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Towry Law takes £6m trail commission without servicing clients

Towry Law has admitted it takes up to £6m annually from 300,000 clients it no longer offers advice to in the form of legacy trail commission.

Chief executive Andrew Fisher, who has been outspoken in his criticism of commission-based advisers, says he has no idea who the clients are, but argues that it is right for Towry Law to continue taking the payments until the contracts expire.

He says: “These are clients who bought products from Towry Law up to 25 years ago before we owned them. I have no idea who they are but it is perfectly acceptable for someone who buys a business that has historical agreements in place to honour that. It is not acceptable to work that way on new business, but the trail commission is part of the value of the business being bought.”

Fisher points out that the RDR allows firms to continue to take trail commission on legacy business.

He says: “It is not physically possible to trace back who these clients are and in practical terms it is not possible to turn the commission off. We will continue to take the commission until the contracts run out.”

Towry Law has seen a pre-tax loss of £10.6m for the year ending December 31, 2008, plummeting from a profit of £812,000 in 2007. Fisher said the fall in pre-tax profits is due to significant investment in the company’s infrastructure. Revenue for 2008 stayed level at £49.1m.

In October Towry bought the UK subsidiary of the US adviser and investment firm Edward Jones for just £1.

Edward Jones, which has 400 financial advisers and 50,000 clients with £1.5bn of client assets, made a loss of £35m last year.


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There are 66 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Spin-Doctor Exposing Team 10th November 2009 at 1:33 pm

    Who are you trying to fool Fisher?

  2. It is actually nearer £10 million

  3. The true hypocrite is the one who ceases to perceive his deception, the one who lies with sincerity. ~André Gide

  4. No wonder IFAs are seen as unprofessional money grabbers – you never see a poor IFA – even the thinck stupid ones are able to work out how to cream cash from clients.

  5. So much for all that sanctimonious “holier than thou” rubbish Mr Fisher. You are just the same as the rest of us……. funny that!

  6. The FSA should act on this immediately, without exception. They should either:
    – demand TL write to each client to explain that they are receiving trail and why
    – forbid TL from taking the trail until they prove that they are earning it
    – obtain TL’s commission records and write to the customers themselves to explain the situation

    This would not only prove to consumers that the FSA is trying to look after their interests but also prove to the industry that the FSA is serious about the RDR and treating customers fairly.

  7. So, in Andrew Fisher’s world taking trail and servicing a client is unscrupulous and represents everything that is bad about the industry, but taking the trail and doing sweet FA is fine!!!

    Fisher you c*ck!!!

    That statement the providers send you every month with a policy number and a client name with a trail amount next to it might give you a clue to finding out who these people are.

    This is not TCF !

  8. No wonder the public don’t trust financial advisers to put their interests first! How can it be acceptable to be remunerated for doing nothing whatsoever. Disgraceful.

  9. Matt Timmins (Simply Biz) 10th November 2009 at 2:50 pm

    Those in glass houses…….

    After all the ‘holier than thou’ rubbish spouted out by this firm and Mr Fisher in particular I am glad that Money Marketing has exposed them for who they are.

    My advice to Towery Law would be to get your own back yard in order before you cast aspersions on the wider IFA community.

    We always knew you were talking rubbish about only charging fees and now we know it……busted!

  10. Well, well, well…….wellity, wellity, wellity…. with commission of that scale for doing diddly squat, I’m surprised you can be bothered getting out of bed in the morning Mr Fisher. Better get the polish out, your halo and pedestal are looking a bit grubby. TL=TCF???

  11. So this is a fee based operation who has TCF at heart….really

  12. Facts and perspective;
    Fact 1 – It IS possible to trace who the commission is coming from and as TL are the agents of the client, they could check with the provider what the current address on file is that they have.
    Fact 2 – Trail does not mean a committment to ongoing service, it is just good practice to use it for such. Look at all those banks takingmore than twice as much initial commission than most IFA firms do who often build in trail.
    Perspective – Whilst I’d very much like to have £6million of trail and not to have to do any work for it, if this is spread across 300,000 clients as is said above, that only works out at £20 per annum and about the only service you’d get from a bank for £20 a year is one letter telling you you’d exceeded your overdraft limit!
    Whilst I’m sure we all enjoy a bit of Fisher bashing in retaliation for some of his comments on other IFAs, I don’t think this one really has any legs….

  13. Presumably Towry Law paid a multiple of future renewals to to the original owners of these clients which is fair enough? However it does not alleviate their resposibility to service and look after these clients following their aquisition, regardless of RDR or anything else. Brings the whole industry into bad repute. When I take renewals I always provide an ongoing service which is clearly laid out in a client agreement, no gray areas then. There should be an agreed fixed period of time and then they should forfit any further renewals unless they have contacted the client and agreed a servicing plan.

  14. People get real, they will still have to deal with all the admin from the providers and send out information to clients, that does cost money. Admin staff building costs bills etc.

    You cannot run a business on just making money on fees you charge for your advice/sales and then think your costs stop, they don’t.

    The FSA think that everything is free from IFA firms its not! Every company still has to keep records and pay fees to the regulator and other government agencies year on year. The renewal price was built into the plans when they where designed. They bought the clients so why should they not get the payments.

    The FSA cannot run there own business without getting a bail out from the tax payers so what right do they have to criticise other people.
    Same old Regulator can do what they want, but won’t commit to a rule book to say what you can and cannot do as a guide to run from.

    Why don’t we stop worrying and criticising what others are doing and join together to get our business working properly again, refuse the stupid changes the FSA are doing and have a sensible regulation system that works and helps the clients get a good value and IFA’s a good return.
    They way this industry is going there will be so few advisors left, the regulator will have 10 people to 1 advisor to monitor and the poor public won’t be able to get advice, and those who can will have to pay a fortune for it.

  15. Step down now Mr Fisher, after all the rubbish you have spouted your position is now untenable!

  16. Christian Patricot 10th November 2009 at 3:19 pm

    Hypocrisy reigns supreme. Is Mr Fisher entitled to dividends and / or bonuses? Is his salary linked to the company’s performance? Is his pension linked to his salary? What would the effect be if the £6m or £10m were taken out? Did he condemn privately or in his official capacity MPs’ expenses?
    When will the FSA start earning their comfortable employment package and do their job properly by effective policing of the large financial institutions and providers of financial services.
    Everyone, including consumers, holds some responsibility for the economic collapse that has taken place but the biggest and most critical culprits are to be found at the FSA who are far too close to the “establishment”.
    For me this is yet another example of that overpaid, pen-pushing organisation who seemed to be making the same mistakes today as they did with ELAS back in the early to mid 90s.

  17. Come on, give the Guy a break, if Simon Cowel can be 2 faced, say one thing then do another in order to screw more money out of the general public then why can’t Mr Fisher……
    He dose think he has the X factor!

  18. Will you lot think about this? Please remember that the law of unintended consequences does not discriminate.

  19. £6m trail from clients they don’t look after. Nice ‘work’ if you can get it.

    If Mr Fisher (whose halo must now be well and truly in the dustbin) doesn’t know who these ‘clients’ are he should try looking at the commission statements.

    There should be a crime for bringing financial services into disrepute.

    Mind you, it does make me wonder how they STILL.managed to lose nearly a million last year!

    Of course, Edward Jones managed to lose £35m in 2008. I’m not sure why anyone would want to buy it, but TL may know something I don’t.

  20. What’s wrong with historic legacy commission as long as it wasn’t on Fisher’s watch?

  21. Heavens, Mr Anonymous is writing a lot on this issue. I confess to have hidden comments on this basis on the rare occasion but not on this one. Who’s afraid of Virginia Woolf or Towry Law?
    Surely this depends on the original basis of the renewal commission? If a service, review or whatever was promised then Towry Law have no right to take the money and run-they must review. If no such agreement or consideration was originally offered by whoever TL took over then strictly speaking it is their decision. If it was me I would feel obligated to review for the money but, hey (as the saying goes), I’m never, as a one man band, going to be as big as TL. On the other hand I would have to go some to lose £886,000 in a year….

  22. Christian Patricot 10th November 2009 at 3:37 pm

    I agree the law should not discriminate but it would send a powerful message if it ensured that those with the supposedly deepest pockets and highest profile were not seen to unfairly profit.

  23. Incidentally Moneymarketing did not ‘uncover’ this. For a more balanced report try this link Though I am willing to bet that Moneymarketing won’t publish my comment 🙂

  24. I think some commentators are missing the point. If Towry Law paid a figure to acquire the business which reflected an estimate of future trail commission, this is sound commercial sense and not immoral. This is always supposing that the firm who sold the policies in the first place did not undertake to the client to provide ongoing review and advice services, for which the trail commission would pay.

    And in all honesty, who out there does not receive some trail commission for which they do no work?

    Whilst trail commission seems increasingly to be frowned upon these days, it was the norm in past years.

  25. Christian Patricot 10th November 2009 at 4:11 pm

    Indeed some people are missing the point. The fact it was the norm years ago does not make it right today.
    I know it is idealistic but we are supposed to learn from history, not repeat it.

  26. Neil F Liversidge 10th November 2009 at 4:11 pm

    Andy Fisher has done real harm to the image of IFAs over the last few years by his repeated assertions that somehow all who work for ‘commission’ as opposed to ‘fees’ are less committed to their clients’ interests. His comments have from time to time been seized upon by those journalists that have fallen for his ‘fees only’ line and no doubt they have influenced the regulator in the formulation of the RDR. As we all know, the FSA likes to hear what it likes to hear. With a few honourable exceptions, many in the media have been unwilling to probe to see what lay behind all his bluster. Well, now we know. If TL’s model really was/is so superior then let’s face it, everyone would be using it. The answer is that it is right for some clients maybe, but that other clients are better served by other models. I have never pretended that one size fits all and I don’t think Alan Lakey has either. I find it utterly baffling that an intelligent man, which he undoubtedly is, can cause so much indiscriminate damage and somehow believe that it would gain his firm a commercial advantage. It is all the more baffling when one considers that many of us are serving a market in which his firm is not remotely interested anyway.

  27. I don’t want to tell you journalists how to do your job, but if you look at the recently filed accounts for Towry Law Holdings Ltd you will see why Andrew Fisher is happy to retain the £6million

  28. I think Mr Fisher may be better suited to a carrier in Parliament. Best keep all the thieving bastards on one place!

  29. At last the truth is coming out.

    My firm takes trail commission and services clients. All our clients know we take trail and what we do for it.

    What does Towry Law do in return for the £6m?

    I suggest Mr Fisher thinks long and hard before he next dares to preach to his fellow IFAs.

  30. When you have that level of trail commission it is easy to spout a ‘holier than thou’ attitude regarding Fees. Would Towry Law still be profitable if they spent the time and energy to convert these clients to fees? I don’t think so.

  31. Think someone at Money Marketing should check their figures. Accounts just lodged at Companies House for Towry Law Group show a Pre Tax Loss of £10.7m on a turnover of £49m. Would have been interesting to see the result if they’d actually have been doing some work for the clients !!

  32. What an absolute see you next Tuesday

  33. Hmmm… I like a bit of Fisher bashing as much as the next man/woman, but in this case its not so simple. We don’t know what this trail commission is for. If it was in lieu of upfront commission then surely it is right for TL to continue taking it until the contract expires…however, if the original contracts were paid for by indemnity commission AND then trail was taken as well with no servicing then this is a potentially sticky wicket. If, under Principle 6- Customers interests: ‘A firm must pay due regard to the interests of its customers and treat them fairly’, TL are taking a payment and there is not a legitimate reason to do so then I can’t see how this is legit?

    I guess if TL bought a client bank and there was some sort of agreement in place in the TOB with the clients to provide servicing then they are possibly in breach of contract as well….

    As for Fisher having no idea who the clients are then what about Principle 3, ‘Management and Control’??

  34. I cannot believe how journalists get it all wrong.

    I mean, in this piece, Andre Fishy is quoted as saying “These are clients who bought products from Towry Law up to 25 years ago before we owned them”.

    Yet on the 28th of October he is quoted as saying that the notion of advisers owning clients is akin to ‘slavery’, adding that ‘no-one owns anybody’.

    I mean, surely he was misquoted……..again, and again, and again, and again……??

  35. If I were working for Towry Law I really would want to ask Andrew Fisher to keep quite as he is making the group a laughing stock.

    He is a man with a stone in a glasshouse!

  36. Ah Simon, most people are intelligent enough to use search engines to get the full story and not just selected quotes on one website.

    Access to Moneymarketing is free. So they sell ads. The more pageviews, the happier they are. Especially repeats. I bet they just adore the likes of Fisher.

    Back to the subject at hand, I am pretty sure Fisher has a couple of stones but I doubt he is in any danger of breaking glass in his own house.

    Do some research, you can find the entire transcript of the conversation which this article quotes from on the net.

  37. Give Fisher a break. If what all of you are saying is to be taken seriously, start servicing those clients who you flogged some crappy mutual funds and bonds to.

  38. Andrew Fisher is a very clever clown. He knows exactly what he is doing and has no intention of letting logic or reason get in the way of his success. He will say and do whatever it takes even to the point of contradicting himself if it increases profit.

    He has no business telling the rest of us how to operate and if people would stop and think for just a moment we have no business telling him how to operate either.

    So he is confused about what a fee is – who cares ?

    To attack this man is walk straight into a trap set by the FSA. It is ok for high ranking officials at the FSA to be paid obscene salaries but Advisers are required to justify the receipt of trail !!!

    What I earn and how I earn it has nothing to do with anyone other than my client and myself.
    I can not condemn Andrew Fisher without allowing the Guardians Of Public Decency at the FSA to condemn me.

    The test of freedom of speech comes when someone says something with which you do not agree. Just Ignore Fisher and his kind and hope to survive the descendants of Robespierre and Saint Just at the FSA

  39. I used to work for these people until just a few years ago and even then they had “senior” people earning massive sums of money off hardworking advisers,employees and clients. Andrew Fisher seems to have achieved Chartered Status in the art itself!

  40. It is quite clear to all consumers, the FSA, and anyone who is interested in Towry Law how Towry Law deals with clients. Terms and Conditions of Business Letters are there for a reason. Anyone can read their terms and conditions of business off their website (under “Legal”). It quite clearly states that the initial stance of the TL offering to clients is that they will not get ongoing service unless they ask for it. All advisers in the industry have a legal obligation to disclose this to clients and clients have freedom of choice to accept this or not. Why anyone would want to take advice from an organisation that clearly states they will not normally service clients I will never understand but everyone has a choice. I hope anyone contemplating doing business with TL or is about to do business with them, either a client or as an employee, understands their stance on service.

  41. To Anonymous.

    My TOB has always stated that clients will only get future advice if they ask .i.e no contractual promise of further service. This does NOT mean that I do not provide on going service but it does mean that I am not contractually bound.

    This industry wanabe profession would do better to “Promise less and deliver more”

    I wonder how many ongoing advice people just go thru the motions “activity for its own sake” or simply forget to do what they have promised ?

    If you promise ongoing service then you must deliver or be prepared to be sued when you miss a small point in a budget or forget to get in touch with a client.

    Unlimited liability is for Sants (sic) and Idiots.

  42. Simple concept fees X hours at Y pounds is a fee. Charging a percentage of the amount invested as Fisher does is not – it is what the rest of us call commission.

    Try as he might Fisher cannot paint himself as the white knight of the industry. Towry law are not fee based. Towry Law are not independent they only use their own fund of funds.

    Churning clients investments onto their own platform for the dubious claim of controlling risk through “discretionary management” once a year is still churning no matter how you dress it up.

    The worring issue is that it has taken this long for the cutting edge of investigitive financial journalism to see through him… How long do we have to wait for our Regulator to do so?

    I would add my voice to those who discuss and agree remumeration with the client at the outset.

    However, ignoring Fisher would be a great deal easier if the press stopped painting this Robber Barron as a white knight.

  43. Mr Fisher was quoted as saying “These are clients who bought products from Towry Law up to 25 years ago before we owned them”
    If that is the case and ANY of that £6million come from the old Towry Law which cost advisers £millions when it collapse in extra FSCS levy payments, surely the FSCS has a right to those payments and not the all new TL?

  44. Wow, have started something here!! I have read all the comments so far and I think the most galling thing here is Mr Fisher’s ‘holier than thou’ attitude to commission as dirty word when he is deeply involved in recieving same!! I agree, a career in politics awaits you. Oh by the way, do you claim for a second home?

  45. Its very easy asking a prospective client for a fee, or to make youself look smart when you have the back up of 6 miilionk to support your business that in effect you do not service.Never kid a kidder ,and never con a conman.

  46. This is a really sad day, the day when I finally have to accept that the FSA is right and that there really is a need for some reform in the IFA sector. Of course you dont need an RDR just to sort out one firm.

  47. When I started in financial services 15yrs ago – this was the dream picture painted to me – build up renewals and retire at 40. Looks like this fella has done it!

    FSA should look into this – its the clients who are getting robbed.

  48. This is the very question I raised when this topic was being discussed a couple of months ago, and Andrew Fisher didn’t answer the question at the time.

  49. You must be joking 11th November 2009 at 5:52 pm

    Hmmm…. is this the record for the number of comments I wonder???

    Just felt like adding a couple of points –

    To some degree I can see the opinion of the masses regarding Twonky Law, as Fisher shouts from his soapbox much too often and sings from the same hymn sheet as Sants et al.

    That unfortunately puts them on the same level of stupidity when it comes to the fees vs. commission debate – the client pays either way, so call it what you will. Infact, from now on I think we should all call it compensation (hmm, no, that’s too american)…. erm…. ok, may as well call it “Boris”.

    So now we come to the £6m of Boris that Twonky Law receive each year. Now if this relates to “old policies” where the ongoing Boris was built into the ongoing premium / value then even if Twonky Law were to decide to relinquish their entitlement to this Boris where do you lot really think it would go?

    Would the life / investment companies write out to the clients concerned and say “Twonky Law have relinquished their entitlement to Boris in relation to your policy/investment, so we are now reducing your premium by 47p per month”? Would they hell!!!

    If the clients aren’t happy, they will move, maybe to some of the Anonymouses (Anonymice?) on here, however it is more likely that they are satisfied with what they are paying for what they have, i.e. that the total cost of their policy is £x per month and they really don’t give a damn about the fact that 47p of this is paid as a Boris to Twonky Law…

  50. Might i suggest that all providers and fund managers contact Mr Fisher with an offer to turn off all trail commission in respect of TL agencies, if this is his desire.

  51. I hope the FSA is reading this. It is very clear why the IFA industry is in the state it is. Good luck to you all….you need it.

  52. If Mr Fisher truly believes the actions he has taken are justifiable then lets hope Money Marketing and other publications allow him the coverage to explain in detail his actions, after all this guy has been afforded both the time and space to air his views on commissions/fees. If as he has recently preached he believes in his actions which many find unjustifiable then he will want to explain. His slience or refusal to comment will obviously be seen as an admission of guilt. Good luck to all the staff that work for this guy

  53. Andrew, Fiddling your expenses and getting caught with your pen on the sign off must surely mean a trip to matrons for six of the best.
    You have made your company a laughing stock and have done nothing for our industry. I hope that you are planning a drive off in your porsche to the hele ski of a lifetime if you float because I for one would never employ you!

  54. “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone..”

    They are perfectly entitled to keep the trail commission, the client has the choice to take their business elsewhere, nobody, Towry Law included, is making them stay.

    What would you rather do, let the insurance companies keep it?

    I have plenty of inherited clients like this and have no intention whatsoever of servicing them, the fee per client hardly pays for the letter telling them to get lost.

  55. I have recently been contacted by a Towry Law client begging me to take over their investment and pension plans due to the lack of confidence in the company. “Fair enough”, I here you say. However, when my company has transferred the agency Towry Law have protected the commission so that I have to service the client and Towry Law are getting paid for it. This matter is scandalous and exacty why the FSA needs to investigate Towry Law and bring Mr Fisher to task.

  56. I think there is a trick being missed here. If the £6m a year taken in commission was discounted, TL would be making very heavy losses on their “Fee Only” client bank.

    Therefore it seems that TL need commission to survive. Whether they will admit it or not.

  57. Three initials spring immediately to mind. Well actually quite a number of initials spring to mind but I’ll stick to these – TCF?!?!

  58. Anonymous said ‘I hope that you are planning a drive off in your porsche to the hele ski of a lifetime if you float because I for one would never employ you!’

    As you have clearly read up on the man you will also have noted, but ignored, Fisher’s repeated comments that he doesn’t need to work, he does this because he enjoys it and feels passionately about it. So try not to worry about what’ll you’ll say when he comes to you for a job, that’ll leave you time to concentrate on more important things, like realizing that things change and you have two options, adapt or quit..

    As for his choice of car and a particular sport, you are trivializing the larger debate. Remember the public is also reading this discussion, Multiple ‘Anonymous’ posts have done this. Calling him names like Fishface and Fishy and making personal comments about cars and hobbies reduce your posts down to the level of a Junior School playground rumble ‘Did not!’ ‘Do too.’

    I am not in the business and I don’t invest my retirement funds with TL or any of you posting here, but given that choice I’d prefer to deal with someone with a more mature approach. AF and TL appear to be on a much higher road than you my friends, at least from what I have read here.

    It has, however, been very entertaining so thanks for that.

  59. Those who come over as ‘holier than thou’ (even though there is nothing ‘holy’about favouring one remuneration model over another), deserve the ridicule they recieve when found out.

    Remember that the inflamatory language which Fisher uses in the press against IFA’s, is damaging to all of us.

  60. Quoth Anonymous | 12 Nov 2009 3:33 pm
    ‘Those who come over as ‘holier than thou’ (even though there is nothing ‘holy’about favouring one remuneration model over another), deserve the ridicule they recieve when found out.’

    I realize I do not work in your industry but from what I understand, and I am sure you will correct me if I am wrong, it seems that Fisher has been banging on for years that he feels fees and not commission is the way forward. It would also appear that your governing body(ies?) also agree. Some people hate the decision. I get that, they have been running their business the same way for years and chafe at having minimum standards imposed. I am sure people felt the same way when the driving test was instituted, but people got used to it or stopped driving, Change happens, adapt or quit.

    Similar decisions are being taken around the world following the fallout of the recent fiscal downturn. I see the same debates raging on Australian boards.

    Is Fisher opinionated? By the look of it, very! But not offensive or insulting on a personal level to specific individuals.

    I had no idea what trail commission meant but others on here have explained it and even those who can’t stand Fisher have indicated that on this subject at least, they do not agree with the criticism. If I am reading it right, those deals were made years before Fisher took over TL and were part of whatever it was JS&P paid for. They will die out. Not just for TL, for all of you.

    It is not the debate I am criticizing, far from it, for my research purposes this is great, especially as I have been watching for Godwin’s Law and have seen it which is very amusing – look it up. What I am saying is that by resorting to making fun of Fisher`s name, his hobby, his car, you are not exactly giving the public a very good impression of IFA.

    To an outsider is obvious that the investment/pensions system is broken and it does need fixing. I imagine the fixing will continue to evolve.

    As for why Fisher can afford a Porsche or skiing holidays, here’s a thought, maybe he got himself some really good independent financial advice? 🙂

  61. This is off their own website !

    Towry Law is a wholly independent company and is not restricted in any of the funds or investment products we may wish to use for our clients’ wealth management and financial planning purposes.

    Towry Law is privately owned and therefore not financially tied or obliged to any particular fund manager or product provider. We refuse to accept the financial contributions that these providers will often make to financial services companies – money that is then often used to pay for marketing, training or even company conferences.

    Towry Law is a strong advocate of charging fees for wealth management, financial planning and consultancy services. We believe that the commission system, where the level of remuneration is reliant on the sale of a product, creates a potential conflict of interest between the adviser and the client. With a fee-based approach we have no financial incentive other than working in the best interests of our clients.

  62. Quoth Anonymous | 13 Nov 2009 10:40 am
    This is off their own website !’

    Umm exactly. And your point is?

  63. How very amusing to read the IFA / provider comments on the age old issue of how you all get paid.

    For as long as I can remember this has gone on.

    You all rant on and about fees Vs commissions and Fisher this and Fisher that, but you all miss the point.

    Justifying ones own existence at the expenses of another seems trivial in the extreme.

    TL et al simply want you all to come to the table and preach left is better than right – why bother?

    Be it a fee or commission – who cares – look at the cost of the product and start there – most of these investments discussed are poor performing, outdated and no longer fit for purpose anyway.

    Switch them out – you must are all be in agreement that philosophy produces a return for you all.

  64. I think perhaps more worrying than the fact the company is getting (legitimate?) trail commission on these clients is the fact that there seems to have been nothing done by way of marketing these clients. Perhaps if Mr Fisher tapped into this client bank, which he admits he knows nothing about, then he could be back making a profit next year!?

  65. @Anonymous | 13 Nov 2009 0:50 am etc.

    you are quite right – the impression we make is rather unimpressive – it’s bad enough when we IFAs (and yes I identify myself in the category) lambast one another and wash our dirty washing in relative private. Doing it here in public is not exactly increasing our common stock.

    However what will help your research is to realise (if you haven’t already) that most IFAs aren’t businessmen (other than in the limited sense of running their own business), aren’t commercially driven, and in many cases are fairly limited in their scope of professional business.

    These are individuals who actually love seeing clients, giving good generic advice (for the most part), and generally charge (or are paid) the ‘going rate’ not because it’s what they decided on, but because it is the going rate.

    We recognise the world is changing, both in terms of requiring higher productivity to make a profit (which I feel threatened by) and by requiring qualifications (which I don’t).

    Our regulator continually misses obvious abuses of the system, seems in the pocket of large business, and yet seems to have infinite time and resources to persecute small businesses which are collectively virtually uncomplained about (comparatively), and individually pose almost zero threat to the financial system.

    When you put these influences together you end up with an industry which has a high level of paranoia. When we see people that we know have limited input from their moral compass (should they have such a thing) spouting from a platform, and being listened to we get justifiably (but unimpressively) upset, and unfortunately the ‘small business’ end of the industry is very limited in it’s ability to eloquently express itself – and I most definitely stand proudly in that group.

    Fisher is very disparaging of the ‘commission’ model in all it’s guises, but would not have a viable business model without it – knock 6m from his turnover, and a very limited amount from his costs (I am assuming it is barely reconciled, and this is why he doesn’t know who it comes from), and the model would fail. Even given the high charges that TL make for the work they do.

    So we all need to change – but the loudest proponent of change within the industry is over 6m from break even – that is worrying for the future indeed.

  66. I am a client of EJ and have been for a number of years, I have not once doubted my adviser. I feel that what ever he does will be in my best interest, commission/fee who cares, it bothered me at the bank because they earned a 7.5% and never spoke to me again but my Edward Jones adviser called me every 90 days and the service was superb. If he has TL above the door it is the same person inside, I understand that my adviser will carry on level of service.
    I feel that some of the comments on here may have come from failed EJ or TL advisers.
    Sour Grapes ?
    Get over it, move on

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