Openwork sets out strategy to become the UK’s leading adviser network post-RDR
– Openwork to offer advisers choice of three business models
– Objective to dominate Restricted Advice sector post-RDR
– Multi-panel multi-tie model to augment current ‘best of breed’ approach
– Whole of Market proposition to attract IFAs moving to AR status
Openwork is to offer advisers the choice of three business models – including a significantly enhanced multi-tie proposition – as part of its three-year strategy to become the leading network for advisers pre- and post-the Retail Distribution Review.
The move, which follows a major strategy review conducted with the network’s partners, principals and individual advisers in the fourth quarter of 2009, will see Openwork offer Appointed Representatives the choice of entering into a single tie model, a multi-panel multi-tie model, or a whole of market IFA model.
The multi-panel multi-tie (MPMT) model will be a significant enhancement of Openwork’s current ‘best of breed’ multi-tie proposition. The existing model will be extended to enable advisers to offer pension, protection and investment products from a broad panel, rather than from two preferred providers as is currently the case. Openwork intends to use the enhanced proposition and service suite of the core MPMT business as a platform to attract IFAs seeking to join the restricted advice space in 2013.
Martin Davis, Openwork’s Chief Executive Officer, says: “The new multi-panel multi-tie will build on Openwork’s heritage in this space and enable advisers to utilise leading-edge systems and processes. Openwork is already the most productive network in the market and the new model will give advisers the support and tools they need to further develop their businesses while providing high quality and compliant advice to clients.”
The whole of market (WoM) IFA model, which is expected to be implemented through acquisition in 2010, will be aimed at advisers concerned about the regulatory hurdles to remaining WoM under the RDR. This model, which will offer services exclusively to IFAs with – or seeking to return to – AR status, will feature a wrap-based wealth management option for the appropriate investments and pensions advisers.
The single-tie model will remain broadly the same as it is today. A key finding of the strategy review was that large numbers of advisers were keen to continue operating under this model and Openwork, which will support all its business models with the same core infrastructure with tailored front office functionality for individual propositions, will ensure they are able to do so.
Work has already begun to identify the programmes required to deliver the strategy, which will be rolled-out in full in 2011. In the initial stages the strategy will involve a re-design of the organisation, which last week saw the departures of Michael Burne and Gerard Moore. Sales and Marketing Director Andy Ferns is to assume a special projects role overseeing the IFA programme.
Martin Davis says: “Our aim is very clear: we want to be the leading network for advisers in the Restricted Advice sector post-RDR. We believe we are very well placed to achieve this goal, but we recognise that to accomplish our broader aims we must also offer services to advisers either side of the main segment of the market.
“The key is to enable financial adviser firms, whatever their model, to be as successful as possible. We are currently developing a range of enterprise development tools with this is mind, and we will continually monitor adviser needs to ensure our propositions remain relevant and attractive. We will also seek to build on the uniquely strong relationship we enjoy with our advisers to maintain the network’s strong sense of community and its culture of support and collaboration.
“With our strategy in place we will have all the core ingredients we need to be successful: capital strength, scalable technology, a strong B2B brand and a compelling RDR proposition. I believe no other network is better placed to not only prepare advisers for the RDR – helping them transition their businesses to fee-based remuneration as painlessly as possible – but also to thrive in the months and years following its introduction.”