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Firing Line: Brendan Llewellyn

The website, which was unveiled two years ago, provides marketing and business development services to financial advisers across a range of areas such as web development, professional indemnity cover, qualifications, investment research tools and strategic consultancy.

Since starting out in the industry 30 years ago as a life inspector for Phoenix Assurance, Mr Llewellyn has worked for a number of the big product providers as a marketing specialist. In 2011 he decided to team up with his friend Mr Kirby, a practising IFA, to bring their expertise to the financial advisory community in a period of regulatory change and digital transition.

He said: “Adviser Home was driven partly by RDR and insourcing experts in various areas to help advisers run their business. Some of the traditional support lines from life companies were looking to be cut or trimmed so the idea of financial advisers as a business is an important one.”

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Mr Llewellyn and Mr Kirby’s status as directors of an adviser hub website means they are in regular contact with financial advisers. One thing in particular that they have learned from regular surveys is that, post-RDR, advisers are starting to invest in external consultancy services as they hit the marketing trail in search of new clients.

He said: “One of the big things this year that have come up is that there is an absolute requirement and determination to get more serious about marketing and getting new clients. In the run-up to RDR advisers thought even more about how to market their services, which was partly driven by remuneration charges.

“RDR has led to people taking on a more segmented approach to clients and the older model of having 100 clients from trail commission is changing. Now you have to go out and find new clients and advisers have recognised the importance of this. Existing clients still provide the vast majority of income, but there currently is a big theme from advisers on picking up new ones.”

This theme is obviously benefitting Adviser Home’s marketing services and has encouraged Mr Llewellyn, who said that ambitious growth and expansion plans were synonymous with higher levels of professionalism. He added: “If you go out seeking new clients it will make you sharper and make your brand more important so this development is helping the businesses to become more professional.”

Mr Llewellyn highlighted the changing themes across all types of business and how important it was to stay relevant and in tune with the times. He stressed there was a growing need to adapt, not only because the digital age had taken over and advisers were seeking new clients, but also as a result of increased competition for wealthy clients.

He said that in this new era broad exposure across a range of platforms was essential, as was a massive online presence. Advisers should not only have a website, but one they were “delighted with” and, at the very minimum, must define their target audiences and ensure that this group was fully aware of the firm’s services.