Old Mutual Wealth  

Old Mutual to make 'important' changes to adviser offering

Old Mutual to make 'important' changes to adviser offering

Old Mutual Wealth will be making a number of “important” changes to its adviser proposition in 2017, Richard Freeman has said.

The company’s chief distribution officer said he wanted to make Old Mutual Wealth the place to be for financial planners.

Among the changes taking place next year will be a new management structure for Intrinsic, which will see three business channels created, a wealth network, a mortgage network and a wealth national.

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Mr Freeman said this would ensure focused development of the best support service and proposition for advisers in those areas.

He said Old Mutual Wealth would also be looking at its proposition, with its protection offering already earmarked for an upgrade.

Mr Freeman said: “Similarly, on the investment side, we are acutely conscious that we are likely to be entering a period of higher inflation.

“This will expose those cautious investors who have been able to preserve the value of their wealth through cash and near risk-free investments, but who may now be forced to look at alternative options to protect their wealth.

“Helping them find the right risk-managed investments will be important and we will again be seeking to help advisers reach-out to those clients.”

This year Old Mutual Wealth bought and re-launched the Financial Adviser School and Mr Freeman said it would be applying for accreditation as an approved provider of financial advice apprenticeships.

He said: “We hope this will provide a real fillip as we strive to help foster the next generation of financial advisers.”

For the wider industry Mr Freeman, who sits on the Financial Conduct Authority’s financial advice working group, said tackling the definition of advice would be key.

He said: “Work I have undertaken as part of the review has shown that the man on the street has a very different reaction to the term ‘advice’ than we in the industry. 

“This is an issue we must tackle so that customers can make an informed choice about what services they need to help them manage their financial lives.”

In March Old Mutual PLC announced plans to separate into four businesses, including Old Mutual Wealth.

Mr Freeman said: “We believe this development is an endorsement of our successful business strategy. It presents also an exciting opportunity for the business.

“A lot of that investment we have made in recent years has been directed at growing and strengthening the adviser market.

“Old Mutual Wealth has made a clear and deliberate commitment to face to face financial planning, which our own research and experience shows delivers huge value to end clients.”

damian.fantato@ft.com