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Towry's Fisher lambasts SJP's 'extraordinary' RDR transition

by Michelle Abrego on Dec 05, 2012 at 11:40

Towry's Fisher lambasts SJP's 'extraordinary' RDR transition

Andrew Fisher, chief executive of national IFA Towry, has lambasted rival advice firm St James’s Place (SJP) over its transition to the retail distribution review (RDR).

Speaking at a Marketforce conference on the future of distribution, Fisher said tied network SJP would continue to remunerate its advisers with commission after the RDR.

Fisher (pictured) said the RDR had focused on distribution, how products were marketed to clients rather than enhancing the advice process, and predicted a second piece of regulation from the Financial Services Authority (FSA) called the retail advice review.

He said that it would be necessary for more regulation post RDR because 'you're not going to get the whole industry to change overnight'.

'One of the most financially successful [firms] in financial services today is a network of ARs, which operates entirely on commission and will continue to do that next year, which is St James's Place.

‘Their movement towards the RDR has been brilliant in terms of changing the word commission to fee which is quite extraordinary.'

31 comments so far. Why not have your say?


Dec 05, 2012 at 11:52

Gosh, Towry and SJP in the same article. You teaser Michelle! Have you been asked to get the number of comments up today?

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Dec 05, 2012 at 11:53

Alien vs Predator....fun to watch

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Dec 05, 2012 at 11:58

National IFA, Towry. That's a laugh! The head honcho of one very expensive sales force having a go at another very expensive sales force. A quiet news day me thinks!

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Ross Glanfield FPFS

Dec 05, 2012 at 11:59

It is more like dinosaurs shadow-boxing round their handbags!

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Keith Cobby

Dec 05, 2012 at 12:01

It has been obvious for ages that RDR is the second act. Polarisation was the first act and RDR2 will be next (retail advice review!).

This will fully separate advice by fee from commission/adviser charging.

Chartered planners etc remunerated wholly by fee (invoice or monthly direct debit) and financial salesmen either tied or multi-tied paid by commission/adviser charging.

There is clearly a need for both types. The problem with so called 'independent' was that the adviser was often not independent of the product provider.

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Jonathan Kirby

Dec 05, 2012 at 12:02

£2 billion rising to £3.5 billion over 10 years for what FSA?

The removal of the word (& nothing else) commission and substitution of fee.

Find and replace is a feature on 'Word' that doesn't cost anything.

The cost to this country of the RDR shambles will be measured as far, far higher though when people retire with no meaningful pensions or investments and the economy contracts as the workers spending power is lost in retirement.

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Dec 05, 2012 at 12:03

Is this really news? Nobody likes either of them anyway, why am I even commenting!

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Chris F

Dec 05, 2012 at 12:03

This is a good attempt, but it could have benefited from perhaps Hector Sants or The FSA's comments too,

Now *that* would have been a "perfect storm" in the form of a Citywire article.

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Julian Sunley

Dec 05, 2012 at 12:06

Throw in a grenade - wait for the explosion :)

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Simon West

Dec 05, 2012 at 12:06

Calling Towry a "National IFA" was always dubious and now they've admitted they're going to do exactly the same thing next year as they do now and will be restricted in January, this label is inappropriate. They don't even call themselves an IFA now.

As for SJP continuing with commission. Is the head of Towry suggesting that SJP will breach RDR rules on adviser charging?

What is SJP's position on charging? Did you ask for a comment from SJP against this serious accusation Michelle?

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Dec 05, 2012 at 12:07

How can anyone still be receiving commission next year is beyond me, but its seems that SJP have managed it!!!!!

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Simon Kershaw

Dec 05, 2012 at 12:08

Mr Fisher raises a very important point.

All the information I have received on the SJP proposition for RDR is that they will be paying their salesmen commission as if nothing has changed.

Our submissions to the FSA going back to 2007 have contained several queries on vertically integrated businesses including, but not limited to SJP.

Why should SJP be allowed to get away with this subterfuge?

Over to you FSA.

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Alasdair Sampson (FinServ Solicitor)

Dec 05, 2012 at 12:10

Yes....Jonathan, you're right. But missing the point.

The regulator's boxes will all be neatly ticked.

And there will be few true advisers left to regulate. Its easier working with the banks.

Since when did the clients matter to the FSA?

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Jon Pemberton

Dec 05, 2012 at 12:11

Commission or 'fee'...surely it's about the quality of advice and the end result for a client rather than how advisers are remunerated.

At the end of the day how strong is Towry's service proposition and retention of clients? Me thinks they might lose that battle with SJP.

So Mr Fisher unless you're constantly losing business to competitors, be a good fella and 'leeeave it ouuuuut' !!!

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Mad Eyes

Dec 05, 2012 at 12:11

I think they have a 'vertically integrated model'

Whatever that means..!?

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Paul Lothian

Dec 05, 2012 at 12:12

"people in glass houses . . .

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Dec 05, 2012 at 12:14

KevHere - was just listening to Rick Wakemans new Journey to the Centre of the Earth - SJP v Towry reminds me of the sea battle between to dinosaurs

Great background music as I read the usual comments

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PA via mobile

Dec 05, 2012 at 12:22

What hold does Fisher have over Financial journalists?

He runs a salesforce not an advice practice

He is like a self-indulgent door opening mechanism

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Dec 05, 2012 at 12:28

No wonder both Towry and SJP will be restricted next year. The CEO of SJP is manipulating their commission payments, therefore little changes. Mr Fisher is moaning about others who have not adopted his firms high charging, non performing, DIF sales model that will not also alter post RDR.

Maybe these two firms deserve to be restricted. Restricted in attitude, restricted in outlook and ultimately, restricted to the view that the client is a cash machine.

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M E Too

Dec 05, 2012 at 12:35

Is he cross because SJP have been more cunning than him......?

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David Curley Dip extrodinaire

Dec 05, 2012 at 12:36

These Dinosaurs will still be making serious money for stitching clients up with expensive products and funds no matter what they call it next year. The whole thing is a cock up, apart from getting real IFAS to start offering financial planning instead of transactional work, RDR will have reduced the number of advisers, the number of clients able to get advice and worse still it will cause many vunerable customers into the arms of unregulated salesmen who will flog the offshore rubbish and the downward spiral will continue until no will want to save for their futures.

Well done Hector and the leaches

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Kate Brookes

Dec 05, 2012 at 12:38

@dante That comment had me ROFL in the office...good job no clients in at the time !

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Dec 05, 2012 at 12:50

@ Kate;ROTFFNAR will be rife post RDR

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Brian Benson

Dec 05, 2012 at 13:21

how are they getting around the commission rules? Are they charging clients fees in order for partners to receive commission from SJP?

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James Hurdman

Dec 05, 2012 at 14:10

If you changed the headline to "expensive restricted adviser lambasts even more expensive tied sales force" (which is a more accurate description) then this would be a much less interesting article.

I will be interested to see how SJP describe their fee/commission when agreeing the terms of their relationship with their clients post 2012. I can just see it now, "My "fee" for recommending a SJP Personal Pension is much higher than my fee for recommending a panelled stakeholder pension because............."

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Bob Donaldson

Dec 05, 2012 at 15:18

@ Anonymous -Rick Wakeman and Andrew Fisher in the same blog. At least you have a taste in music anonymous although you don't yet have a name!

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Julian Stevens

Dec 05, 2012 at 15:53

I always preferred The Six Wives of Henry VIII.

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Philip Melville

Dec 05, 2012 at 17:19

Isn't, SJP the destination of choice for those dear advisers who are worried that losing commission would disadvantage large sections of the population ?

Put your dog collars back on boys and get your applications in fast- don't forget to learn the company song -SJP,s the home for me and we will have Andrew Fisher for our tea !

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Jon Pemberton

Dec 06, 2012 at 09:46

Paranoia rules...he's behind you! Oh no he's not!

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peter davies

Dec 06, 2012 at 10:52

Rather amusing stuff chaps - Fisher commenting on SJP! I know who is the most successful outfit of the two. Can anyone from SJP provide us with more info on how payments to their advisers will be made from 1st Jan 2013?

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neil jacobs

Jan 22, 2013 at 12:09

It's simple. It's 3 plus 1 and you pay for it from your investments (no option). That's what I understand.

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