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Future of financial planning is 'coaching led', CISI conference hears

Future of financial planning is 'coaching led', CISI conference hears

The future of financial planning will rely heavily on a restructuring of fees, firms and investment in technology, according to a panel of financial planners. 

Speaking at the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment's Financial Planning Conference today (October 6), Paradigm Norton non-executive director Ruth Sturkey explained financial planners of the future will need to embrace technology in order to cater to the needs of future clients.

She said the future of financial planning was going to be much more coaching-led, which will mean relationships and meetings with clients might be done in a way that many financial planners may be new to. 

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She said: “We’ve got a changing demographic of people we’re going to be dealing with as we deal with more younger clients. At the other end of the spectrum is the ageing population.

“There are pressures at both ends. We as businesses struggle with technology that works in a seamless way, [...] robo is not something to fear, it’s something to embrace so you can actually deal more efficiently with people. I think it's going to be crucial.”

She added: “I can only imagine people are going to engage with us when they want to rather than when [we] want to. Most of what we do is commoditised, you can find the answer elsewhere. 

“I really think the fee structures many of us have been working with will need to start from scratch.”

Financial planner USP

Also speaking on the panel, Raymond James's head of business development Anthony Scott explained the future will be about investing in firms and demonstrating the value of a financial planner. 

He said: “We want to be able to invest in all systems and the most important thing about that is probably future [growth], education, scalable solutions for younger clients, putting them through an education, or whether it is just access the system so it's about trying to make, not only our business but other businesses more scalable.”

Scott explained the industry was “pressurised” by increasing regulatory cost and PPI, and at the same time as that, surrounded by low-cost robo advisers coming into the industry.

He said: “We are living in a world that is getting more and more extreme [...] and it’s our job to try and facilitate that. The more people we can help, the more we can absorb some of those costs and make sure that our businesses will continue to work.”

However, Sturkey explained the industry will require a much larger charge. She said future clients will engage with planners in a very different way as people have much greater access to information now.

As such, engagement will be much more on clients' terms, she said.

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