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Adviser Workshop: How to handle referrals from other IFAs

by Jun Merrett on Dec 13, 2012 at 15:03

Adviser Workshop: How to handle referrals from other IFAs

Bob Hair (pictured), Karen Rayner and Nick Platt describe the ins and outs of handling client referrals from other IFAs.

Bob Hair

Executive director and head of financial planning, Turcan Connell

We get referrals from other advisers largely by word of mouth, usually in relation to expert witness work, international pensions and pension transfers.

Referrals often come from IFAs who feel they don’t have adequate resources or experience to look at a particular issue.

When they refer a client to us, we would provide the client with the usual service. We would typically arrange that piece of advice on a transactional basis and keep the adviser informed by copying them into the correspondence.

Respect for referring advisers

It is difficult to alleviate the other adviser’s worry that the client may want to come to us for their full financial planning needs. I think sometimes we don’t get referrals for that reason. But you just shouldn’t [take other advisers’ clients]. If someone refers you for a particular piece of work, you have to respect the relationship between the adviser and client.

The other adviser has to pass on the control to us for the specialism we’re dealing with. The only person who is going to determine the advice I give a client is me: we live in a heavily regulated world and we’re not a gun for hire. But it doesn’t mean we ignore the insight and experience of someone who knows the client better than we do.

The advantages are mostly for the referring adviser, as they can call on us and devolve the responsibility of advice. Most importantly, no-one should be dabbling in things they don’t understand because the scope and breadth of what we [as advisers] have to cover is enormous.

Karen Rayner

Partner, The Wealth Care Partnership

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