Financial Adviser has been going for longer than some of its current journalists have been alive and, consequently, has reported on myriad events large and small.
The paper has covered the effects of all the biggest changes for financial advisers, some of which were huge global and national episodes.
These events included the collapse of Long-Term Capital Management (a business that turned out to be pretty short-term); the dotcom boom and bust; the tragic events of 9/11; the famous Gleneagles speech in 2006 that laid the foundations for the Retail Distribution Review; the credit crisis; the RDR itself; pension freedoms; the Brexit vote; and the black swan of Covid-19.
The paper raised the alarm back in 1991, when Robert Maxwell’s unexpected demise revealed just how fragile defined benefit pensions and scheme security were. It covered the pension reviews, the endowment debacle, the split-cap crisis, the rise and fall of the UK star fund manager and the need to rebuild trust in the industry.
The paper has been a strong voice for its readers. It campaigned for the protection of pensions before A-Day in 2006; it urged the then Financial Services Authority time and again to work with industry to restore consumer confidence in financial advice; it waged war on usurious practices by credit card providers and it has called for the current regulatory bodies to keep fees fair.
Over the years, Financial Adviser managed to galvanise a wide field of support for its campaigns, such as the former Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, who lent his voice to our Question of Trust campaign, the brainchild of Nottingham-based adviser Shane Mullins.
Ups and downs
Throughout all these years, reporters have worked tirelessly to deliver ‘scoops’ and exclusives – not just with a view to getting one-up on the rival titles, but with the principal aim of delivering the very best news and information that advisers need to make their business successful.
This task was made easier by the introduction of FTAdviser.com, although online seemed a relatively light-touch affair in the days when 120-page newspapers were the norm.
Online news had only just been born – a nascent idea at the time, as touched on by Kevin O’Donnell in his column. Even by 2004, the website was seen as a repository of stories that had appeared in Financial Adviser, Investment Adviser and Money Management, rather than a first-look medium for delivering news and comment direct to advisers.
This was the same everywhere; Budget reports were ordered, and couriered to news rooms as soon as the Chancellor sat back down – unless you were on a trade paper and then some lackey drew the short straw and had to loiter at the Westminster press room door for their pre-booked copy. Now, you can download it from the Treasury website from the comfort of your own desk.
Press releases arrived mostly by post, and were followed up with a phone call. By the turn of the millennium, life had partially moved on: many press releases delivered to Financial Adviser were sent by fax machines – themselves a now-near obsolete piece of technology.