July 18, 2018
Financial services was certainly a different industry when I began my first role in 1999. Back then, the industry was predominantly a door-to-door, retail-led business that was designed to drive product sales. There has since been a fundamental shift, with good quality, professional advice now the key main focus of the sector.
While this has been a gradual change there have been several landmark moments which have undoubtedly had a significant impact, including the axing of ‘the man from the Pru’ in 2001 and the recession of 2008, which had long-lasting repercussions for financial services. One of the most notable legacies from the recession was the switch from commission on products to fee-based arrangements. In this regard, Arlington was a little ahead of its time, having already made the switch to fees pre-2008.
A change in legislation in 2012 saw industry regulators significantly raise the minimum qualifications required for practitioners to be able to give advice.
Regulation aside, technology has played a large part in shaping the financial industry and is continuing to do so. The rise of so-called ‘roboadvice’ with algorithms standing in lieu of human interaction is a trend I am keeping a close eye on, although currently it has no impact on areas such as self-administered pensions which make up the core of our work at Novus Wealth Management.
The industry overall unfortunately has an issue in attracting new recruits. The 2012 change in rules saw a lot of seasoned practitioners decide to take early retirement rather than retrain, the average age of a financial advisor remains in the mid 50s. With an average age of 41, we’re somewhat future-proofed at Novus Wealth Management, but it makes me all the more eager to support the new generation coming through. It is an exciting and diverse industry with plenty of progression opportunities for those willing to push themselves.
The biggest constant throughout my time in the industry is that financial advice remains focused on long-term relationships. As practitioners, we need to ensure we are developing great client interaction, understanding their needs and challenges and, of course, offering the highest quality advice. This will continue to be paramount as we enter the next big challenge in the shape of Brexit.
Currently we don’t know the size of the impact Britain leaving the EU is going to have but, with a lot of current financial legislation coming from Europe via the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), it will be interesting to see what is adopted and how much red tape may be cleared as a result. As an agile, truly independent firm, able to offer advice from across the market, our team is in a fantastic position to be able to react to changes as they happen.
Whatever the eventual effect of legislation, the industry needs to continue to focus on investing in the future and attracting new talent by implementing more graduate recruitment programmes.
Novus Wealth Management
1999 – Following first ever job interview, becomes administrator at Arlington Financial
2002 – Joins Chartered Insurance Institute (CII), a membership he holds to this day
2005 – Takes the position of Managing Director at Arlington Financial
2012 – Becomes Director after Arlington Financial is sold to Henderson Private Wealth
2015 – Forms Novus Wealth Management with partners following successful management buyout