From PI to replatforming: how 20 IFAs tackled 2018's big problems

When we surveyed our readership a few weeks ago, we asked IFAs to tell us the business challenges they were facing this year, and how they were solving them. Here are 20.

When we surveyed our readership a few weeks ago, we asked IFAs to tell us the business challenges they were facing this year, and how they were solving them.

You will not be surprised to see mention of things like professional indemnity insurance, or indeed recruitment. But there are other things too. 

Here are 20 examples of problems IFAs are trying to fix. 

Source: Citywire research of 205 IFA readers 

When we surveyed our readership a few weeks ago, we asked IFAs to tell us the business challenges they were facing this year, and how they were solving them.

You will not be surprised to see mention of things like professional indemnity insurance, or indeed recruitment. But there are other things too. 

Here are 20 examples of problems IFAs are trying to fix. 

Source: Citywire research of 205 IFA readers 

Challenge: Training new staff

Solution: 

Allowing time during the working week for self-guided study, but also for discussing exams with more senior members of staff. 

Challenge: Rising cost of regulation

Solution: 

Assessing our business and considering if efficiencies can be made.

Challenge: Securing professional indemnity insurance as a reasonable cost with reasonable conditions.

Solution: 

Had to lose directly authorised status and go with a network.

 

Challenge: Complying with regulations.

Solution: 

Longer hours.

Challenge: Getting new clients.

Solution: 

Proactively asking for referrals from clients.

Challenge: Client overload.

Solution: 

Not taking on too many clients so that our service does not get watered down.

Challenge: investment costs - initial and ongoing

Solution: 

Reducing fees on a regular basis to remain competitive.

Challenge: Platform updates

Solution: 

We are in the middle of replatforming our clients following a platform's unsuccessful attempt at a technology upgrade to FNZ.

Challenge: Implementation of a new back office system.

Solution: 

We have staff who are specifically tasked with this.

Challenge: Recruitment and retention

Solution: 

We have hired an outsourced HR consultant on an ongoing basis, and we have refocused on job descriptions to only recruit the right people. We have reduced our new business amounts while we get our house in order.

Challenge: 'We've been too busy recently, the challenge is to manage expectations for how long it will take to get back to clients.'

Solution: 

Managing time efficiently.

Challenge: 'Deciding which clients to work with. All the large adviser firms say they want our kit but most have very slow wheels.'

Solution: 

Knowing that you can't please everyone, and being flexible.

Challenge: Maintaining trust in the face of industry-wide scandals 

Solution: 

Keeping our procersses as transparent as possible and keeping very good records.

Challenge: whether or not to pull out of the DB transfer market

Solution: 

Our firm has issued an instruction to refocus all our consultants; efforts on other areas of business where the majority of profits lie anyway.

Challenge: Generating new business

Solution: 

Networking and using social media and technology to boost the business's profile. Referals will always be the best source for new business.

Challenge: Making clients more progitable without increasing prices

Solution: 

Getting rid of lower value clients to allow more time to focus on higher value clients.

Challenge: Brexit

Solution: 

Trying to keep perspective and ignore random "facts" uttered by self-seeking politicians.

Challenge: Appealing to the demographic that is retiring without advice and doing drawdown themselves and leaving funds in cash.

Solution: 

We are in the process of building new market strategies, such as a new website and social media to try and capture this audience's attention.

Challenge: Robo-advice

Solution: 

Add value to the face to face experience. Kill the robots!

Challenge: Lack of low-cost advice

Solution: 

We spend a considerable amount of unpaid time fielding enquiries from clients where it is not cost effective to provide them with advice, generally we then refer them to sources of free guidance, but often they cannot actually provide advice!

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