A Piece of Mind: Who are you looking at?

10 May 2016Evie Owen

Financial AdvisoryPiece of MindWinning Advisers


Just over a couple of weeks ago now – my how time flies - we brought together owner managers of some of the larger independently spirited financial advisory firms for a look at what’s on their plate at present.

To ensure we really did know who we were working with we asked them to complete some profiling research. These are busy men and women so one has to tread carefully when asking them to complete questionnaires. They did however nobly step up to the plate and offer us the opportunity to draw a picture of a particularly important cohort within the advisory world.

On average they were responsible for some £190M funds under management; they had on average 6.4 advisers and 2.9 paraplanners – all very tricky that decimal point bit. Interestingly they seemed to be employing fewer paraplanners so does that mean they are finding less for them to do now that so much of the investment piece is outsourced? 

We asked them to provide a quick SWOT analysis of the industry: they felt good about the people they have and the fact that they are well qualified to provide the right sort of service. They are however struggling to achieve scale, to find good new people and to keep up with the seismic technological changes sweeping the industry. They appreciate that the new pensions freedom has enhanced the need for their services, however they are irked by meddlesome government, political instability and the dreaded technology or the “machines” as one of our respondents so sweetly put it. 

When asked what they would do as “Regulator” – they demonstrated great nobility of spirit and promised to provide more consistency, to be more conciliatory, to ensure fairer allocation of regulatory levies and of course to cut red tape. 

As “Chancellor” they were adamant that they would put in place a moratorium on any more changes to the pensions legislation. In addition, they would naturally simplify taxation, and abolish stamp duty to get the housing market going. 

No great surprises when it came to citing what made them attractive to consolidators… profitability came top – a distinct change from those days of trail and provider support eh? 

A couple of other notable trends were even more outsourcing plus a slight shift away from passive. How the pendulum swings.

Finally the really gripping result was how they feel about the year ahead and the scores on the doors were 8.17! To see how that compares with previous gatherings and indeed access the full report, do please request Scene Setter Findings.  

If you would like to be a part of the next Meeting of Minds Winning Advisers do please call me on 01483 862692 or send an email to evieowen@owenjamesgroup.com