Two minutes with Philip Martin, Openwork
Philip joined Openwork in September 2011 from F&C Investments, where he had responsibility for the asset manager’s UK retail proposition, and sales and marketing.
Prior to that, Philip was Business Development Director at wrap provider Nucleus Financial Group, which he co-founded in 2006. He has previously been a founder-director of consultancy Abacus Financial Marketing, working with more than 65 life companies, asset managers, IFAs and industry bodies on a variety of strategic and proposition projects.
Philip is responsible for the development of all of Openwork’s key propositions, including its investment, pension and mortgage offerings, as well as marketing communications and PR.
Openwork has just launched a training academy for financial advisers. What was the rationale behind it?
With the average age of UK advisers in the 50s, finding a way to develop new advisers is common sense. Coupled with the dramatic reduction in overall adviser numbers, it is essential.
Do you think the advice gap can be closed?
It will always be difficult to service the number of people who want to access advice, but to whom it cannot be economically delivered. New channels and means of engaging with customers will be essential.
Openwork has just posted its second consecutive year of profit. Why do networks generally find it so hard to become profitable?
Historically, networks were run with all focus on adviser numbers over all other metrics. Now, profitability and risk are rightly seen as key.
How confident are you about the future of financial advice in the UK?
Very – it will always be required whilst UK operates such a complex tax regime and so few people have adequate protection.
What is your take on pensions liberalisation? How much of an opportunity is it for financial advisers?
That will depend on the same economic point as above. We are massively supportive of the changes however. It removes the one single obstacle to pension saving; the lack of access to capital. It can only boost the desire for advice and lifetime relationships with customers and their families.
On a more personal note, what advice would you give your 16-year-old self?
Choose a more remunerative sport to follow than horse racing.
If you received a windfall of £2000 what would you do with it?
Spend half upping my rated critical illness cover to whatever I could get and the rest at Cheltenham I suspect.