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MiFID II and PRIIPs mean we are all going to need more training

29 August 2017

With new regulations and legislation on the horizon, financial planning firms need to ensure their planners and paraplanners receive suitable training and continuous professional development, writes Jamie Evans, business development manager, 7IM

The latest Adviser Market research report by Platforum highlights some interesting trends in the financial planning industry. Aside from the usual statistics about the size of the market, how many advisers there are on average in a firm, how firms make their money etc., there was some useful information on the increased need for financial planning firms to step up the level of training they provide.

Some 85% of advisers are currently self-employed, but there is a growing trend for advisers to become employees – some even believe that this type of adviser will eventually even dominate the market.

That firms are employing advisers instead of keeping them on self-employed contracts comes mainly as a result of changes to the tax system. Philip Hammond fronted an attack in the Spring Budget on National Insurance Contributions and, while he was forced to back down on that occasion, few doubt that there won’t be another push. And The Sun may not be able to launch so effective a White Van Man campaign next time! Other changes in the people with significant control (PSC) requirements and April 2017’s amendments to the IR35 rule mean self-employed models are already less attractive.

Meanwhile, there’s a continual increase in the level of regulation and regulatory scrutiny – and much more is coming down the pipeline with MiFID II and the Packaged Retail and Insurance-based Investment Products (PRIIPs) regulatory requirements. These all mean that advisers need to be focus on both qualifications and on continual professional development in order to continue to write the business that they want.

So, as the adviser market evolves, and as many more firms – and especially the smaller ones – find themselves with employees, a key challenge will be the provision of training (both of new advisers and helping the skill-set of the more established in the industry).  Networks and larger firms also face challenges – the pressure of fees remains an area in the news headlines and therefore on the minds of your clients no matter what size your firm. How do you find a cost effective way to help pay for all this training?

As have other sectors, the investment industry often has companies use training as a way to attract and retain better quality employees. Websites such as Glassdoor mean that the intangible benefits for employees are suddenly much more tangible and publically available unlike salary levels. Firms who offer more will see job seekers proactively reach out to them.

And this is where 7IM can help. We have always looked to offer a partnership model to the firms that we work with. Justin Urquhart Stewart is prolific on the financial education front and many more 7IMers are taking up the baton. We also host a number of events across the year, be they face-to-face or online via webinars.

The next two in the calendar are:

12 September – Find out the latest on the MiFID II regulations and how they’ll affect you and your firm. It’s been organised for 10:00 on the Tuesday for an hour. You can register with me at [email protected].  And you don’t need to worry if you can’t make it then as we’ll have a recording available on the dedicated page on our website: www.7im.co.uk/MiFID.

21 September – The next 7IM Paraplanner/ Trainee Adviser Pop-Up day will be taking place at our Bishopsgate offices on the Thursday from 09:30. Lasting for a full day, we’ll be exploring a number of topics from ways you can help clients maximise their tax allowance through to a session with Technical Connection on the changing shape of the Defined Benefit pension market. Again, email me on [email protected] to register.

Watch this space for more events that are still being planned!


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