In Focus: Modern financial planner  

Evelyn Partners: We’ve turned away firms giving poor quality advice

Evelyn Partners: We’ve turned away firms giving poor quality advice
Evelyn Partners' strategic partnerships head, Richard Dawes

Evelyn Partners, previously known as Tilney, Smith & Williamson, is about to close a deal on its seventh IFA as the national planning firm looks to bolster its succession scheme.

But the firm’s strategic partnerships head told FTAdviser he has not been happy with the quality of advice some prospective firms have been giving and the lack of interest they have for client outcomes.

While he said he has come across lots of good financial planning businesses, his firm is wary of those with not-so-clean track records.

Article continues after advert

“We've sometimes had a look at a business and not felt particularly happy with the quality of the advice that's been given,” Dawes explained.

“Or we see somebody that doesn't seem to be particularly interested in the client outcome - that's always a bit of a warning sign.”

Some firms have had to pay out millions in compensation for bad advice given by firms before they acquired them. 

Quilter has had to pay out £18mn so far for claims against Lighthouse, a firm it bought in June 2019 which advised on the British Steel Pension Scheme.

Meanwhile, Aviva faces a £3.5mn professional negligence claim relating to Friends Provident, a life business the provider purchased back in 2015.

Dawes said the quality of advice given is an area his firm spends a fair bit of time on.

“It's just about making sure that we're thorough in the processes that we go through in terms of due diligence,” he explained.

“Generally we are good at making sure the advice that we give is good. We're good at making sure that everything we do is as good as you'll get in the marketplace.

“So it's an extension of the same standards that we would look at internally to the businesses that we are looking to get involved in with a purchase.”

Evelyn likes prospective IFAs which are very focused on what a client's journey feels like, and what’s going to happen to the client.

In July, Evelyn bought the client books of Glasgow-based adviser, Callan Anderson, who had grown his business over 18 years.

The way the scheme works is the adviser joins one of Evelyn’s offices to oversee the re-homing of their clients. The firm also tries to mirror what the adviser was providing, so does not look to move assets to a different platform, according to Dawes.

Evelyn also recently bought Capital Risk Management and MP2 Financial in Scotland. These deals added 10 joiners to the business under the succession scheme.

Dawes said as well as coming across some “not quite so good firms”, Evelyn also has to make sure it only onboards good quality clients.