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Wealth Manager: Saunderson House's new MD rings the changes
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by Elsa Buchanan on Sep 19, 2013 at 09:30
Saunderson House managing director Tony Overy takes pride in the firm being ‘one of the only companies that have been retail distribution review (RDR) ready for 18 years’.
Overy, who took the reins when chief executive and former Wealth Manager cover star Nick Fletcher stepped down from the company in November 2011, said the firm marked the introduction of the RDR by adding 43 clients in the first quarter of the year, after having attracted a total of 100 clients in 2012.
‘RDR has been very interesting for the industry and we are now seeing businesses falling apart. It might take six to 18 months for RDR’s impact to be felt, and changes to come through. For many wealth managers, it’s a complete change to the business model. You have to go out and sell your services anew,’ he says.
‘The main issue will be will really be felt when trail commission falls away. The transition from trail to a fee-based model will be difficult for other players.’
Looking across the market historically, Overy says he has seen ‘poor service, opacity of charges and a business that has been driven by selling products, not advice.’
Looking back over his career, the managing director jokes: ‘It’s quite difficult at my age to remember how I got into the financial world’.
His initial connection to the sector came in the form of an uncle, who was in the shipping insurance industry in the City in London. ‘That was it really,’ he admits.
Overy left school at 16, and began his career in 1984 at Commercial Union. There, he spent a few years, ‘learning the ropes of the pension business’ before moving to Barclays Life.
It was after his spell at Barclays Life that Overy joined Saunderson House in 1989. ‘I wanted to learn to be an adviser,’ he says.
‘Saunderson House was your traditional IFA,’ explains Overy, recalling the period when he joined as a trainee financial adviser.