Intrinsic says it backs ‘good’ IFAs

Intrinsic says it backs ‘good’ IFAs

The chief distribution officer of Old Mutual Wealth has said the company is committed to independent advice “but only if it’s good.”

Richard Freeman was speaking after Intrinsic was accused of forcing advisers to go restricted through a review of its members.

The exercise, which started in February, saw field staff visiting firms across the country and found some advisers were not meeting the regulatory requirements of independence.

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While Mr Freeman conceded that restricted advice made life easier for companies such as Old Mutual Wealth, he said the company was not forcing advisers down that route.

He said: “We have said to some of our IFAs you must become restricted or you must leave if you are determined to stay an IFA.

“We will get to a number of IFAs who are perfectly capable of doing a really good job. but they must comply with the rules. We have been very clear on that.

“Asking them to go restricted is for the good of them and for the good of their clients.

“We believe a well-structured restricted proposition that has got good oversight is better for the type of client sector we play in.

“We will end up probably with several hundred IFAs who are very good and producing really good quality business and good ambassadors for us. We don’t want IFAs who are not acting in a proper way.

“But we are not making people move to restricted because of our strategy.”

At the moment Old Mutual has 1,287 restricted financial planners and 451 IFAs, as well as 1,611 mortgage and protection advisers.

Mr Freeman admitted it was “very difficult” for financial advisers to demonstrate independence.

He said Old Mutual Wealth was increasingly seeing companies where most of their advisers are restricted but one or two are independent so their clients can access a full service.