Safe Pairs – How to Find the Right Financial Planning Partner

Financial Planners


Posted by Dave Seager, Consulting Advisor statutory futures Associate SIFA Professional

Seeger: You need to understand your partner’s advice process

The introduction of the Dual Code of Conduct under the 2019 Standards and Regulations has fundamentally changed the rules regarding referrals to third parties.

Under the new dual-code system, the Lawyers Regulatory Authority (SRA) expects law firm managers (primarily responsible for the COLP) to put in place processes and systems to promote best practices. I am making it clear that there is

To this end, the establishment of a third-party referral process is the design of a process currently focused on anti-money laundering, acting on behalf of customers in vulnerable situations, and ensuring continued competence. should be regarded as similar to

SRA expects attorneys to be able to demonstrate to their clients why they believe a particular third party referral would be in their interest. Regulators have repeatedly said they should no longer be left to the choice of individual lawyers who may not be qualified.

Your company should now be responsible and have a company-wide process that everyone should follow.

It may be appropriate for a law firm to consider establishing a small committee of approved reviewers, perhaps based on the firm’s area of ​​expertise. Continual referrals of clients to the same third-party firm may be viewed as impairing independence.

But a common question still comes from private attorneys and COLPs: What does “good” look like when choosing the right financial planning partner for your company? What attributes and qualities should be prioritized in search and due diligence?

independence or impartiality

Law associations have always recommended that lawyers be referred to independent financial advisors, but in reality the financial services sector has changed significantly since the Retail Distribution Review (RDR) in 2012, leading to widespread discrepancies. There are many good financial advisors out there who can help you with your issues. Free and impartial advice is provided to those not classified as independent.

In the view of SIFA Professionals, a wide range of solutions and product choices enable advisors to provide quality advice that puts the best interests of their clients first. It may not be in the client’s best interests to refer to a financial advice firm with a narrowly restricted panel that they are contractually obligated to use.

When in doubt, ask your financial advisory firm the following questions: “Are you independent or the market as a whole?” If the company is “restricted,” then you need to understand how restricted that advice is.

Qualification

You will want to refer your clients to similarly highly qualified professionals. All financial his advisors must be well qualified after his RDR, but as you can imagine, some companies and individuals aspire to a higher standard than is required, so these Need to find an advisor.

The best financial advice firms are those with accredited status, which they proudly display on their websites. There are about 800 such companies in the UK and they need to demonstrate a commitment to improving standards, knowledge and ethical practices and ensure that staff have the necessary skills to deliver on these standards. there is.

Of course, such companies will employ individual “certified financial planners” who are the golden rule of advice, backed by considerable technical and market knowledge. Three-quarters of his companies listed in the SIFA Professional Directory have accredited advisors.

It makes sense to seek out financial advisory firms that have advisors with the relevant qualifications and certifications to work with attorneys in specific client areas. For example:

Late Advisor Certification – The basis for membership in the Late Advisor Association. This means that financial planners are not only qualified to advise on stock release and long-term care issues, but also have soft advisor skills to work with seniors, vulnerable clients and their families, and lawyers. I also prove that there is

Resolution Specialist Accreditation – This allows you to establish yourself as a trusted expert in the field of financial advice in separation and divorce matters for potential clients.

Financial Services STEP Certificate – This is especially for investment advisors, financial planners and those working in the banking sector dealing with trusts and real estate. Today, he has over 1,000 certified advisors.

their advice process

You should take a particular interest in the potential partner’s advice process. Because you entrust the client to their advice. QUALITY FINANCIAL Her planners understand the needs, goals and aspirations of our clients whether they are individuals, couples or even trusts and give advice based on cash flow her modeling is needed.

If you want to present your clients with confidence, tell them what they can expect from a financial advice firm, not only in terms of how their issues are handled and resolved, but also what happens after they are resolved. It is important to understand what concluded.

A good financial planning partner will be continuously involved in reviewing a client’s portfolio and financial plan.

Given the above, the due diligence process should include questions about:

  • Partner Advisory Process.
  • How will you manage your clients?
  • How often do you review your client’s portfolio and financial goals?and
  • How to include you as the first referrer in that process, either face-to-face or by flow of information.

If this is a true mutual partnership, then you should find out what questions financial advice firms ask in their new client fact-finding process. In doing so, they may refer legal services back to your firm.

For example, what do they ask of clients in relation to wills, powers of attorney, trusts, etc. What are the trigger points that require your involvement in the financial advice and planning process? ?

paid reward

Your potential partners all work on a commission-based compensation basis, but make sure you understand how the firm charges referred clients for advice and that you are comfortable with that approach. Please make sure that They have all of this clearly laid out in their terms and conditions, so you should ask them to check it up front as part of your due diligence work.

Other considerations

Obviously all of the above are important, but other aspects of a financial advice firm may be of particular importance to you, such as its location, quality marks or awards, reputation or company history, and established trading policies. vulnerable clients.

However, one thing you can’t always check or research upfront is whether the financial advisory firm understands you, the processes you need to establish under accounting rules, and the consequences. , how we need to work with you according to compliance. and professionally.

One way to provide some assurance is to consider a Financial Planning Partner who is a SIFA Professional Member in the SIFA Professional Directory.

SIFA Professionals constantly strive to ensure that our financial advisory members are not only well qualified, but also kept up to date on how to support our legal partners in a compliant manner.



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