Clients with assets on a platform are owned by the wrap provider and not by the adviser, according to Towry group chief executive Andrew Fisher.
Speaking at The Platforum conference in London last week, Fisher argued that while IFAs may think they own their clients when they move their assets onto a platform, it is wrap providers who hold the rights to client ownership.
He said: “No one owns the client from the point of view that the client can always go somewhere else for advice but there are contractual relationships. With most wraps, the client is owned contractually by the wrap provider. That is why many life companies choose to write to clients who have been introduced or managed by IFAs.
“IFAs think they are the custodian and owner of the client relationship but actually they are not.”
But Macquarie head of distribution John Porteous said: “Typically, ownership of the client relationship tends to be at the adviser level. But increasingly, firms that are seeking to leverage their value will be trying to ensure that their relationship is at the firm level and platforms can help them do that.”