I’ve heard divergent views on the future of firms like ours in the past week or so. One was from a ‘vertically integrated’ fund manager and tech platform with its own saleforce who told us we were a rather sad and dying breed and should sign up with them before it’s too late. The other, the subject of the headline above, still relies on we independents for its business and, perhaps not surprisingly, thinks we may be around for a year or two more. And I, not surprisingly, favour the latter view. Mainly because I really have seen it all before, in various forms but with similar endings. The big boys get bigger, are bought and sold and messed around with by this or that year’s CEO and eventually disappear, more often than not up their own regulatory bottoms. And we keep on swinging and survive. That’s the plan, anyway.
How we as advisers charge for our services has been the subject of navel-gazing debate in our profession for some time. Should we work on accountant- and solicitor-style hourly rates, charge a fixed subscription or have a menu of tasks and bill you accordingly.