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Life after RDR: Partridge develops service for younger clients

Life after RDR: Partridge develops service for younger clients

Georgina Partridge, co-founding partner at Plutus Wealth Management, aims to make financial advice accessible to younger clients with a flexible service, a strong media presence and increasing online interaction.

Georgina Partridge’s plans for life after RDR

We are aiming high! Our aim after the retail distribution review (RDR) is to be the future face of independent advice for consumers. We will continue with our efforts to focus on a younger age group and to break down the barrier of what age people perceive they should seek financial advice.

We provide access to affordable advice without prejudice. We want new clients to grow with us, and we will continue to target the young professional City-based accumulator-of-wealth market.

We are working hard on service levels, client offering, education and branding to help the consumers understand the value of advice and where they should go to get it. We support the philosophy that advice is valuable, worthwhile and should be accessible to ordinary people.

We believe remaining independent is essential post-RDR, and we support the consumer in demanding highly qualified, transparent and independent advice.

Plutus targets younger demographic

London-based Plutus Wealth Management’s key target market is younger clients, aged 30 to 40. It mainly offers them a retainer service, with regular meetings and reviews, newsletters, seminars, workshops and portfolio reports. Its client proposition also includes one-off advice.

‘Consumers want flexibility. By flexibility we mean having the option to have one-off advice and not be tied into a retainer or ongoing costs,’ says Georgina Partridge, co-founding partner of Plutus Wealth.

‘As consumers find their feet in the new fee-based advisory market, the ability to offer them choice and control, and not tying them into ongoing costs, will be critical in winning their business,’ she says. ‘Once we do a good job and gain confidence, they will be clients for life.’

Developing the proposition

Partridge strives for originality in interacting with customers.

‘We are looking to develop a task-based or flexible proposition, and even go further in offering something more creative, which will include an online proposition,’ she says.

‘We need to develop our online interaction with clients, but also with consumers in general.’

Plutus Wealth surveys its clients every year and uses third party research to adapt its proposition. It has recently introduced Voyant, the cashflow analysis tool. ‘It has proved to be popular amongst existing clients and instrumental in obtaining new clients,’ says Partridge.

Media coverage

The firm has a strong media focus. ‘There are many conversations that happen within the industry on the benefits of RDR, but not many outside of it,’ says Partridge.

‘We want to lead those conversations in the consumer press or online media to promote the value of taking independent advice,’ she says.

Guiding younger clients

The focus on younger clients brings challenges, admits Partridge. ‘Many of our younger clients who are just starting their financial planning journey will largely have the initial aim of buying their first house, so it is often difficult to talk to them about other areas of financial planning,’ she says.

‘We don’t push any products on any clients. We simply guide them and help them to make the right financial decisions to meet their goals and objectives.’

Changing client demographics

In the future the firm’s average client age could increase, predicts Partridge. ‘Our clients have generally remained the same, although we have seen a shift in age group with an increase in the average age of our client.

‘We have already had contact from clients whose existing advisers are retiring and who would like to have an initial discussion.’

Verdict: Brett Davidson

Plutus Wealth Management has a vision for the future and it is in the right space to make it come to fruition.

I like the client focus of trying to make advice available to more people and to create easier access without a tie-in to ongoing advice. As Partridge identifies, consumers who seek ‘task-based’ advice will ultimately discover that ongoing advice suits best.

The firm is trying to create more internet access options for clients seeking information, support, knowledge and advice. This makes perfect sense. I also like the multidisciplinary approach across the team.

The challenge, as always, will be the execution. A lot of things mentioned are yet to be developed and implemented. But you have to have the vision first and I wish Plutus all the best on its journey.

Brett Davidson is chief executive at FP Advance.

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