Shortage of IFAs and wealth managers unlikely to improve, according to new study

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One in five (19%) of UK adults with stock market related investments have struggled to find an IFA, financial planner or wealth manager in the past 10 years and this current shortage of IFAs and wealth managers is unlikely to improve over the next five years, according to new research* from leading wealth manager Investec Wealth & Investment. 

The research, carried out among financial advisers and financial planners across the UK, found around four in ten (42%) say the current shortage of IFAs and wealth managers is set to increase, with around 5% saying it will increase dramatically over the next five years. Around half (51%) think that the shortage will decline over the next five years. Around 7% believe the current level of shortage will stay the same. 

Amongst those who think the shortage will get worse, the top reason given for this is the growth of the digital and tech wealth management platforms which will force more IFAs and wealth managers to retire (81%). This is followed by the industry struggling to attract enough younger talent (74%) and that generally more IFAs and wealth managers are set to retire (55%). 

Other reasons given for this future increased shortage are the growing regulatory burden facing the industry which will force more IFAs and wealth managers to retire (48%) and the growth of artificial intelligence making some of the functions of wealth managers redundant and forcing more to retire (43%). 

The research by Investec Wealth & Investment, which provides products and services to help advisers build a competitive advantage and protect and grow their clients’ wealth, also surveyed* the views of 535 UK consumers with stock market related investments and found that this shortage of IFAs is already putting off potential future clients. One in five (19%) say that they have struggled to find an IFA, financial 

planner or wealth manager to help manage their investments in the past ten years. The main reasons given as to why they struggled to find one was due to their investment portfolio not being big enough (41%), they didn’t think the ones they spoke to were very good (39%), the ones they spoke to were planning on leaving the industry or changing jobs (24%) and the IFAs or wealth managers were too busy and didn’t want to take on new clients (24%). 

Simon Taylor, head of strategic partnerships at Investec Wealth & Investment, said: “It’s concerning that the current shortage of IFAs and wealth managers in the sector could continue, particularly when the impact of this is already being seen through future potential clients being lost simply because advisers can’t take on new business. More must be done across the sector to make it an attractive career for new talent and at the same time, firms need to ensure they have the right technology, tools and services to enable their IFAs and financial planners to focus on the aspects of the profession that really matter – delivering value to their current clients and having the capacity to take on new ones.” 

“As more and more clients move into drawdown, the burden of work on those IFA’s left will only increase. Working with a DFM to alleviate some of this burden can significantly help to deliver the much-needed capacity to concentrate on the financial planning needs of clients.” 

Investec Wealth & Investment works closely with the IFA and adviser community by developing intuitive, market-leading products and services that help firms to build a competitive advantage and help their clients to protect, grow and tax-efficiently pass on their wealth. 

It manages more than £40 billion of client assets under management and has 14 regional offices across the UK. From off-the-shelf products through to award-winning bespoke investment portfolios, Investec Wealth & Investment has solutions that will help firms to win new clients and build stronger relationships with existing ones. 

For over 25 years Investec Wealth & Investment has worked with advisers and built thousands of trusted relationships, earned a reputation for outstanding service. As one of the UK’s leading wealth management companies Investec Wealth & Management focuses on a relationship-based approach to Financial Planning and Investment Management – and helping IFAs and their clients is its foremost priorit

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