To coincide with the fifth anniversary of its Managed Portfolio Service (MPS), Smith & Williamson partnered with DISCUS to assess in greater depth the issues affecting the advisory market.

Earlier this year we issued a survey to financial advisers and the responses from this were used as the basis for a roundtable event attended by a panel of financial advisers, industry experts and journalists.

The discussion was chaired by Mickey Morrissey from Smith & Williamson who said:

‘We hope that financial advisers will find the discussion useful as a guide to the key obstacles but also opportunities in the ever-evolving advisory market.


“The issues affecting the advisory market today are more varied than ever before. On the one hand, the industry faces growing demand from a changing client base. On the other, there is the need to respond to regulation and adapt to technology. Within this course of change, there are both challenges and opportunities to be found for those that are nimble enough to seize the day.


“Some of the changes that are coming through are structural; others are operational. The advisory market is facing an increasingly sophisticated and demanding client base; it must adapt to meet rising demand from a number of new customers. This poses a challenge: the industry needs to work out the best approach to outsourcing, and under what circumstances it is most appropriate.


“The industry must also deal with the questions posed by regulation, both national and international, including reporting obligations, new codes of conduct, as well as the ongoing justification of action to the regulators. And as if that wasn’t enough, there is the perennial need to adapt, change and grow and to keep up to date with the ever-expanding capabilities of modern technology.”

The key topics explored are below and the links enable you to access the views of the panel:

Intermediary Business Prospects

According to the survey of professional advisers, a high percentage expect Brexit to increase the volume of enquiries. Most intermediaries are optimistic by nature. There is so much business to be written, particularly when it comes to pensions. But do the findings match what the intermediary market is experiencing at the coal face?
Find out more

Regulation of the financial advice market

73% of respondents to our survey felt that they didn’t have enough clarity on MiFID II. The industry realises how much it will change things. How do we balance that with the optimism we discussed earlier?
Find out more

Financial Advice Market: outsourcing investment services

80% of respondents, in our survey, said they expect to increase or significantly increase their use of outsourced investment services over the next 12 months. 53% say it’s fairly straightforward to make comparisons when deciding which investment provider to outsource to, whereas, 27% say it’s extremely difficult. Defaqto’s research suggests that the percentage of advisers outsourcing some or all of their investments in 2014 was 41%. In 2017, it has increased to 46%.
Find out more

Financial advice market: Technology

60% of respondents, in our survey, said that their technology offering for their clients is adequate, 40% say it is not. How can the intermediary market improve its use of technology?
Find out more


This post was created for the DISCUS website based on the recent Smith & Williamson round table event. You can find out more about their investment services here ›