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Tom Ellis, Editor, Professional Adviser
Tom Ellis, Editor, Professional Adviser
Hannah Godfrey, News Editor, Professional Adviser
The FCA is clamping down on pricing practices in the financial advice industry, holding firms to account and establishing whether prices are representative and fair to the consumer. This year, the conduct regulator released a fair pricing framework which gives firms a clearly defined assessment of pricing practices and in what cases intervention becomes unavoidable. In this session, our panel of experts will discuss the implications of the framework and discuss what their pricing strategies will be going forwards.
Kerry Nelson, Managing Director, Nexus Independent Financial Advisers
Chair: Tim Sargisson, CEO, Sandringham Financial Partners
Justin Onuekwusi, Head of Retail Multi-Asset Funds, Legal & General Investment Management
Stream Chair: Philip Martin, Co-Founder & Business Development Director, Unique Financial Planning
Protection is an oft-overlooked section of the financial advice industry, with certain advice firms specialising solely in the practice and others forgetting about it entirely. But protection is an incredibly important part of this market and should be integrated into all financial planner’s tool belts. Protection is not just about your client’s health – it’s about protecting their lives and livelihood in all instances and getting them to the finish line. In this session, our expert speaker will highlight recent innovations in the protection landscape and outline the importance of sound financial advice.
The alternative investments sector is predicted to reach $14 trillion by 2023, up from $8.8 trillion at the end of 2017.
Our expert panel will assess the common pitfalls and concerns voiced by the adviser community and make the case for incorporating alternative investments into your client’s investment strategies.
As a financial adviser, having a solid plan in place to save your clients’ families thousands of pounds in inheritance tax (IHT), can make a huge difference to a surviving family. The latest figures show that people in the UK paid just under £5.5bn in IHT last year according to the latest figures from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) which is a 3% increase on the previous tax year. There are a few different options in place, such as gifting, trusts and business relief (BR), but what strategy is best when looking at saving your clients from IHT? This session will consider best practice when it comes to personal tax planning and how to ensure your client isn’t subject to an unnecessary visit from HMRC.
With the public conversation on the environment moving rapidly forward in large part due to vocal public figures such as Greta Thunberg and David Attenborough – the average consumer has switched on to the impact that their investments have on the planet. Sustainable investing has grown 107.4% annually since 2012 and currently accounts for 18% of AUM. However, is there more that can be done? This session will outline the benefits of managing an ESG portfolio and why this makes business sense for your clients.
The equity release market is surging, with the Equity Release Councils’ figures showing an 8% increase in the third quarter of 2019 compared with the Q2 figures. There doesn’t seem to be much of a slowdown ahead: 33,000 new customers have used property wealth to support their finances so far this year, and with average withdrawals per customers remaining steady, equity release products remain the solution for many over 55s. Our panellists will assess these numbers, consider the opportunities for advisers, and discuss best practice when advising on equity release.
Chair: Kay Ingram, Director of Public Policy, LEBC
Stream Chair: Lee Robertson, Managing Director, Octo Members Group
The decumulation journey is one of the key stages in all retirement portfolios. Your clients are beginning to think about accessing their pension pots and there are so many different avenues to drawdown, from encashment, annuitisation or a combination of strategies. However, there are a multitude of risks associated with investing for income including longevity, inflation, volatility and sequencing risk that all need to be considered when approaching decumulation. This session will hone in on the key focus areas that advisers need to consider when reaching the decumulation stage of clients’ portfolios.
The platforms market has entered a state of increased volatility in recent years, with several of the big platform’s providers snapping up smaller firms and creating a monopoly in the marketplace. In amongst these big players, however, are the new kids on the block – the disruptors who are looking to do things a little differently. In this session, our panel will discuss the monopolisation of the platforms market, the open spaces available to newer providers and the ever-changing state of the financial advice market.
Chair: Mark Polson, Founder & Principal, the lang cat
The bedrock of modern financial advice businesses is the technology used to service their clients. But the issue that keeps plaguing advisers is how to integrate your tech, as more often than not – it is all located disparately and rarely serves to function well together. Add to this the increasing requirement for RegTech to remain compliant across all functions of your business and it can leave even those well-acquainted with these innovations scratching their heads. This panel will consider how to embed technology into business practices, how you can make it all work seamlessly together and what the essential innovations are in the space that you need to be aware of.
Maintaining high standards within your firm is not only important for business, but also to remain in a state of readiness. This could be for a bid, in which case you are preparing your business for sale or it could be for an FCA visit – either way, it’s important to make sure that your house is in order. Hear from an expert on how to achieve this and which areas you need to focus on.
The furore surrounding contingent charging and bad DB transfer advice has consumed the last 12 months of news in the retirement space, with the FCA wanting to ban the practice to stop poor advice and many advisers now terrified of advising on transfers altogether. However, some have been critical of a propose ban arguing that this could potentially reduce access to advice. Our panellists will provide an overview of the controversies around the last 12 months, discuss the implication of a ban and consider possible alternatives.
Chris Daems, Director, Cervello Financial Planning
Stream Chair: Hannah Godfrey, News Editor, Professional Adviser
Professional indemnity (PI) insurance is a given for advisers, however the FCAs noted disparity between fees paid by smaller firms who often pay very large bills, and the advice giants who comparably pay very little is leaving a bitter taste in many adviser’s mouths. How can smaller firms take the necessary steps to protect themselves in the first instance so that the need for PI insurance is drastically reduced. Do claims management companies (CMC) offer a viable solution for example?
Regulatory change is part and parcel of working in financial services. With so many new and confusing regulations entering the lexicon every year, it can be hard for advisers to keep up with this ever-changing landscape. Hear from a leading expert and regulatory body on the latest regulations and concerns for 2020.
2019 saw a massive focus on dodgy DB transfers hitting the headlines, with Professional Adviser beginning their defining broken transfers series, chronicling the poor advice given to so many due to contingent charging. And now with the news that CMCs will be more heavily regulated by the FCA, a clamp down on these firms will likely see DB transfers vanish from the vernacular with many advisers steering clear of offering advice, for fear of being accused by the FCA. This session will explore the latest scams in the pensions space and what due diligence advisers can perform to ensure their clients savings aren’t unnecessarily depleted.
Last year in The Health Report Three, the average age of an adviser was in their mid-50s. However, a new tranche of advisers are entering the market and picking up where the old left off. But challenges have emerged, and many questions need to be answered, chiefly how do you talk to you clients when they’re old and you’re young, are these advisers taking over or building their own businesses and is diversity in this market now a given?
Amyr Rocha Lima, Partner, Holland Hahn & Wills
Chair: Rohan Sivajoti, Co-Founder, NextGen Planners
In financial services there are many rules and regulations that aim to keep firms performing to the best of their abilities. The FCA publishes best practice guides and offers advice but is there a one-size fits all document/process that can be adhered to so that your clients can get their desired outcomes? What does good really look like and how can you tweak your business to work better?
The DB transfer market continues to be problematic for all concerned. The FCA has been undertaking policy development and supervisory work for several years now but it has highlighted problems still occurring. In this session, Rory Percival will discuss core issues around DB suitability to highlight possible differences in opinion between the FCA and sector about what is suitable advice.
Rory Percival, Consultant and Former FCA Technical Specialist
A common issue with many financial advice firms is how to market yourself. According to the FCA 90% of adviser firms have average pre-tax profits of £200k, meaning often there isn’t a lot of capital to spend on marketing campaigns. However, Sanlam’s recent research suggests that half of the industries target audience over 65 have never taken any financial advice, we must ask about the adequacy of current marketing approaches. In this session, our panel will consider marketing best practice on a budget and how to create incisive messaging that reaches this huge swathe of unadvised potential clients.
Tom Ellis, Editor, Professional Adviser
Please note: programme is subject to change