Your IndustryMay 26 2017

Adviser profits and lifestyle funds: the week in news

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Adviser profits and lifestyle funds: the week in news

Before you throw your chair through your office window and jump out after it to enjoy your bank holiday weekend, let’s have a look at the week in news.

Then you can vandalise your office.

1) Money, money, money

Depending on who you ask advisers are either rolling in it or strapped for cash – that’s one thing we’ve learnt this week.

This week the Financial Conduct Authority published data which showed financial advisers made £3.7bn in revenue – or £760,000 per firm, and revenue for retail investment activities has been growing year-on-year.

However the Association of Professional Financial Advisers published similar data which showed profits have been shrinking.

In 2016 average profits before tax by firm were £145,716, down from £158,667 the year before.

So more money coming through the door but less of it ending up in advisers' pockets, it seems.

2) Stop! In the name of pensions

Pension providers can often feel cumbersome and unresponsive but maybe that’s not because they are kicking back in their leather bound chairs counting their money (well, not always).

This week Standard Life and Aegon revealed that since April 2015 they have jointly stopped more than £10m in transfers because of pension scams.

Phoenix last week also revealed that since April 2013 it has prevented 1,393 pension scam transfers, with a value of £29.14m.

3) Old Mutual assured destruction?

Old Mutual’s shock announcement that it would be terminating its contract with IFDS to use FNZ instead is still causing chatter in the industry.

Industry figures have disputed whether the announcement will trigger a big shift away from the Old Mutual platform, but they expect advisers to review their platform providers when there is greater clarity around the changes taking place.

Mark Polson of the Lang Cat said most advisers will wait to find out what the new platform will look like, and what the impact of the Old Mutual group restructure will be, so they can make an informed choice about their chosen platform.

4) It’s a lifestyle choice

Lifestyle funds - which gradually switch from equities to bonds as the investor nears retirement - were in the spotlight this week, as Seven Investment Management hit out at the products, saying they could impact your pension.

7IM estimated that more than £100bn in pension savings are invested in default funds, which risk leaving millions of people with no money towards the end of their lives.

Chris Darbyshire, chief investment officer at 7IM, said that by reducing investment risk at the point when you are at your wealthiest you reduce its enormous potential benefits.

5) Portable fact finds on the horizon?