20 May Don’t ‘Bank’ on meeting your Adviser! – March 2013
Getting your adviser to meet you, might be harder than you think! The start of 2013 marked a watershed for the Wealth Management industry. The Retail Distribution Review, or RDR as it is known, will come to be seen as a seminal moment in the financial sector since it increases the demands on industry players, such as forcing financial advisers to meet minimum qualification requirements and greater transparency over pricing. Whilst these changes sound like a good deal for investors, one unintended consequence could be reducing the amount of choice for consumers, according to Andrew Mann, Director of Strategy at CDC Wealth Management.
Put simply, an increased regulatory requirement for Wealth Management firms could see smaller firms disappear and even the larger providers drastically rethink the way in which they service their customers. The decision of several high street banks to desert providing financial advice to all but the most affluent, or remove face-to-face relationship management certainly bears witness to this. This creates something of a paradox because evidence suggests customers choosing to appoint a professional for financial advice, typically do so because having a named and easily accessible Relationship Manager is high on their list of priorities. The bottom line is that whilst most Wealth Managers are undoubtedly competent to provide advice, this does not always come hand-in-hand with a named Relationship Manager that customers can meet face to face.
The approach at CDC is unashamedly different. With a service offering in keeping with the true heritage of Wealth Management, customers are provided with a Relationship Manager who is committed to providing independent financial advice, tailored exclusively for each customer and delivered locally, face-to-face and not from a call-centre. Moreover, CDC limits the number of customers per adviser, meaning customers get more one-to-one attention. Whilst one might be forgiven for thinking that this type of service comes at a premium, Andrew explains, ‘CDC has a unique structure which enables us to offer a service that is differentiated from most of our competitors, is highly responsive to change but at a price which is extremely competitive. This additionally allows us to make our offer accessible to those who might not meet the heady entry requirements of say, the Private Banks’.
Andrew concludes with a word about CDC’s ethos. ‘Most successful organisations share a number of key characteristics – they put customers first, they are adept at change and their people continually renew their skills and capabilities. Given that the financial world changes so rapidly, we focus on making sure CDC’s sensing capabilities are sufficiently refined to enable us to identify and exploit opportunities for our customers’.