CompaniesOct 17 2012

Perspective confirms move away from pure independence

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National IFA firm Perspective Financial Group has confirmed that it will move away from offering purely independent advice across its offices following the introduction of the Retail Distribution Review.

At its latest adviser conference in Northamptonshire the national IFA firm said that it will have a mixture of independent and restricted offices, with the majority remaining the former. Perspective it can “comfortably accommodate” both and all offices will be adhering to the group client service proposition to enable it to deliver a consist service across the board.

In July Julie Hepworth, group regulatory manager at the firm, revealed to FTAdviser that while the group plans to be independent post-RDR this is not set in stone and was under review.

This followed an interview with group operations director Peter Craddock in October 2011, who told FTAdviser that many IFAs were “dying on the altar of independence”, when in fact it is “only our industry” that is concerned with the label and not consumers.

At the annual conference, Perspective also revealed that virtually all of its advisers have already achieved their level 4 qualifications in readiness for RDR and are in receipt of their statements of professional standing.

In addition, 30 per cent of Perspective’s offices have now attained chartered status. Perspective has said that this is a key area of focus for the firm and that it will seek to move more offices to becoming chartered in the longer term.

Peter Craddock, group operations director at Perspective Financial Group, said: “Unlike the doubts that have surfaced elsewhere, all our advisers are grateful for the opportunities that RDR presents in terms of the enhanced professionalism of the industry – and greater parity with those operating in other industries – as well as the increased transparency it will instil in the advice process.

“The decreased competition that will result once other advisers have left the industry is also a boon to those who are committed to staying in it for the long run.”

Mr Craddock highlighted that three-fifths of the group’s income is recurring and it is aiming to increase this to 70 per cent while continuing to grow new business levels.

He said: “With 85 per cent of our business concentrated on personal wealth management, we believe there are ample opportunities to further improve our standing among such individuals in the new regulatory era, and will provide our offices with all the support and encouragement they need for their businesses to flourish.

“At Perspective we remain committed to increasing the number of chartered offices in our ranks and to ensuring our advisers go that extra mile for their clients.”