This year’s New Model Adviser® Retreat in Brighton was dominated by talk of the impending auto-enrolment tidal wave, building on the rallying cry from Jargonfree Benefits chief executive Steve Bee eight months ago at our conference.
With the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) nearly six months into its existence, the changing face of regulation also featured prominently as advisers picked each other’s brains.
Jason McGuigan, director of Oxford-based Critchley’s Financial Planning, said he looked to draw on the wisdom of his peers.
‘We’re really far down the road with the retail distribution review (RDR) and it was nice to be able to impart some knowledge about how we got where we are,’ he said.
‘Likewise, I came down looking to get an idea of how other advisers were interpreting the FCA rules on trail income and whether it was likely to survive.’
Sharing ideas at the bar
Speaking to Andrew Elson of Reading-based The Beaufort Group, I saw again the importance advisers place on those other discussions away from the main conference room.
‘Sometimes you learn the most in the bar: hearing what other advisers are doing, particularly with the RDR, can be really useful. It gives you the chance to do the sense check on any new ideas, see what others are thinking about this, and it gives you the chance to talk about it rather than just dive in,’ he said.
The IFA community’s focus on peer-to-peer discussion, learning and development has always been central to the new model of advice.
While it would be lovely to imagine it is the chance to meet the Citywire staff that brings the delegates in, it is more satisfying to see advisers talking to each other, sharing ideas and working collaboratively to improve the profession.
I look forward to catching up with more of you at our annual conference and awards in January.