Network solicits adviser's clients after leaving firm

Network solicits adviser's clients after leaving firm

A network has allegedly sent a letter to an adviser's clients, offering its services 18 months after the adviser left the network and took her clients with her.

Cleona Lira, a London-based adviser who is now at Celtic Financial Planning, shared a copy of the letter on Twitter last week (November 9) after it was allegedly sent to three of her clients by her old network 2plan Wealth Management.

In it, the network - which was was bought by Openwork in 2010 - said it had contacted the clients “some time ago” to inform them Lira was leaving and that any ongoing service agreements had been cancelled.

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But it also said that, according to its records, these clients’ investments remained under the network’s agency. 

“As servicing rights have not been reassigned, your financial needs have been neglected,” the letter read.

It then went on to offer Lira’s clients a host of different 2plan services, including an annual review of their portfolio and telephone access to a financial adviser.

In response, 2plan said it had contacted some of Lira's clients because they had not been transferred away from its services and to make sure their needs were not "ignored".

Lira took to Twitter, saying she had transferred all her clients, that she was “annoyed” and that her clients were “confused”. 

“It’s been over 18 months - not impressed,” she said.

When asked about the tweets, 2plan told FTAdviser when an adviser leaves the network, it produces a letter in conjunction with the adviser and writes to the clients.

This letter is sent to inform them their adviser has left, and that their adviser will be in contact to arrange a transfer.

“The adviser can then either action a ‘transfer of service’ or a novation. We also write to all the platforms to instruct them to turn off any ongoing service fees being paid to 2plan as the adviser has left,” the network explained to FTAdviser.

In Lira’s clients’ cases, the network said according to its records “no transfer must have taken place”, and that the clients with products were still showing on its system. 

2plan said that with the Financial Conduct Authority’s upcoming consumer duty in mind - set to come into force next year - it sent the letter “in the spirit of offering the client an ongoing service or review” which it said would be available at their discretion and to ensure the product they have remains suitable.

The network went on: “To be clear, we do not want any clients on our system from an adviser who has left 2plan – we are not interested in marketing to them.

"But in the spirit of placing any clients who have not been transferred away, at the heart of what we do, we wanted to ensure we are not ignoring them.