What's on my mind

Contracts matter: don’t take chances

12th October 2016

Contracts are a part of commercial life. The main ones affecting intermediary firms are those with clients, employees – and in particular advisers, and also those made with third party suppliers, most commonly life companies, platforms and IT software companies. It’s a sad fact that some financial intermediaries spend minimal amounts

Don’t forget inducements

3rd October 2016

In January 2014 the FCA issued Finalised Guidance 14/1: Supervising retail investment advice: inducements and conflicts of interest. This explained their concerns and why certain practices are likely to create conflicts of interest and result in firms not acting in their customers’ best interests. They said we would consider further

All you need to know on selling your advice firm

12th September 2016

The sale of an intermediary business is usually the single largest “capital event” for most owners. The old adage, “You don’t get a second chance to make a good first impression” is one to bear in mind from the outset. A number of actions and decisions make a successful sale more

Remuneration: have you got it right?

2nd September 2016

Remuneration is often a challenge for many intermediary firms principally to get the balance right between paying for results and retaining advisers and staff. The FCA and their predecessors, the FSA, have published guidance – see the article above – but how in practice should you go about setting and

Brexit – its impact is already making itself felt

17th July 2016

The outcome of the vote will have a significant effect on intermediaries, providers and fund managers and the FCA, whilst politically neutral on the issue of Brexit, confirmed in a statement on 24th June 2016 following the vote that: Brexit "has significant implications for the UK". It pointed out that much

How confident would you be of the outcome if the FCA paid you a visit?

15th July 2016

The need for intermediaries to be confident that their processes are robust and deliver consistent outcomes has never been greater. The FCA's steady stream of Papers (for the most part very readable despite comments from some to the contrary) is worth studying, in particular a number published since 2014:

  • Finalised Guidance


Culture and conduct are key

15th July 2016

Culture and conduct have been two of the most hotly debated terms in the financial services industry during the last few years. It is no longer sufficient merely to comply with the rules. The FCA now expects firms to take responsibility for establishing an ethical culture that entrenches good conduct

Just another year or “the year”?

12th July 2016

Is it "business as usual" in your firm or is this the year that you want “to make it happen" - be that changes/improvements in your firm, a change in your lifestyle or even perhaps a decision to start to plan for an eventual sale? My point is that businesses are

Writing & Speaking

To read the various articles and papers I've written in the recent past, please click here