The numbers of UK advisers will shrink this year.
So says new research from Prudential which reveals that more than half of the advisers questioned in the survey, said that they expect the number of advisers operating in the UK to shrink this year by about 5%.
The survey also revealed that some 60% of advisers have, for various reasons, turned away a potential client in the last month and that 49% have turned away up to five potential customers.
As for business referrals, 11% said that the professional services sector is the biggest contributor to their new business pipeline. This is set to become more important as a new business source, as 40% of all advisers expect these referrals to increase over the next 12 months.
Yet, the biggest driver of business for advisers, the survey found, was the quality of their own service proposition. Some 68% advisers said that current clients were their most important source of business. Other influential factors which advisers say were the biggest source of new business were: being on approved supplier lists (7%), having an online presence (7%) and direct marketing activity (4%).
Head of Prudential’s Business Consultancy for advisers Paul Harrison said: “Analysis of advisers’ new business pipeline over the next 12 months reveals some interesting trends. What stands out is that the quality of the service and value added by advisers is increasingly a new business referral tool in itself.
“Although demand for advice has exceeded supply, the advice community has reacted strongly to increase capacity by streamlining and improving their service proposition.
“The past few years have been a period of sustained change for advisers so it is worth remembering and re-stating the real value of what advisers do for their customers.”