Your IndustryMay 22 2013

Diary of an adviser: Gary Jefferies

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Today we had a meeting with a discretionary fund group we have dealt with for more than 15 years to discuss the portfolios held by several clients. We discuss the current market and the impact and importance of yield in relation to overall returns. The cases for review include a charity, some of our trustee investments as well as individual private clients.


The main part of the day relates to a lengthy on-site meeting with a successful family-owned engineering company. They have a sizeable small self-administered scheme that truly demonstrates the benefits and options of inter-generational planning, and our meeting includes the professional trustee. The objective is to maximise the income options for the older members while looking at moving the major scheme asset – the company premises – to the next generation over a period of time. Due to subsequent legislative changes, this is more problematic than when the scheme was established given the issues of notional earmarking and limitations of scheme pension.


Today is an auto-enrolment day. As we have corporate clients, we are very much involved in the advice on auto-enrolment. Today one of our clients emails us a copy of their staging letter. Matters are already under way with the planning and we schedule a meeting for July to continue to plan our course of action for the business. Mid-morning we set off for a seminar on the National Employment Savings Trust near the Tower of London (hopefully nothing prophetic relating to the venue), detailing its offering and how it will work in association with employers and advisers. Given the possible low levels of contribution I feel it is essential for us to have understanding outside the providers. The message from such meetings is that planning early will make the transition for clients easier.


I am a member of a local independent business breakfast networking group which, thankfully, meets at a sensible time on a bimonthly basis. This week I am providing the educational slot. Finding a suitable topic is important as sometimes I think we expect clients or introducers to share our passion on industry issues such as the retail distribution review and Government Actuary’s Department limits. We should not be surprised when greeted with a glazed look, which I am sure I return when others talk about such areas as the cloud and the like. My message is to be very much on guard on the hot topics regarding Sipps investment being used for exotic holdings of overseas hotel rooms and inner-city rentals that may be far from suitable for clients’ long-term needs.