Under One Roof - What does the Future have in Store for Vertical Integration

Financial Advisory

22 June 2023

AdviceAdvisory DistributorsAIConsumer DutyFinancial AdvisoryIndependent Financial AdviserIntegration

Expert: Catherine Thirlaway, Alpha Consulting Facilitator: Don Wild, Founder, Wild Ochre Consulting


  1. Consumer Duty is a force for good, and fully embraced can help VI models, differentiate their client services and help them articulate real value
  2. Tech in this scenario will be a positive, in both delivering efficiencies, but also helping clients with costs
  3. IFA’s are also able to leverage off tech, although the processes look initially more challenging
  4. Future tech and AI developments could move and bring them many of the same efficiencie 


The current landscape pre - Consumer Duty:
Consolidation has been driven by the desire to capture increased revenue across the value chain. Initially this focussed on ‘restricted models’ with effort directed at getting some revenue from portfolio and asset management, by either ‘in-sourcing’ or bringing portfolio management in house.

More latterly there is a move into also white labelling or partnering with tech to provide platform services.

The market has been extremely active, with a broad range of aggregators and consolidators.

Post Consumer Duty:
Post 31st July, advice will be seen more as a product, and as such they will have to focus more on the requirements of the client and the value they receive from the services offered.

The regulatory burden will increase, particularly in regard to any platform involvement. This will add to the more onerous regulatory requirement in regard to portfolio services.

Consolidation is likely to continue as the market is still very fragmented. However, it is clear that more focus would be required on client segmentation and value of services offered.

Shoehorning clients into a ‘particular’ solution is not a desirable outcome, individual requirements for client needs are required.

All these challenges can be met, with carefully thought through processes, starting with the client in mind.

Currently there are a number of moves across the Value Chain, including a greater focus on CRM systems, back office and other Financial Planning tools. This means the current mosaic of tech systems could go through some major transformations which could have a big impact on current platforms and back-office systems as we currently know them.

To date, tech has not been as transformational as once predicted, however some moves afoot could create faster pace of change.

Disruption, from new players in tech and PE consolidators, has still to fully play out. Noticeably, some major names have withdrawn from parts of the ‘advice gap fill’ market. However, lessons are being learned, and dealing with the many integration issues should reap further rewards.

Key takeaways:

  • The market is still mainly driven by a focus on a ‘personalised ‘service. People’s hard-earned money, is not in the main easily ‘processed’. It requires trust, expertise, efficient processes and an advice company which cares.