An advisory service for advisers

Apologies to anyone who might think this is an advert. It definitely is not, but I have been asked by Mortgage Strategy’s illustrious editor (I think that’s how he describes himself) to give an update on Lifetime Advisory Services.

I have also been asked to explain why the proposition is services-only rather than offering full compliance responsibility which other firms provide.

Key Retirement Solutions looked long and hard at the market to determine what advisers want. This also involved getting input from providers who receive regular feedback from IFAs and brokers.

The message was clear that advisers and firms want to feel safe, but that in feeling safe they want to retain compliance responsibility for equity release business. They want support but do not want to lose control. Compliance support is part of our proposition when required and is tailored to firms’ requirements.

As well as training and the necessary tools, fact-finds, research and case tracking are available.

Case feedback is provided on initial business and this available in a bespoke manner. Product profiles to help with analysis are also available to ensure knowledge levels are maintained.

The expectation was that those who would want our service would be those transacting a minimum of three cases per month but enquiries received so far reflect a wider mix than this. Around half of those enquiring are relatively new to the market. They are growing their equity release business levels and want to dovetail our service with their growth. This is good news as it shows a considerable number of advisers and firms want to ensure that quality of advice is their top priority.

The service is not for advisers transacting a few cases per year, as knowledge decay will be considerable.

We are also seeing a number of firms consolidating their advice structures. They are limiting the number of advisers providing equity release advice to one or two specialists.

Advisers transacting larger and more complex cases also find our service appropriate. Case numbers can be important but interest is also appropriate from those transacting less but regular business if they are committed to giving quality advice.