to recruit a financial services professional? Money Marketing is read by about 96,000 of them.”Not quite true, I think. It may be read by 96,000 people in the industry but to assume that all 96,000 are professionals is stretching credibility to a considerable degree. Like many, many other IFA practices, we have been looking in vain since time immemorial for a true financial services professional. Unfortunately, those who have responded to our ads have been either decidedly second-rate candidates or people who are totally unqualified and inexperienced or we have had no responses at all. Most of the principals of other IFA practices I have talked to tell me exactly the same, many of them with unhappy stories of people they have engaged in the past who have turned out to be unsatisfactory in one way or another, sometimes seriously so. We asked our best broker consultant to put the word about discreetly on our behalf but all he has managed to come back with is that good consultants are staying put and that we would not want any of those looking to move. The last of our long line of mostly useless and lazy part-time consultants left us two months ago, since when our cashflow has suffered not a jot. I am writing more business, providing better ongoing service to our existing clients and our profit margin has improved I would dearly like to find a quality business partner to share all aspects of running our small but quality enterprise but unless he or she can bring something really worthwhile to it, I may as well carry on alone. I am not downhearted about all this. It is the lot of the average small IFA firm in today’s market.