This IFA Online article appears a bit harsh…..almost everybody in the pension industry is superfluous to the process? I am not sure how Tesco would manage without the “middle men” but I am sure that they have held them to account for their respective costs.
We actually believe these two articles have a more rational approach to the question of value addition and taking responsibility in the process. Again both at IFA Online they emphasize that, the keys to the bespoke service and its control, are understanding what your outsourcing partner does for you and its suitability for your clients.
There does appear to be a general question about where value lies in the investment chain. Do the providers believe that it lies in what they do and that the nationals are now a relatively high cost of distribution? It seems that the appetite for acquiring national advisers is waning. Or is it more accurate to suggest that the investment process can’t afford two heavy administrative functions in the whole process.
With the rate and pace of communication in the industry increasing rapidly the answer has to lie in a bit of personal industry to establish key relationships with service providers, clients and technology to address the process of connecting the client with the correct investment solution.
In the course of doing so a bit of investor education would be helpful. We think the real challenge is in managing the client relationship as they learn the difference between returns without attempting to control the associated risk and achieving client objectives while making the most of the acceptable risk.
Finally it appears that there is a yawning gap (quite literally) between the way advice is delivered and the client desire for that advice. This suggests that there is a long way to go before we achieve the correct blend between the management of client expectations and investment outcomes within an acceptable budget.