Source: International Adviser
Tuesday 26th Janurary 2016
As International Adviser celebrates its 10th anniversary, Tim Searle, shares his vision of how the next decade will pan out for the financial services industry.
Just as past performance is not necessarily a guide to future results in fund manager parlance, the same can be said of the IFA sector.
The industry’s evolution over the past decade – with changes in regulation, compliance, technology, competition and consumer trends – offers little indication of what will happen in the decade to come.
All we can say is that change is likely to be the constant, and whatever we think we know, what actually happens is likely to surprise. Those who are unaware of this will falter. That said, standing still and hoping that blind ignorance will see us through is not the answer.
Over the past 10 years, our business has flourished by either embracing or pre-empting change. It is now a very different business with the changes too numerous to list. And looking ahead, there are clearly some issues IFAs need to address if they are to secure success.
How IFAs can harness technological advances in line with other industries that excel, and how we can meet the demands of the modern consumer, will remain the industry’s key considerations.
Typically, our industry and our providers remain poor in delivering solutions that enhance the consumer experience and streamline business process
If the stagnation of product and distribution models is not addressed consumers will vote with their feet and look for alternatives, such as online transactional platforms, robo-advice or, in the worst-case scenario, consumer inaction.
Regulatory pressures will continue, and their impact will be to increase the cost of business and to create further consolidation across the sector.
Too much regulation can have the unintended consequence that fewer consumers receive advice, so open dialogue with regulatory bodies will be key to creating balance.
We must embrace regulation and see it as an opportunity, but for many smaller operations this will be a major concern.
In summary, Globaleye plus 10 will continue to secure the best outcomes for our clients. But how and where we deliver this, and the manner in which we are remunerated and by whom, will be largely determined by the future.