Your IndustryFeb 8 2013

IFA: Forget networks, law firm ‘partnerships’ key post-RDR

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Smaller advice firms could partner up and merge in an arrangement similar to law firms in order to save on the costs of running a business while allowing them to remain autonomous post-Retail Distribution Review, an IFA has said.

In an interview with FTAdviser to be published later today (8 February), Ian Williams, managing director and sole adviser at Ridgeford Consultants, said many one-man firms would want to keep their autonomy post-RDR rather than signing on with a network.

To keep costs down, they may look to merge with other firms to form a business partnership which would allow them more freedom to make business decisions and to keep their own client base.

Similar to how solicitors may partner up to form a law firm, this arrangement would allow advisers to split the costs or administration, rent, utilities and other business expenses.

Mr Williams said: “We will almost certainly merge, sell or something. I believe in an RDR professional model you either have a limited company or limited partnership. You have a group of very qualified advisers grouping together and operating more like a professional partnership and less like a sales team.”

He added: “The reason I have gone direct is to take control of my own business and break away from compliance structures built around selling product.

“The networks don’t understand that the business is giving advice.”

The full interview with Mr Williams will be published later today.