“ Accountants and Solicitors prefer to deal with firms who have a clear, client-focused wealth management proposition."
At Sterling & Law, we recognise that financial, legal and tax advice have generally been discrete practices in the UK. Each is conducted by professionals adhering to their own standards and qualifications, and answering to their own professional bodies, regulators and codes of conduct. But like other market sectors, these advice professions are facing growing pressures to build greater commercial resilience – to diversify and expand their business proposition, to create greater choice and compete on cost with larger, commodified suppliers.
Legislation such as the Legal Services Act (LSA) and the Retail Distribution Review (RDR) aims to improve competitiveness, introduce more client-centric business models and, in the case of the RDR, heighten levels of professionalism.
All these factors have sparked discussion about the potential for solicitors, accountants and independent financial advisers to work together more closely, to leverage each other’s client relationships and potentially provide clients with an enhanced experience and an integrated source of advice. Given the overlap between many areas of tax, legal and financial advice, this may seem intuitive. But what real appetite is there to forge professional connections in this way?
Our research at Sterling & Law suggests that the vast majority of solicitors and accountants source IFAs through personal or professional recommendation and favour firms with a strong local profile and reputation. When evaluating advisers, these professions place very strong emphasis on qualifications, years of experience and a good cultural and personal fit. Most importantly, they look for firms with a clear, client-focused wealth management proposition.
Key areas for accountants are pensions and retirement planning, tax-efficient planning and investment management. Solicitors are most interested in tax-efficient planning, trusts and estate planning, old-age funding and equity release and investment management. Our clear wealth management proposition stands us in good stead with firms looking to work with like-minded professionals to diversify and expand their business. Contact us to find your nearest Sterling & Law office.
My adviser spent a lot of time explaining all my options in a patient and professional manner. I don't think they could have done any better. Very happy overall. ”
LM - Chelmsford
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