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Tenet vows not to shoehorn advisers into independence

Support services firm and network Tenet has vowed not to ‘shoehorn’ advisers into independent advice post-Retail Distribution Review, following its extensive campaigning over recent months highlighting the misconception of how onerous it will be to remain as an IFA under the new rules.

Keith Richards, group distribution and development director at Tenet, said that while the firm “fully expects” to see the majority of its existing advisers continue as IFAs for the foreseeable future, but it has also taken a “very balanced and pragmatic approach” to equally support firms who choose to operate a restricted advice model.

He said: “Following an extensive transformation programme to both comply with and enable development in the post-RDR world, Tenet was one of the first support service groups to publicly declare that maintaining independent financial advice will not be as onerous as many had predicted.

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“[However] Tenet has no intention of trying to shoehorn adviser firms in any specific direction. We believe we have a responsibility for presenting advisers with the facts to allow them to make their own informed choices regarding advice status - on either an AR or a DA basis.”

Technology is a particular area that Tenet is investing “heavily” in for the year ahead, Mr Richards said, following the introduction and on-going development of a new back and front office technology solution, ‘Tenet advantage’.

He said the firm has also introduced its professional development and education solution to the advisory market and added that its ‘adviser development programme’ for 2013 will “create business opportunities which ultimately lead to higher standards of professionalism and better consumer outcomes”.

Mr Richards said: “Given past experience of significant industry upheavals, Tenet and the advisers it supports are particularly upbeat.

“That being said, we appreciate the need to adapt and see 2013 as a key year for refinement, encouragement and the sharing of best practice, to help all firms under our umbrella to quickly and confidently evolve a more sustainable model for the future.”