Pensions  

Mystery Shopper – Wolverhampton

Each week the mystery shopper seeks advice from independent and tied advisers in the UK. The aim is to find out whether advisers are delivering the goods when it comes to the all-important initial telephone contact between client and adviser. It is only intended to evaluate this first interview, and it is understood that further meetings would be necessary before final decisions could be made. The purpose is not to expose poor selling practices but to show constructively any weaknesses in the advice process.

Adviser (restricted whole of market)

Howard Wright Financial Planning, 6 Oaktree House, Codsall, Wolverhampton, WV8 1DP

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Speed of response: Time of call was 2.01pm. The call was answered after three rings. 5/5

Telephone manner:

Friendly and courteous. 5/5

Relevant qualifications:

Level four diploma. 5/5

Payment method:

No charge for initial meeting. The advisory firm work on a set fee basis. Set-up cost £1,000, followed by annual charges depending on what service would be required. 5/5

Guidance given:

After quizzing the shopper about his knowledge, the adviser ran through the basics of the auto-enrolment process and Nest. The adviser said that not-for-profit organisations such as Nest offered less choice, while the others like the insurers would offer more investment choice, but – unlike Nest – were not guaranteed to take on a scheme of the shopper’s size. The adviser also explored the possibility of reducing the firm’s national insurance bill through salary sacrifice. 5/5

Knowledge:

The adviser gave a very broad perspective of choice with clarity, and explained technical aspects well. 5/5

Email/web presence.

ashley.smith@howardwright.co.uk
www.howardwright.co.uk 5/5

Verdict:

The adviser had a good grasp of what is required, and a manner that would help to reassure those who feel intimidated by pensions.

35/35

Adviser (Independent)

Bright Wealth, Subani House, Old Stafford Road, Slade Heath, Wolverhampton, WV10 7PJ

Speed of response:

Time of call 2.34pm. The call was answered after four rings. 5/5

Telephone manner:

Avuncular and reassuring. 5/5

Relevant qualifications:

Level four diploma. 5/5

Payment method:

No charge for initial meeting. Estimated set-up cost £2,000. Ongoing fees depended on what was required. 5/5

Guidance given:

The adviser explained the auto-enrolment process and the benefits of getting ahead of the game and setting up a scheme well before the start date. He added that the firm would not be required to use Nest, and discussed a range of choices while warning some might not want a scheme of such size – while Nest would do automatically. 4/5

Knowledge:

The adviser was clearly highly knowledgeable. He mentioned a way to reduce the cost of consultation and smooth the process. 4/5

Email/web:

nick@brightwealth.co.uk
www.brightwealth.com 5/5

Verdict:

This shopper was impressed with the reassurance offered by the adviser and the assured manner with which he answered questions.

33/35

Adviser (Independent)

Sigma Wealth IFAs, The House by the Square, 10-12 Wood Road, Codsall, Wolverhampton, WV8 1DE

Speed of response:

Time of call: 3.06pm. The call was answered after one ring. 5/5

Telephone manner:

Courteous and friendly. 5/5

Relevant qualifications:

Level four diploma. 5/5

Payment method:

No charge for initial consultation. He said estimated set-up fee would be in the region of £3,500 to £5,000. Annual charges would also be applicable. 5/5

Guidance given:

The adviser said that the firm’s start date was likely to be in mid-2016, but added that there are good reasons to set up the scheme early because of the amount of paperwork involved. He also said that the shopper would not be required to use Nest. 3/5