/ Advice and planning

THE TOP CLASS WEDNESDAY UPDATE REMEMBERS IAN TAYLOR

Hi everyone, Mark here. Rich will be Updating you – albeit in a truncated form – in a moment, but first I think we need to take a moment to mark the end of an era with the desperately sad news of the passing of Ian Taylor, ex-CEO and co-founder of Transact, at only 58 years old. When he retired I wrote that the platform market is pretty much Ian’s; we all just muck around in it and I stand by that. Many fine things will be said of him by folk who knew him far better than me, but in terms of impact there is surely no-one who’s had a greater one than Ian. I’m reminded of something Dave Ferguson said in a talk a while back – that when he and Michael Howard founded the business they did so without RDR; without PS13/1; without Callum McCarthy’s Gleneagles speech. Commission was still a tremendous wheeze; the industry was eating itself and this new idea only came about because these two lunatics and some of their friends thought it was the right thing to do. And here we all are 23 years later.

A quick reminisce – in the early days of the lang cat I was shilling the latest platform guide I’d written and was trying to punt in order to keep going from one month to the next. I didn’t bother punting it to Ian because I was 99.8% sure he’d tell me to do one, and back then I still had a modicum of self-respect. Some time later that year I met him at a thing, and I told him I’d decided not to even try him. I remember the conversation vividly, and it went like this:

Ian: “How come you didn’t put it in front of me?”

Me: “Would you have bought it?”

Ian: “Absolutely not.”

Me: “Oh.”

Ian: “You can put next year’s in front of me if you like.”

Me: “Do you think you might buy that one?”

Ian: “No.”

Me: “Oh.”

 And then we had a beer. But every year after that I’d send him an email when I had something to sell entitled “Please ignore this message”, and he did, and all was well with the world. So here’s to you Ian, wherever you may be. Slainte.

Now back over to Rich – things keep rolling and I think Ian would approve of that.

THE UPDATE BIT

Hello, Rich here with a shorter than usual Update in this sad week.

So you’ll have hopefully heard by now that we’re out in the field with our annual omnibus survey on all things to do with people that work at advice firms, State of the Adviser Nation.

We’re still open for responses, but I thought you might like a little bit of an update on our early research findings. Uncannily, what we’re finding has some wider implications in these extraordinary times.

In a time where consistency isn’t necessarily the watchword of our leaders, one of our more predictable early findings is that advisers crave it. When we asked what good service means to firms in 2022, providers doing what they’ll say they do is many more times more important than turnaround times. Being clear and consistent is something we can all spend more time on.

Rumours are circulating that the triple lock remains under threat, and with inflation rocketing you’d expect firms to be earning their crust at this point. Just over a third of advisers have changed income strategies for their clients as a result of the cost-of-living crisis in our early results. Also, around two thirds of respondents are using an income bucketing approach, which may lead to some more uncomfortable lights being shone on how much of that interest on income held in cash by platforms is returned to the client.

Exit strategies might be important in politics soon – and in the adviser market too. Many are still courted by consolidators on a regular basis. At the moment, our survey says more than half of respondents say they have been approached by a consolidator in the last three months. For those that think we could probably do a better job of running the country ourselves, there’s less appetite for running an adviser as platform model, with less than 5% actively considering the model, but around one in four thinking it’s probably one for the future.

Hopefully this serves as a tease for the publication of the report next year, and there’s still time to have your (advice professionals only) say. The survey is open for another week and a bit and we’d love to hear from you.

LINKS FOR YOUR PERUSAL

  • We’ve made a raft of improvements to our Analyser tool, and you can find out more about them with our demo on 25 October – register here. We’re also running another one for existing users on 26 October for those new to the tool or wanting a refresher, and you can sign up for that one here.
  • Our two Toms (Ellis and McPhail) would love to speak with the financial advisers of this audience to talk about an interesting product development in the Equity Release market. If you can spare 20-30 minutes to chat with either of them, you can book in a convenient time for you through this link.
  • Finally, a music choice. I’ve gone with a piece from German pianist and composer Nils Frahm, someone I tend to listen to on long drives and in times of reflection.

Thanks for reading,

Rich

/ Blogs

Impact of poor service

/ White papers

The Impact of Poor Service

We provided the research for a report, in conjunction with Parmenion, which reveals how far short of expectations many adviser platforms are falling. The research found that over the last 12 months, 88% of advisers needed to apologise to at least one of their clients on behalf of a platform, and that poor service delivery from platforms impacts 91% of advisers every day.

Impact of poor service

/ White papers

The Impact of Poor Platform Service

We provided the research for a report, in conjunction with Parmenion, which reveals how far short of expectations many adviser platforms are falling. The research found that over the last 12 months, 88% of advisers needed to apologise to at least one of their clients on behalf of a platform, and that poor service delivery from platforms impacts 91% of advisers every day.

/ White papers

Answering the Call

Service means a lot of things to a lot of different people. It’s so subjective it can be hard to put your finger on. This paper aims to challenge the status quo and inertia that’s built up in the sector for many years.