From Special Report: At Retirement - May 2012
Hornbuckle Mitchell offers flexibility and choice
ADVERTORIAL: Stewart Dick talks about the importance of providing advisers with options and backing that up with excellent service.
For Stewart Dick, head of sales at Hornbuckle Mitchell, running a successful Sipp and Ssas proposition means supporting advisers and offering clients the maximum amount of flexibility. It also means providing a range of at retirement solutions to make sure the individual’s needs are met throughout the retirement journey.
He says: “Hornbuckle Mitchell is very much a company that is here to help. We have eight consultants working in the field who are supported by a desk-based consultancy team and technical support as well. We are looking to work closely with advisers to help them find the best solutions.”
Celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, the typical client tends to be high net worth individuals, with an average scheme and case size of around £275k. All business is submitted through financial advisers, which means all of the firm’s resources are channelled into helping them put together the best proposition for the advisers’ clients rather than dealing with them direct. Underpinning all of this is five guiding principles that govern the entire company, the first of which is making sure the products offer the maximum amount of flexibility.
“If you are looking at Sipp or Ssas, it is very much about being the most flexible pension plan possible for the individual and being member directed,” Mr Dick says. “It should be a pension for life that allows them the flexibility in terms of the accumulation phase and building up the pension pot and should then be something that stays with them in retirement as well, whether that be through capped drawdown, scheme pension or flexible drawdown. We will try to work with financial advisers to find solutions and ways to make things work.”
The second principle is that clients should own the assets that are held within the product. In fact, Hornbuckle Mitchell offers a co-trustee structure where the member is a trustee of the plan alongside the firm. “It certainly appeals to the entrepreneurial spirit you so often see in self-invested pension members,” Mr Dick adds. “It is something people assume is always the case, but that is not true of many providers.”
A further central tenet of the proposition is ensuring service excellence so that strong products are supported by even better service. That means things like having a dedicated point of contact on the administration side, rather than a call centre or broad teams dealing with specific types of transactions. It also means the company has invested heavily in a new back-office system to maximise automation, freeing up time for the individual administrators to speak to advisers and better understand what they are trying to achieve for their clients.
“It is fairly straightforward to come to the marketplace with a Sipp structure. You can copy anyone’s Sipp and charging structure. However, if you are going to be successful you have to get the service right and that is absolutely vital to us,” Mr Dick says. “Once a Sipp has been set up, that case will be looked after by the same individual from cradle to grave. If you are an adviser with multiple clients with Hornbuckle Mitchell, you will deal with the same people for all of your cases, so the service is consistent and personal.