View more on these topics

Sue Whitbread: What does a successful advice firm look like?


Last month’s FCA report, following its thematic review into RDR disclosure, indicated that 73 per cent of the financial advice firms sampled failed to provide correct information on the cost of advice. 

It also found that 34 per cent of firms failed to give clients a clear explanation of their service.

This really highlights the importance of getting the client proposition right. When a firm does so, engaging the client at the start of the process is an exciting and positive experience, one that advisers are unlikely to skip over. 

What does a successful financial planning firm look like? Last month the IFP carried out a benchmarking survey of accredited financial planning firms in association with the Phil Billingham Partnership. Part of its purpose was to find some answers to this question. It was also intended to share best practice and provide direction to firms keen to boost their client proposition and build their businesses.

The survey found characteristics that are consistent across the majority of these firms.

For example, they put cashflow modelling at the centre of their client proposition and employ great people. They also have clear business plans, investment strategies and target markets. They use the best tools, top-quality support and software and have robust risk analysis processes.   

Crucially, the survey showed that accredited firms are generally well placed to expand and and, importantly for consumers, receive very few complaints.

The survey proves that having the right proposition, followed through by staff, can make the biggest single difference to business success.

Sue Whitbread is director of communications at the Institute of Financial Planning



FCA publishes final rules on moving to clean share classes

The FCA says platform clients must be made aware of possible cost increases resulting from being moved to clean shares. The regulator has today published final guidance on converting platform clients to clean share classes. Changes to regulations have prompted some platforms move to clean share classes already. In October the regulator released a guidance […]


Curtis Banks reveals details of £7m ATS Sipp acquisition

Curtis Banks paid a total of £7m for Alliance Trust Savings’ Full Sipp business last year, accounts filed with Companies House reveal. The pensions administrator completed the deal to buy ATS’ Sipp arm, which comprises almost 6,000 plans and £3bn in assets, in January last year. Curtis Banks’ annual accounts show the Sipp book was […]


HSBC profits down 20% to £3.9bn

HSBC Group has seen a 20 per cent fall in its quarterly profits over the past year. The bank’s pre-tax profit for Q1 was £3.9bn, down from £4.9bn in the same period last year. The bank’s revenue in Q1 of this year was £630m higher than in the first three months of 2013, partly because […]

A bull case for US equities?

Neptune video: a bull case for US equities?

Watch Felix Wintle, head of US equities at Neptune, discuss why he believes US equities are in a structural bull market and the key factors that can drive the S&P 500 higher.

In the video, Wintle addresses the following:

• The US market and why — despite equities rising from 2009 — he believes the structural bull market only started in 2013
• Key economic and corporate factors that can drive the S&P 500 higher
• Investment themes and sectors offering exposure to the domestic recovery


News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up


There is one comment at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Julian Stevens 7th May 2014 at 10:07 am

    A successful advice firm combines three simple ingredients ~ it’s profitable without over-charging, it has a satisfied and loyal customer base and it has very few, preferably zero complaints. Only in the minds of regulators ever intent on justifying their own existences is this recipe deemed inadequate and in constant need of being made endlessly more complicated, costly and time-consuming. It’s all that clients want, after all.

Leave a comment


Why register with Money Marketing ?

Providing trusted insight for professional advisers.  Since 1985 Money Marketing has helped promote and analyse the financial adviser community in the UK and continues to be the trusted industry brand for independent insight and advice.

News & analysis delivered directly to your inbox
Register today to receive our range of news alerts including daily and weekly briefings

Money Marketing Events
Be the first to hear about our industry leading conferences, awards, roundtables and more.

Research and insight
Take part in and see the results of Money Marketing's flagship investigations into industry trends.

Have your say
Only registered users can post comments. As the voice of the adviser community, our content generates robust debate. Sign up today and make your voice heard.

Register now

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3712

Lines are open Monday to Friday 9:00am -5.00pm