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‘You don’t need to be whole of market to be professional’

Intrinsic chief executive Kevin Ronaldson says it is nonsense to suggest that people can only give good professional advice if they offer products from the whole of the market.

Ronaldson says he agrees with the FSA’s call in the interim report on the retail distribution review to raise professional standards, improve clarity for the consumer and introduce customer-agreed remuneration but disagrees that you should have to offer whole of market advice to be called an adviser.

He says: “I do not think that the ability to give professional advice is somehow linked to the selection from a whole of market set of products. I think the notion that you cannot give professional advice if you do not do this is nonsense.”

He believes that with customer-agreed remuneration, many of the issues the FSA has raised with multi-ties and tied advisers are removed.

He says: “Why should I have to say that you can have one of 250 pension products? Under CAR, the price of the product is removed from the decision-making process, plus it comes down to underlying fund links anyway.”

He says the RDR is still a work in progress and he expects many changes between now and the final report in October.

Ronaldson says Intrinsic is ideally placed, regardless of whether the FSA enforces the proposal to stop multi-tied and tied advisers from using the adviser label. Intrinsic was set up as a multi-tie and has around 1,250 advisers but earlier this year it bought IFA network Mint and took on most of its 240 advisers.

He says the group is in a strong position with “a foot in each camp” but that future strategy will not be decided until after the final RDR report.

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