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By Michael Trudeau | Published Jul 20, 2012

‘Start with a blank sheet’: Wingate’s RDR plans

Asked whether he would consider expanding his offering to include a non-advised option, such as was mooted by Plan Money’s Peter Chadborn in a previous interview, Mr Cunningham says he would be reluctant to do so.

He said: “I have no particular interest in non-advised online options. It may appeal to the benefits side but we will stick to what we are good at which is giving financial planning advice to small to medium sized business owners who are at retirement.

“Direct-to-consumer just doesn’t fit with what we do as a firm, but the view is stick to what you are good at. You can’t please everybody or you will end up pleasing nobody.”

Indeed, Wingate’s youth is one of its biggest advantages in the shadow of RDR and Mr Cunningham believes other companies could benefit from sitting down with a “blank sheet of paper” to look at a fresh start.

“We started off with a blank sheet of paper in 2008. We asked ourselves, what do we think the model financial planning practise will look like in the future?”

“Pricing fees for service is the biggest challenge for any firm.

The biggest challenge for Wingate has been determining pricing for the new fee-based system.

“People run the risk of under-charging clients with small assets and/or delivering too much. Or, charging clients with more assets too much and/or not doing enough for them. You can have a £1m client giving you £5,000 per year and you are just sending out a statement each year.”

“I know firms that don’t do an awful lot more and I think they may have issues.”

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