It’s good to be back for the first time in what seems like a while, for my now monthly column. In the weeks since the last Fast Lane, lots of meetings kept me busy during the festive period and I caught up with a lot of you at the New Model Adviser® conference and awards last month.
It seems you are not wasting any time in adapting to the retail distribution review (RDR) world and ensuring you set yourselves apart from the rest. With the RDR now in force, it feels as if there is a clean slate from which to write the new rules of financial advice.
Everyone I chatted to at the conference seemed relieved not to have to talk about how RDR-ready they were or how many exams they still had to take. Before the conference, Eldon Financial Planning director Joss Harwood said on Twitter: ‘Will be good to finally step away from RDR this and RDR that! Let’s MOVE ON!’
Another difficult year ahead
While advisers may have overcome the challenges of preparing for the RDR, it does not mean this year will be easy.
Ferry Financial branch principal David Ferry said 2014 would be the year for the IFA sector to finally reap rewards. ‘I’m not totally convinced 2013 is the great year everyone hopes it will be,’ he said. ‘I think there’s going to be lots of hard work to be done and that next year we can reap the rewards from it.’
Ferry is looking to take on another adviser who can buy into his business and his way of working. He said he saw the future of the IFA sector as consisting of a number of mini-networks owned by advisers, with members working with each other and operating similar processes.
Bigger does not mean more corporate, however, especially not to Ferry. ‘I don’t wear a suit or have a corporate attitude: it wouldn’t reflect my version of life planning,’ he said.
Brave new venture
In Mayfair, Ben Sherwood, partner at accountants Hillier Hopkins, is looking forward to big changes in 2013. The jazz musician and The 7 Secrets of Money co-author is set to launch financial planning arm Satis Asset Management with fellow partner Ross Badger.
Sherwood wants to focus on growing Satis’s private client offering through its ‘enhanced passive’ proposition. He and Badger are now working on how to best market their venture to their well-honed niche of US expatriate clients.
As always, I want to hear all about you and your ventures. Keep in touch with me and the team as we travel around the country, armed with video cameras and iPhones.