An in-depth study of the intermediary sector is set to reveal which are the best networks and support service providers and why they give IFAs value for money.
The survey from Henry Samuels Marketing Services, entitled, IFAs & Support Services, is designed to increase understanding of IFA needs for support services and which solutions meet these needs.
In June, HSMS will interview a representative sample of intermediaries divided into directly regulated and network members and those planning to remain independent or multi-tie.
It will examine which services IFAs see as most important to bring in to their businesses against the service being supplied in house and to what extent intermediaries are already paying for these services. It will aim to identify what sources and which companies are seen as the most successful providers of back-office support and how their services can be improved.
The research will also look at what extent IFA needs are being met, what needs are being neglected and how this can be rectified.
Chief executive Henry Sam-uels says: “The idea of the study is to enable product providers to ensure they are providing support for the IFAs in the right areas and to make sure service providers are offering services where they are required and not wasting their time offering things that are not needed.
“The research will also ultimately assist IFAs in improving the efficiency of their businesses.”
Whitechurch Network managing director Ian McIver says: “There is a lot of overlap in services being offered by networks and providers, particularly in the areas of technical support and IT. Why offer a service that your member can get somewhere else for free when you will only have to charge him for it?”