IFA News
Plan Direct – is there a piece missing?
Thursday, December 6th, 2012

Peter Chadborn has launched his website for his IFA and now execution only service Plan Money and Plan Direct. It is all very appealing, well designed and has one very nice advantage over other IFA sites – that it doesn’t look like other IFA sites especially those off the peg ones. I also rather like Peter’s description of what he is doing.

“Rather than turn away low value transactions or low value clients, we will instead be able to direct them to our website and as such they are still engaging with us. Historically, most face-to-face advisers deem non-advice to be a step too far but we believe that to ignore consumers rapidly evolving buying habits is to be missing a trick. We envisage clients engaging with us on both levels,” he says.

It is clever that he has aligned with Michael Ward’s comparison site Payingtoomuch which strikes me as a nice reciprocal relationship. This is an income stream other advisers might consider building. However there isn’t anything here for the client with a little to invest. I have tended to think that some clients may want to steer their own investment ship but have the course set by an adviser using the ethos of the firm to which the execution-only service is attached. Is this a missing piece of the jigsaw or does the firm want ‘investment’ to stay within the advised part of the practice? Peter’s correct about the buying habits. But does that not also extend to funds?

There is also a second issue for all firms developing this dual strategy. Is it an offering for existing clients, or will they also develop a marketing strategy to bring in both new advised and new EO clients?

 

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Twitter is hardly a twisseller’s charter
Thursday, November 15th, 2012

It is clear that intermediaries may be falling foul of the financial promotions regulations as this Money Marketing story shows. The example used by regulators always seems to involve a mortgage broker. (Is it the same one?). IFAs, brokers and everyone else do need to pay heed. Who wants to be fined or worse because of an unwitting tweet?

A couple of thoughts on the matter however. First, advisers in particular will surely get the most out of social media in all its guises when they are not talking about products but the benefits variously of insuring, investing, planning and the rest.

Second does the new regulator needs to update its regulations to the erealities of the new social media world, rather than simply extending its older print and slightly more recent website regulations. The Money Debate still finds it difficult to conceive of anyone twisselling or to believe that Twitter is a twisseller’s charter.

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Where’s the leader for IFAs?
Friday, November 2nd, 2012

This week brings news of the appointment of Daniel Godfrey, a man with a proven track record in a crisis, to head up the Investment Management Association. Godfrey established those credentials in the split capital investment trust crisis as the head of what was then AITC, making himself many friends though also one or two enemies among the groups concerned. He trod the difficult line between representing members and registering concern for consumers who were the victims of some pretty extreme recklessness if not worse.

But with fund management facing a host of challenges not least on charges Godfrey does seems to be the right man for this particular season.

Meanwhile Otto Thoresen is increasingly putting his own intelligent stamp on the ABI, which hosted its big annual media dinner last night. Thoresen’s speech demonstrated his firm grasp of the issues including the slow but revolutionary auto-enrolment reforms.

However it all begs one question for another section of the industry. When are IFAs going to get themselves a comparably strong leader to steer them through these troubled times?

 

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