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It is now almost two years since ‘M’ day. Many mortgage advice firms have learned the lesson that the FSA regime is much more exacting than the old code of practice. That is why mortgage advice became regulated, after all. Some firms have learned the hard way and have been censured by the regulator. So too have some mortgage networks. The initial growth of mortgage networks is settling down to the few that are built to last. Many of those that failed were just not geared up to supporting their members with the unfamiliar demands of the FSA, let alone balancing the needs of the business.

After two years, many firms are becoming more confident in balancing business growth with business risk. Advisers are starting to shake off the dust from their investment advice qualifications and exploring ways of putting them into use to develop services for their clients. It is better to retain and serve existing clients than to keep finding new ones, but it can be risky to pass on opportunities to the competition. Of course, it doesn’t help if their network does not have investment permissions, but there are still ways that adviser firms can enter into this market. Introducer agreements with investment specialists are one way of adding to businesses opportunities. Provided that they are properly written and fall within the regulated activity they are a valuable way of retaining the client by enhancing the service. Where there’s a will, there’s a way.

As you would expect from the UK’s longest established network, Burns-Anderson knows about managing risk and we have excellent relationships with the regulators and product providers. We have all the permissions adviser firms’ need and the experience to back these up. Which is why we can afford to offer choice backed up by proper business consultancy. This translates into business advantage to our members.

Management is ensuring that things are done right; leadership is ensuring that the right things are done. A financial adviser network’s role is to help members combine the two to make a successful, risk-free business; doing the right things right.