Growing your own advisers

Ethical and environmental-specialist IFA Holden and Partners is based in London and currently boasts a team of seven partners, each of whom is an adviser in their own right.

However, despite the desire to grow the company, Tim Cosway, partner of Holden and Partners, has had trouble finding suitable candidates to join the advisory team. As a result, the existing partners have formulated a plan to ‘grow their own’ advisers from fledgling paraplanners.

Grow your own

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Holden and Partners currently has three paraplanners that it has taken on this year and are looking to effectively grow their own advisers.

“We’ve struggled with recruitment over the last 10 years. We’ve interviewed an awful lot of people and for one reason or another... we have really struggled to recruit people at a top level so we’ve said let’s go the other way and grow our own.

“We’ve got three paraplanners with a view for them to learn us as a business and come through as advisers in the next two or three years.”

Platform consolidation

While common opinion holds that advisers will tend to use more platforms in the post-Retail Distribution Review world, Holden and Partners seems to have taken a step in the opposite direction by moving the bulk of their assets away from Cofunds and Raymond James onto a Pershing platform.

Mr Cosway argues this has resulted in better outcomes for clients and company alike.

“Historically we used Raymond James to manage our money, and we also used to have money on Cofunds. What happened is almost 12 months ago we made a decision to adopt Pershing as our custodian, and that was also the custodian used by Raymond James so it gave us the ability to bring our Raymond James money and our Cofunds’ money together.

“This has made our business much more effective because we have consolidated two platforms into one.”

Because Pershing was essentially the power behind the Raymond James platform already, Mr Cosway says the firm was able to negotiate better rates by going to Pershing directly.

“Pershing is [Raymond James’] custodian, so we effectively approached Pershing directly so there was no change there, and we had better terms than Cofunds so our clients are faced with a cheaper proposition and more choice.

“It’s a little bit of a no-brainer for those clients.”

But just because the company is moving the bulk of its assets does not mean it will lose its independent status. Where clients would be better off, Mr Cosway has no problem using other platforms.

“We haven’t done it hook, line and sinker because there are some people who are still right for Cofunds, but very much our portfolio management system is going to be focused around Pershing.