Your IndustryMay 30 2013

Third sector can be a source of new business

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Lucy Haughey, the director of Plan B Partnership, which puts charities and local authorities in touch with advisers, highlighted the third sector’s potential to give advisers more business if they promoted their services and professionalism innovatively.

Ms Haughey claimed that many charities and local authorities have refused her suggestions of enlisting the help of financial advisers, despite the RDR and the fact that advisers have a statement of professional standing to verify their competence.

She said: “So many advisers haven’t cottoned on to the fact they can get referrals from the third sector. A huge number of people need access to regulated financial advice and, frankly, some free advice services provided by councils are not up to scratch.

“But I’ve had a wave of hatred from the third sector ever since I set up Plan B, with charities and local authorities taking the view that advisers are obsessed with profits. It’s particularly bad in Scotland. One director for a charity that represents the over-50s said she would never recommend clients use private financial advice, which I thought was ludicrous.”

Miss Haughey said advisers need to think of “more innovative ways to promote financial services”.

She added: “I’ve conducted workshops on planning a funeral and normally advisers would get hot and bothered about the commercial element. If you ask the audience if they’d consider getting regulated advice afterwards and a certain percentage put their hands up, you’ve got yourself some new business but it shouldn’t be the main agenda.”

“You will get your clients by undertaking more creative work and widening your pursuit of new business.”

Adviser view

Duncan Glassey, director of Edinburgh-based Wealthflow, said: “It is becoming costly to provide an advice service, so advisers are naturally looking to wealthy clients to really add value to their business. But that doesn’t mean successful and established advisers can’t help their community. They are encouraged to hold seminars and do pro bono work by the Institute of Financial Planning and I agree with that.”