PTL boss urges advisers to be more innovative

The managing director of PTL, an independent governance services provider, claimed that advisers should to devise “innovative solutions” that steal a march on scheme managers who offer “vanilla” propositions.

Mr Butcher said: “The recent and significant trend of large managers making the move in to the master trust space is evidence of the fundamental changes going on within the pensions landscape. They have identified a commercial opportunity and are doing the sensible thing by using their skills and resources to leverage off, which will make the role of the IFA even more tenuous in the future.

“If big managers have the capabilities, why use an intermediary?”

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He added that advisers would find themselves “in a difficult position” unless they could offer “sophisticated, intelligent opportunities” that gave clients added value that could not be found elsewhere in the market.

Mr Butcher said big advisory firms in particular had been struggling to catch up with defined contribution pensions because they were either struggling with the transition from defined benefit or did not appreciate the opportunities DC presented.

He added: “Part of the problem we have witnessed is that it seems IFAs are still struggling to see where they fit into this new world and how to make the most from it.

“Unless they do something soon, they will find themselves edged out of the market.”

Adviser view
Joss Harwood, director of County Durham-based Eldon Financial Planning, said: “There will be some intermediaries who wish to work in niches, but I suspect that most are not looking to specialise in this way. Indeed the shift to holistic financial planning in the past few years, in conjunction with the new regime that we have post-RDR, means that true financial planners are emerging, offering a broader service.”