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Advisers Struggling To Complete Transition

Head of Intermediary Services at Investec Wealth & Investment Mark Stevens
Head of Intermediary Services at Investec Wealth & Investment Mark Stevens

IFA Magazine Exclusive

New research suggests that four out of five (80%) of intermediaries believe that some advisers will struggle to fully complete the transition from commission to fee-based remuneration before the FCA’s legacy business ‘sunset clause’ in April 2016.

The figures come from Investec Wealth & Investment which carried out the research amongst IFAs.

The research revealed that advisers risk missing the deadline due to failure to change their business model (cited by 59% of those who responded) and a fear of losing clients and revenue (58%).  Nearly half (49%) of IFAs cited administrative inefficiency. A third (32%) believe that some advisers are waiting for providers to stop trail commission altogether before making the transition. What’s more, the survey also discovered that advisors may not appreciate that from 31st December 2014, trail cannot be taken automatically on top-ups to existing arrangements.

Since the introduction of RDR, says the research report, IFAs have seen an average of 61% of their commission-based revenue shifting to fee-based revenues. However, 15% of advisers have so far moved just one quarter of their commission based revenues to fee-based revenues and 28% have half, or more, to transfer.

Head of Intermediary Services at Investec Wealth & Investment Mark Stevens, said: “This study shows there is widespread doubt in the adviser community that all IFAs will be able to make the transition to a fee-based model before the sunset clause takes effect.  For those firms that have yet to change their business model the challenge becomes more formidable.

“Faced with the changes required by the RDR, advisers have increasingly outsourced client portfolios to a discretionary fund manager.  In doing so they have been able to access an investment professional, delegate the day-to-day investment management process and reduce administration.  We have seen a sustained increase in both the quality and quantity of our DFM partnerships and believe this trend will continue, driven by the demand from firms that still face having to make fundamental changes to their business models.”

Within RDR, advisers are required to ensure transparency of all costs and inform clients of whether they are providing advice on an ‘independent’, or ‘restricted’ basis. The change is intended to remove the risk of clients continuing to pay opaque charges without any ongoing advice, remove commission bias and ensure all recommendations are suitable.

 

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