Steve here, subbing in for Mark. It’s been a while. How’s it going?
I’ve had a book kicking about the bedroom for months now, How to be wrong by that polarising fella off the Twitter, James O’Brien. Just never got round to starting it. Those algorithmically-driven midnight YouTube death spirals aren’t going to watch themselves now are they, dear readers? But I finally picked it up the other night and am flying through it. Now, you don’t come here for book synopses but it’s essentially about having the capacity (and humility) to admit you’re wrong. Vital in what feels like an increasingly polarising world, with entrenched views combined with the 24-hour news cycle driving us all a bit doolally at times.
WHERE IS THIS GOING STEVE?
I didn’t feel I needed the book to have a moment of enlightenment about my own level of wrongness. My family and colleagues have helped me on my journey of self-fulfilment on that front. But one particular part of my career where I’m delighted to be proved wrong is the regular research that we conduct at the lang cat. There’s nothing better than getting research data back and it slapping you in the face with something entirely unexpected. Actually, that’s not true, I’m sure there are loads of things better than that. I could be this guy. But in the context of research-guy-at-friendly-neighbourhood-consultancy, this is as good as it gets.
LOOK MAUREEN, A LIST! WE LIKE LISTS!
Here are five times research has stopped us in our tracks in the last wee while:
- If you spend too much time on social media or below the line commentary on the trades, you’d be forgiven for thinking that everyone hates everything, particularly in provider-land. However, we repeatedly find that when given a completely free choice, seven in ten firms would choose the same primary platform. That surprised me. And the dial hasn’t moved in the past three years.
- Last year we asked firms whether they’d considered the emerging ‘adviser as platform’ model. 42% of firms stated that they had it under consideration with only 13% having considered and discounted. Definitely got our peepers ready for an update on that stat.
- Those who run firms present more optimism than those who don’t. Whether it’s their outlook on the future of the profession, how well their businesses are performing or even things like how well diversity and ESG are embedded within their firms, it was so interesting to see all the little disconnects in the data between the board and the workers, so to speak. Can’t wait for up-to-date data on that one.
- We knew from speaking to lots of firms that Assessment of Value reports hadn’t landed, how do we put this politely, all that well within the sector but the strength of feeling took us aback last year with nearly two-thirds of firms writing them off as a collective waste of time. Ouch.
- Last year, three in ten firms said they were approached by a consolidator in the last WEEK (with over half in a three-month period). We knew it was endemic but jeez.
AW MAN, YOU’VE GOT SOMETHING TO PROMOTE HAVEN’T YOU?
Sure have sports fans. Each Autumn we launch our big, annual adviser omnibus study and this is me, like, totally launching the latest one. Right here. That’s it launched.
We call it State of the Adviser Nation (Or SOTAN for short as it’s easier despite sounding like one of those angry bands that Mark likes) and is by far the biggest report we do in any given year. It’s for anyone in the profession to complete and is essential reading – we believe – for those who care about what those at the heart of this sector think.
If you’re in the profession and can spare half an hour of your time in return for lots of things, we’d love to have you on board. I’m sat here waiting to be proved wrong about all kinds of new stuff.
GOOD OLD DEPENDABLE LINKS, THEY’RE NEVER WRONG
- There’s that link again for the survey. Planners, admin staff, paraplanners, compliance, you’re all welcome in this house.
- While we’re not constructing big research exercises, we’re putting on events. Got a great one ahead at the start of October in Edinburgh with some phenomenal speakers plus me and Mark. If you work in advice you get in for zero pounds.
- Triple lang cat promo action this week. On Tuesday we’re launching a report on the fragmented reality of technology in the advice profession and we’re having a lovely wee breakfast session in London on the 20th. You should come to that as well.
- What’s the biggest city in the world? Dublin. Because it keeps dublin’ and du…Oh never mind. Listen though, between Fairstone making its first Irish acquisition and PruFund launching on New Ireland Assurance (part of Bank of Ireland), things are happening over the pond.
- File this under ‘one to keep an eye on’ but both Succession and Ascot Lloyd in the press this week talking about potential redress implications.
Music choice this week is from the vaults and is Underdog (Save Me) by the glorious Turin Brakes for absolutely no reason other than they have a new album out on Friday.