Damian Fantato  

Consolidation can be boon for advice profession

Damian Fantato

Damian Fantato

It is that time of year when the nights draw in and there is a nip in the air.

But all thoughts of Christmas can be put on hold, because here at Financial Adviser we have been making a list and checking it twice to bring you the latest edition of the Top 100 Financial Advisers.

We have six pages of coverage of our rankings for you to tuck into this week, but there is one thing that jumps out, which is the pace of consolidation in the advice profession.

In the relatively short period since the list was compiled, several of the companies listed have already been snapped up by rivals – a couple have been bought by other companies on the Top 100 list.

What does this mean for advisers? Well, it means we are moving towards a financial advice profession that is dominated by a few titans. Indeed the Quilter/Lighthouse deal means almost a third of financial advisers will bewith either Quilter or St James’s Place, according to the Lang Cat.

For advisers, this does not necessarily have to be a bad thing. For a start, these big companies have already demonstrated their desire to invest in the growth of the financial planning profession. Of course, they have self-interested reasons for doing so, but that does not mean the whole sector cannot benefit.

Having a few large companies does not preclude a large, vibrant profession of smaller ones, which will have the advantage of being nimbler and able to offer a more personal touch.

The story of consolidation has not yet reached its final chapter, but hopefully as advisers cast their eye across this year’s Top 100 list they will see a thriving profession and enough reasons for some festive cheer.

damian.fantato@ft.com