Having spent the past two years building up her social media presence, Allen decided she was ready to support other advisers in running their businesses.
Upon announcing her career switch, some questioned her motives for moving from self-employment to a national network.
The better place the more advisers are in, the more consumers will be helped and that’s where I can make maximum impact.Robyn Allen, Openwork
“In the seven years I’ve been running the business [Robyn Allen Solutions Ltd] I had never considered going back into employment,” Allen told FTAdviser.
“I have chosen to do this. I didn’t need to do this.”
Lots of people across the profession, having watched Allen create an online following through her LinkedIn videos and day-to-day TikToks, were shocked to hear the news - announced last week.
In the 24 hours that followed the announcement, many were asking ‘why?’
“The assumption has been that I was unhappy,” said Allen. “But this decision wasn’t driven by wanting to leave a business. I was still getting business enquiries the week I was finishing up.”
For Allen, the role at Openwork was the right opportunity at the right time.
“I was part of the family already,” said Allen, who operated her business under the network’s permissions.
“I’ve been saying to people ‘instead of a step child, I’ve been formally adopted’,” said Allen.
“If you’re an advocate, it’s an easy step to make.”
Allen is now working with Openwork’s partner firms to help them get ready for the regulator’s incoming consumer duty.
When I first started, I was told you couldn’t be your brand.Robyn Allen, Openwork
While her specialism is protection, she’ll be helping on a whole host of fronts.
“I loved every part of the Openwork role,” said Allen.
“It doesn’t require me to stay in one box. I want to help advisers and support them in running their businesses.
“The better place the more advisers are in, the more consumers will be helped and that’s where I can make maximum impact.
“It was not an easy decision and it involved lots of conversations at home. I decided to take a bit of a leap, but I would have happily continued the business.”
While it is hard for a protection adviser not to think about commission, Allen said if something goes wrong in a client’s life which causes them to cancel the policy there is not much an adviser can do.
“The most important thing is the moral obligation, to ask if they’re ok and if they need support,” she said.