CompaniesMar 9 2012

Face-to-face market ‘getting bigger’, St James’s Place

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The demand for face-to-face advice will only grow as market complexity increases as a result of the Retail Distribution Review, St James’s Place academy director Adrian Batchelor has told FTAdviser.

In an interview with FTAdviser, to be published on Monday, Mr Batchelor said that the need for people to get financial advice on their money “will not go away” and that, in fact, the size of the market for wealth advice will likely grow.

He said: “All statistics, all data that you ever see will say more people with more money over the next 10, 15 years, and they need advice.

“Our target market is people that want face-to-face advice. We think that market is growing and because of the complexity of the market and the changes from things like auto-enrolment, then people will need to have someone to sit down with and say ‘help me with my finances’.”

Mr Batchelor’s comments seemingly run counter to many predictions of a rise in execution-only services post-RDR.

However, he said that while there will always be some clients that will be “happy to do their own thing”, this will remain “very much the minority”.

Mr Batchelor said: “There is a market where there are some clients, wealthy or otherwise, who are happy to do their own thing. They will do their own research and just buy off-the-market because they know what they want.

“But that is very much the minority in my view. The world is too complex.”