- Growth rates in the sector more in the region of 3% rather than the higher figures in the benchmark survey.
- Ownership models differ between LLP and Ltd business structures. Question raised about how these structures are supported financially.
- Having a compensation philosophy was widely supported but the view was that not many firms had one in place or where they did they were of poor quality.
- Marketing and Business Development spend was thought of as low in the benchmark report and attendees felt it should be more in the area of 10-11% .
- Increasing growth rates were a challenge all round and some firms had looked at the acquisition route. However, it was felt there were very few firms around that fitted the culture or type of model that was required.
- Getting closer to clients was key and the need for implementing the right CRM system was critical.
- Whilst most firms surveyed their clients annually there was the challenge that clients might be staying where they were out of inertia rather than because they felt it was right. This needed to be understood better.
- Sales coaching was low throughout the firms but where it was done it was internally provided. The challenge is always to get the right adviser with the right skills in front of the right client.
- Obtaining new clients via a structured referral process wasn’t happening with any firm. It was not in their DNA and it was recognised that they had to review how they were obtaining new clients.
- Growth is seen to be a challenge for all firms and the M&A space is viewed to be quite limited so focus has to be on how extra growth can be obtained from the current structure.
- Greater amounts should be spent on business development and marketing.
- Compensation structured should be reviewed and new ones put in place that help drive the company’s growth ambitions.
Expert: Chris Morgan, Martyn Chappell, Dimensional Fund Advisors
Facilitator: Martyn Laverick, Soprano Consulting