Financial advisers will hold a greater rather than decreased role in the distribution chain as a resu...
Sheila Nicole, director of legal and fiscal affairs at the Association of Unit Trusts and Investment Funds (Autif) chaired a panel discussion - with AIFA director general Paul Smee, Gartmore head of retail Michael Wrobel and Schroders retail marketing director Robert Higginbotham - at the Unit Trusts and Oiecs 2001 in London, which suggested a change of focus from products to advice is likely to give IFAs more clout in the market.
"I'm sure a lot of our members don't feel that power is shifting towards them," said Smee, emphasising the intermediaries increasing advisory influence.
"It just seems to me that a lot of IFAs are getting into the business of selling advice, and not products," he added.
Wrobel agreed with Smee to some extent, however, added that the change within the IFA sector may be the result of a power shift "towards the end customer".
According to the panel, the growth of fund supermarkets is seen as an integral part of the changing market place.
With IFAs spending more time advising than selling products, and customers making execution-only selections on supermarkets, fund managers could fall foul of diminishing sales.
"We believe fund supermarkets are good for customers. It's bad for fund management groups because of the high cost," said Wrobel, who questioned the implications for fund managers might be more mergers in the industry, in order to cut costs.
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