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Wealth Manager: Brooks Macdonald's joint MDs explain how to shine post-RDR

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by Danielle Levy on Nov 22, 2012 at 00:01

The retail distribution review (RDR) and the potential for even more advisers to outsource investment is likely to further power growth at Brooks Macdonald, a firm known for its strong links with the adviser community.

But joint managing directors Andrew Shepherd and Nick Holmes – while aware of the opportunities the RDR will bring – view the self-invested pension plan (Sipp) market as having the greatest growth potential for the company.

‘The amount of money in poorly performing with-profits and managed funds is absolutely staggeringly enormous,’ Shepherd explains.

‘All of that business has to go through financial advisers because they need to give advice on pensions. For a proportion, Sipps will be the right route and we strongly believe we are in a great position to manage those assets,’ he adds, highlighting Brooks’ experience in the area, which amounts to over 15 years.

The chance to win more investment business from advisers should not be underestimated though, Shepherd says, given there are still ‘tens of thousands of advisers’ the firm does not yet know, alongside the potential for more referrals from existing adviser clients. But he is realistic about an increasingly competitive market.

‘We work very hard to ensure our proposition works within that [IFA] community, which is going through a huge amount of change at the moment, and therefore there are huge opportunities right now to talk to IFAs as they make decisions,’ he says.

‘The other side of that particular coin is that many will have made decisions by the middle of next year. We are finding a lot of IFAs are starting that decision-making process rather than finishing it, at this point in time.

‘The question is, once they have made decisions, does that means the potential for growth is limited for Brooks Macdonald? I don’t think so. I think service becomes more important.

‘The fact that we are on the ground throughout the UK hand-holding and talking to IFAs on a daily basis, I think they will get to understand the service levels available in the market. As I believe ours are as good as we can see out there, there will be more opportunities from that perspective.’

He describes the RDR as a ‘continued’ but not necessarily a ‘big bulk’ opportunity. This is shown by the trend towards panels within adviser firms when previously one discretionary manager may have been favoured.

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