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The most important issues for advisers in 2011 are…

Industry experts give their opinions on the main points of focus this ye

Simon
Chamberlain
Chief executive
Succession
Advisory Services

In a post-RDR world, success will be determined by the ability of advisers to implement a profitable charging model for a value added client proposition. 2011 is the last real opportunity for advisers to redefine the value chain and shift the emphasis from provider to adviser. Even advisers looking to exit the industry before 2012 will need to ensure their business is RDR-ready to stand a chance of attracting a buyer and that means understanding that the client has to come first. The anticipated exodus will lead to an oversaturation of the market so the more a business can do to re-engineer and create value, the more attractive it will be.

Dominic
O’Connor
Partner
DJ Financial
Advice

“This year I want to understand better what I do, or can do, that my clients really appreciate and put value on. RDR means I can no longer risk having a misplaced belief that I already know.”

Jonathan
Miller
Partner
Miller,
Mercer, Colson

“I will ask my clients for feedback.

They have a much better idea on how I should be marketing myself than I do. They know what I do well (and not) and what they value. One client told me to be more expensive and exclusive. He also suggested I map out a crisis intervention service. Clients would value free hours with a professional when difficult things happen (death/illness of family member, loss of job, retirement, etc). Great idea”

Paul Etheridge
Founder and
chairman
Prestwood

“Without the right processes and infrastructure, advisers will struggle to achieve profit post-RDR. Keeping one step ahead of legislation
while creating value for clients will be the key challenges for 2011 which means offering profitable clients a comprehensive financial planning service. Even with technology and innovation, the scarcest resource available to financial planners is time to execute an effective client proposition.

Therefore, with the exception of a tiny number of pro bono situations, planners’ terms of business should make it impossible for
clients to be unprofitable.”

Steve Billingham
Director
Steve
Billingham
Consulting

“Many advisers have understandably been focusing on qualifications to ensure they meet the QCA level 4 requirement but with less than two
years to go to the RDR deadline, working on getting the right business model in place has to be seen as a priority for 2011.

Advisers who have already moved to a fee-based advice and relationship-driven model have taken four years or more to implement and embed the changes. Having a model that is fit for purpose post-2012 will be a challenge for those who are yet to make a meaningful start.”

Martin Bamford
Managing director
Informed Choice

“Our main priority for 2011 is to continue scaling up our marketing efforts to win new clients and grow the business. We had a really successful year in 2010 after spending several years creating an RDR-ready business in terms of proposition, structure, remuneration and qualifications.

’Without the right processes and infrastructure, advisers will struggle to achieve profit post- RDR. Keeping one step ahead of legislation while creating value for clients will be the key challenges for 2011 which means offering a comprehensive service’

Letting all of this important work done early was key to enabling us to focus on our business growth goals last year and we continue this drive
in 2011. We look forward to acquiring more mass-affluent and high-net-worth clients through a mix of online activity, local marketing, referrals from existing clients and our work with other professional advisers.”

Sue Whitbread
Communications
director
IFP

“Getting to grips with gapfilling is an essential task for many advisers in 2011. For those who have already obtained a relevant level four qualification and are existing advisers, the job entails mapping their learning against the new exam standards to identify any gaps.

“The good news is that there’s no need to take another exam to comply with the rules, the gaps can be filled by undertaking structured CPD.

To make sure that you cover the requirements effectively, contact the examining bodies of the exams you have passed as a matter of urgency to obtain their guidance on how the qualifications you have are mapped against the new standards.

“This will help you identify which gaps you have to fill. Next step is to take a look back at your CPD records. Have you undertaken structured CPD that will cover any of those learning outcomes? If you have and you have got the records to prove it, great. If not, then start to build a schedule of CPD activities for this year that will match those learning outcomes, and allow you to tick the boxes to say that the gaps have
been filled.

“You will need to prove all gaps are filled to get your statement of professional standing in good time to continue as an adviser after the end of 2012. There is no time like the present.”

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