The firms which will do well will be those with the most robust, recurring income stream and this is likely to be derived purely or mostly from client advice fees.
Small and medium-sized firms with a loyal client base of well-off individuals could prove the most resilient.
Firms offering advice over the phone or online could also do well in locked-down Britain where more people need financial advice but have modest sums to pay for it.
Those firms that have grown rapidly in recent years and have focused on building assets under management will face a tougher time.
I would also expect many smaller adviser firms with poor revenue streams and low asset clients to go to the wall. The FSCS will be busy and it will be a test of the fittest.
The strength of any good Financial Planning firm lies in its client relationships and that relies on some key Financial Planning skills and features including trusted advice, professional knowledge, financial experience, investment acumen, cashflow modelling and others.
At times like these worried clients turn to trusted advisers like Financial Planners.
I’ve been speaking to several Financial Planners since the outbreak started and most tell me that clients remain relatively calm.
I am sure that many planners have had one or two panicky phone calls, and that’s perfectly human and to be expected, but widespread panic does not seem to have set in, at least not yet, and that a good testament to a job well done. That could change, however.
A post-Coronavirus survey by Aegon this week found that the 55-64 age group were most concerned about their pensions and were watching market movements like hawks.
This is, of course, a critical age group for many planners who will have lots of clients in this demographic. Good advice, reassurance and a clear strategy will be in order and many Financial Planners will already be preparing for this.
Once the lockdown is over, and it will end eventually, all Financial Planning firms will have to reassess their models, however robust.
Remote working will become more common, clients will expect more frequent contact - at least to begin with - and there will have to be a reassessment of retirement plans. For some clients that may not be good news but decent planning will mitigate some of the worst scenarios. Clients will want evidence that Financial Planning works.
In the battle of the Financial Planning business models, ‘pure Financial Planning’ still looks like a winner in uncertain times. The traditional values and skills of planners will be more valued than ever in post-lockdown Britain but planners must expect trust to have been dented and rebuilding this will take time.
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Kevin O’Donnell is editor of Financial Planning Today and a financial journalist with 30 years experience. This topical comment on the Financial Planning news appears most weeks.