Hardman & Co, the independent research and analysis group, hosted a truly informative webinar last Thursday, May 13th, as part of their New Entrant Network, on succeeding in the financial adviser market.
The webinar was hosted by Martin Fox, Bulletin Marketing, and included an esteemed panel of industry experts, some who make up the New Entrant Network. Here is a quick summary of the best points made during the hour long conversation.
The Adviser market can be a challenging landscape for funds, especially as a new entrant. One of the points Anna Long, Director of Woodside Corporate Services, raised was, “high net worth individuals need to see due diligence to feel confident there is a good reason to invest.”
Long, who is responsible for business development and operations within her group, stressed, “support can drift away,” if all information on a particular proposition is not available to investors. Especially as a new fund, without a track record.
As part of the New Entrant Network Long provides custodian and administration services, and puts emphasis on new funds entering the adviser market with the clear and forth coming due diligence.
A crucial question asked most places in the financial industry is – where should we be with ESG? ESG can be an excellent point that advisers can connect with their clients on, and new entrants can make the most of this.
Dr Brain Moretta, head of tax-enhanced research at Hardman & Co, tackled this question by classifying Impact investing and ESG compliance. While Impact Investing means doing good, ESG compliance means doing no harm.
Realistic timeframes need to be given to advisers, these should be exits in 5 or 10 years, and in time those who are buying in or buying these businesses will increasingly be looking for ESG proven credentials. This means ESG needs to be planned in now.
ESG compliance may help a deal, or help a business realise a better price. Moretta commented, “It’s essentially a carrot and stick approach.” The stick Moretta was referring too will be regulatory in time.
No need for new entrants to fret however as one element of ESG, Governance can be an immensely positive for investee companies, along with driving investment. Good governance leads to good reporting, and good business practice results in a more favourable investment.
Diversity, alongside environmental sustainability issues, are essential and need to be put in place as soon as possible. Advisers and their clients are increasingly conscious of ESG investing, and will likely only get more so as regulation develops over the next few years.
Ultimately for new entrants the biggest hurdle for succeeding in the adviser market is the lack of track record. On this Daniel Rodwell, CEO of Growth Invest, highlighted this is especially difficult for new funds right now, not least because the pandemic has halted face to face interaction.
However there are a number of platforms available for new funds to establish an audience, Growth Invest in one such whole of market platform, with an adviser focus. Joining platforms will attract larger advisory firms.
Rodwell was keen to note that if new entrants join a platform they are listed next to established funds, so they best be pitch perfect. Rodwell added. “Track record is really important and if a successful entrepreneur is involved in a new entrant fund, highlight them and their prior success and what it means in the offering.”
The New Entrants Network
At the end of the webinar Richard Angus, head of business development at Hardman & Co, shared an overview of the New Entrant Network, and why it was set up. For Angus, the importance of joining a community with deep sector knowledge can’t be underestimated.
The New Entrant Network was started in 2018 for people established in the (S)EIS space to support those trying get into it. Everyone who spoke at the webinar wants to help new entrants into the sector.
If you would like to watch the webinar, where these points are covered in much more detail and an insightful Q&A was held, please follow the link here.