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Positivity in advice market predicting increased business levels and recruitment

2 January 2019

Advisers are feeling positive for the year ahead, anticipating increased business levels and greater recruitment, a new survey has shown. 

A survey of 200 users of Intelliflo’s Intelligent Office software found that advisers view taking on new clients via recommendations as the biggest opportunity for the year ahead, with staff growth coming in second and growing the business through acquisition ranking third.

Advisers also cited regulation, robo advice and merging with another firm as opportunities for their business over the course of the next 12 months.

The results mimicked the trends seen in 2018, with existing clients recommending new clients rated as the biggest opportunity for firms over the past year, closely followed by staff expansion and regulation.

However, regulation divided opinion, with the survey revealing that it was also considered the biggest challenge for advisers in 2019, followed by cyber security. Recruitment and robo advice came in third and fourth place respectively. The results followed events in 2018, with advisers listing the same four issues as the greatest challenges they encountered last year.

Nick Eatock, Intelliflo founder and executive chairman, said it was interesting that regulation was seen both as an opportunity and challenge for businesses but highlighted the “resilience” of advisers and their “ability to turn what might seem like a negative into a positive”.

He commented: “GDPR is a good case in point, with many finding the work they had to do to meet the new regulation in 2018 paying dividends in terms of the service they provide to their customers.”

Although the survey put forward ‘selling your business’ as a potential challenge, just 1% of respondents ranked it as their number one concern, suggesting that almost all of those advisers taking part were focused on holding on to their business over the coming year.

Eatock added: “With so much uncertainty around Brexit and the impact this will have on the future, it’s great to see advisers are optimistic about their own businesses. We know from our analysis of how our customers are using technology, those who embrace it fully are the ones who are reaping the most rewards in terms of business growth.”