Have you thought about your brand?
What do Uber, AirBnb and Netflix have in common? Valued at $66 billion and $30 billion respectively, Uber and AirBnb are the world’s largest taxi and accommodation service albeit not owning a single vehicle or property. Similarly, valued at $42 billion, the content distribution service Netflix only recently started producing content yet is worth nearly as much as big production houses such as Time Warner and Century Fox. These brand valuations are thanks to the rise of the sharing economy within the service industries - causing significant change in consumer expectations, attitudes and behaviour. There is immense dependence on the ‘brand’ to stand for something and provide the promise of a level of service. Unlike product brands that can provide something tangible; what most professional services organisations sell, including financial advisers, is often intangible before point of sale and the benefits cannot be fully “experienced” until after purchase.
Have you thought about your brand?
FE Analytics has won the award for the ‘Leading Independent Planning Tool Provider’ at the Schroders’ UK Platform Awards – marking this the sixth time the planning tool has won the award since 2010.
Liontrust, Brooks Macdonald and Standard Life Wealth are now live on FE Analytic’s Model Portfolio Comparison Service – FE Transmission, the service that allows advisers to compare performance data on leading model portfolios.
North American growth funds have been added for the first time to the FE Invest Approved list, as funds in the region are viewed more favourably for UK investors in light of concerns over UK equities as an asset class - following the Brexit vote.
Earlier this summer, a statement from the newly appointed Director of Supervision - Wholesale, Investment and Specialists at the FCA – Megan Butler proved that suitability is right back on top of the regulator’s agenda as they believe ‘firms still need to up their game’ whilst demonstrating suitability within their portfolio recommendations. The statement warned that the regulator would continue its scrutiny of wealth management firms until they gain satisfactory evidence that firms are stepping up and looking at suitability ‘as the day job’ rather than a regulatory checkbox.
The topic of charges and fees is usually on the regulator’s radar. The RDR published in 2012 aimed to rectify ‘opaque charging structures’ within the advice market and since then the regulator has kept a close eye on the matter. Recently the FCA conducted a deep dive review of Adviser charging structures in its newly published Adviser survey report which found that 89% of the respondent advisers charged clients percentage fee, 44% had fixed fees and 27% reported hourly charges (titled ‘FCA survey of firms providing financial advice’, published on the 1st of July 2016 –click here to read in full). On the provider side too, across Europe there have been calls for improvement in the communication of fees and charging structures to the end investor (via KIIDS, PRIPS) in a bid to help investors navigate through the variety of charges that can erode/affect their portfolio. However, most investors remain unaware of hidden costs that are unaccounted for in glossy literature from product providers.
FE would like to congratulate all the winners of the Fund Manager of the Year Awards 2016. FE's Gary Wheeler and Mika-John Southworth presented the Global Group and UK Income awards to Fidelity International and Evenlode Income on the night (pictured below).
Fund Managers - the mythical sirens of the asset management industry lure in vast amounts of money and admiration with their perceived intellect and skills. As of April 2016, records show that managers in the UK are responsible for an impressive £928 billion held in investment products (stats from the Investment Association’s website). With some star managers managing over £800million in a single fund, it is safe to say that a handful of individuals hold the prosperity of many of the UK’s investors in their hands and often their judgments decide if money invested doubles in value or vanishes overnight.
First they said it couldn’t possibly happen, then that it probably wouldn’t happen, then that it might happen and until finally today it did happen. Yesterday Britain voted to leave the European Union and although the vote is not binding it seems inconceivable that it won’t be followed through.
Let’s for a moment rewind to the summer of 2012 – the personal finance section of the
Daily Telegraph published a research study that found that the television character most closely associated with the term ‘’financial adviser’’ was the market trader Del Boy, from the popular sitcom Only Fools and Horses.