Chamberlain and Bamford clash over need for IFA scale

Simon Chamberlain Succession

Simon Chamberlain and Nick Bamford have clashed over the value of small IFA firms and the necessity of scale in the adviser market.

Speaking at The Platforum annual conference in London last week, Succession Advisory Services chief executive Simon Chamberlain (pictured) said small advice firms have historically lied to their clients about their ability to manage funds.

Chamberlain said: “I think there has previously been 30,000 people across the country lying to their clients about their expertise in fund management and rebalancing. It is because of this that the RDR came about. You need scale and resources to be able to offer clients the right solution to meet their financial targets.

“The real value lies in a firm that can have standard processes across a large scale. A two-man IFA firm above a fish and chip shop in Grimsby cannot view 6,000 funds and deliver a good proposition back to their clients.”

But Informed Choice executive director Nick Bamford said client relationships are more important than scale.

He said: “It is all about creating a trusted relationship with your client and being as highly skilled as you can as an adviser, not scale. The value lies in what you can provide at a local level rather than trying to create a national brand.”

Also speaking at the conference, Ashcourt Rowan chief executive Jonathan Polin said to be successful, firms need the scale and the capability to manufacture products and offer advice.

He said: “If you can create that one-stop shop for clients then you can demonstrate a value that is obvious to the client.”