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DFM support research published

2 March 2021

Advisers’ overall levels of satisfaction with DFM providers rose in 2020, with almost three quarters of advisers feeling supported throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, according to Defaqto.

In its annual review of the service provided by DFMs, Defaqto said advisers’ satisfaction levels increased across half of the 14 categories.

Quality of literature saw the greatest jump in satisfaction levels, from 63% in 2019 to 69% in 2020. Accessibility, provider brand, quality of investment staff, service, ease of doing business and online facilities also reported a rise in satisfaction levels.

In contrast, advisers reported feeling less satisfied with the quality of administration staff, investment flexibility, existing business administration and remuneration.

Overall, advisers’ satisfaction was 80% in 2020, up 1% from 2019 levels, with more than two-thirds of advisers saying providers had adapted well to the pandemic.

Pan Andreas, head of insight and consulting, Defaqto, said: “It’s great to see that DFMs are continuing to improve satisfaction in the adviser market. However, it should not be ignored that a number are still failing to meet expectations. There are many positives to be taken from this report, especially how supported advisers have felt throughout the pandemic and how well DFMs have adapted to change.”

On average, advisers are using 2.7 providers for DFM services, a little up on last year’s 2.5.

Andreas added: “The shape of the market is very similar to last year, where there are a handful of dominant firms but with a very long tail. Providers have responded well to the demands of the pandemic and as they continue to acknowledge the importance of adviser relationships, they can further improve their standards across the board.”

Providers were rated in relation to 14 categories:

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