Professional Connections - April 2012
Tightening a retail distribution review-ready proposition will be a focus for most IFAs this year, provided they want to remain independent.
Advisers need to offer something clear and compelling. A way to build better services is through professional connections with other businesses.
Local solicitors, accountants, mortgage brokers and specialist advisers are the main business types on connecting agenda for IFAs. Referrals can provide new business and an adviser’s clients can be passed to trusted firms for the services he does not offer.
Making that first connection can be tricky. Going with gut instinct at networking events, or making use of online search tools and social media is how many IFAs will go about it.
Some adviser networks enable members to connect with each other, with the advantages of automatic systems to make payment and business sharing easier.
Moreover, Tesco law has arrived. This means advisers can link up with law firms and offer in-house legal services.
But when it comes to linking up with solicitors, RDR and emerging advice types have fogged best practice guidelines.
The Solicitors Regulatory Authority is reviewing its code of conduct for solicitors that states independent advice firms should be sought in the light of the FSA’s redefinition of the term.
Advisers may also see potential in becoming a professional connection for other IFAs by becoming a specialist adviser. This could be in areas such as protection and long-term care.
Whichever way adviser firms look at the opportunities it presents, making professional connections is hugely prominent as firms gear up for 2013.