Amid an ok set of results for Brewin this was an exceptional performance, mostly driven by its acquisition last year of Financial Planning firm Aylwin’s, but it is clear the company is more widely finding strength in its Financial Planning earnings and investing further in the profession.
Half year Financial Planning income at Brewin Dolphin rose year by 30.2% from £12.6m to £16.4m and the firm is continuing to recruit experienced Financial Planning professionals.
Put into context Financial Planning income now makes up nearly a 10th of the company’s total revenue.
This kind of shift is also being seen at other wealth managers who are also reporting rises in Financial Planning income. Increasingly Chartered and Certified Financial Planners are being recruited by the larger wealth managers.
As I’ve written before, Financial Planning income, with its emphasis on recurring annual fees, long term clients and sound processes, is relatively resilient and robust and may also come to be more valued in future in these uncertain times.
It’s no surprise the pace of Financial Planning firm acquisitions has continued this year, pandemic or not, with Fairstone, Progeny, Tenet and others snapping up IFA and Financial Planning firms recently. Others have plans to expand too.
Acquiring firms with good banks of loyal clients and robust fees makes increasing sense from a business point of view and minimises risk at a time when many companies will be wanting to minimise risk.
I was interested to see that most Financial Planning and wealth management firms have moved nearly all staff to remote working but have turned down the government’s offer of furloughing or other forms of support which they could easily have grabbed. The only logical conclusion of this is that staff have plenty of work to do.
This is in stark contrast to other sectors like the newspaper and media world where many firms have furloughed staff or even suspended publication altogether. Local newspapers are in severe crisis.
The financial world appears to be weathering the storm better than most.
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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.