@SIPP commissioned independent analysts the Lang Cat to exam the company and use the report as an example of best practice for advisers.
The Lang Cat assessed @SIPP’s responses as it would typically do when carrying out due diligence on a provider for a client.
The paper aims to help advisers know what factors to consider when conducting due diligence on Sipp firms and to enhance their research and assessment of the market and identify points to challenge providers on.
Eddie McGuire, managing director of @SIPP, said: “Having been saying for some time that the real challenge with due diligence across the specialist SIPP market is to look beyond the headline numbers, we felt it was time to put our money where our mouth was.
“Working with the Lang Cat gave us nowhere to hide but, crucially, it also offered expert insight into our business, the wider Sipp market and all the regulatory challenges on the horizon. The Sipp market has arguably never been more in demand, thanks to pension freedoms.
“Rightly so, this increased appeal brings more stringent regulation and greater scrutiny, but we need to ensure these challenges are interpreted correctly. And we think this guide will help achieve this.”
Lang Cat principal Mark Polson said: “Due diligence isn't about getting a sales brochure from a provider and neither should it be a forensic view of one aspect of a provider's proposition or performance.
“Instead of being a tick-box exercise, due diligence and suitability requires advisers to assess the market with an open mind and they must also be prepared to challenge the result of a provider’s responses in light of specific client needs. There’s no getting away from the level of research and detail that advisers must cover as part of this but what this report aims to prove is that with a robust process in place, due diligence doesn't have to be too daunting a task.”
The Lang Cat report concluded: “It was no little thing for @SIPP to let us put it through this process and we applaud what we see as a testament to the culture of the business. We don’t know many providers who’d go through this in public.
“This paper has been about how @SIPP responded to our questions and, overall, the quality, structure and content of response was good. There is certainly room for improvement and some replies could be better and a lot sharper.”
‘How I learned to stop worrying and love Sipp due diligence’, is out and free to download via the @SIPP website.