Ian Jarvis, managing director of Prestatyn-based Bateman Jarvis, reveals how he transformed his business in time for the biggest change to financial services in a decade
We started our Retail Distribution Journey (RDR) journey in April 2008; the financial crisis had hit, markets were having a torrid time and we were dealing with many queries from clients regarding their investments and pensions.
Although each client had their own concerns, on further questioning we realised they wanted more information, more frequently and, as a small firm, we needed to find an efficient way to deliver this to a broad range of clients.
I then had discussions with a sample of our clients, covering all the types on our books. The responses confirmed that, irrespective of the value of clients’ investments, they all had five things in common (see box, below).
My RDR journey: five years of struggle
Knowing what clients now expected and considering the FSA’s examination requirements, we took the bold decision to ignore the examination requirements until we were comfortable with our service propositions and our charging structures.
Our first step was to carry out detailed research of wraps, platforms, risk targeted funds, risk profiling tools, their associated asset allocations tools and financial software which would enable us to put together a range of services for different types of client.
Having determined what we felt was the most appropriate range of tools; we then broke down our advice proposition into four categories (see box, right).
Initially, in November 2008 we launched a range of 48 risk targeted model portfolios, 38 of which fell under our Premium service proposition and 10 of which fell under our Low cost service proposition, all under our trademarked OPUS Portfolios banner.
We soon realised that this simply wasn’t a wide enough range; we had failed to take any account of clients seeking real income. So, in January 2009, we launched a further 12 income portfolios.
The next three years were spent discussing each of the service propositions and investment processes with clients and, where appropriate, incorporating them into our new systems.
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