Advisers are missing out on a "golden opportunity" by failing to exploit the crossover between personal and corporate clients, according to the founder of the Specialist Pensions Forum.
Mike Jones, founding member of the group of 20 leading pension providers, national IFAs and software houses, says IFAs will not find a better way to open up potential new business with small companies than through offering guidance about Personal Accounts.
"If an IFA has a client who is a business owner while dealing with him as a personal client it is also a golden opportunity to start a relationship with them as a corporate client," Jones says.
The former IFA and current voluntary adviser for The Pensions Advisory Service says the high level of ignorance about pension reform is a way in for advisers.
He says: "They should explain to employers about 2012, start up as a corporate IFA and potentially open up doors to a huge client base."
A recent Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) report, Understanding small employers' likely responses to the 2012 workplace pension reforms, suggests employers with 50 or less employees and some knowledge of the upcoming reforms were made aware of the legislation by their accountants.
None had heard about the reforms from any other sources including advisers.
"Why aren't IFAs running seminars and websites to keep businesses informed about the changes? It is a perfect scenario and a legitimate marketing opportunity," says Jones.
The study also highlighted the danger that staff would not be interested in a pension.
Jones says this is a gap advisers could exploit but are they are missing out because they have too narrow an idea of potential clients.
"Many IFAs are just dealing with high net worth individuals. More would like to deal with your average person but lack a business plan for it. They are loathe to jump over regulatory hoops for the open market option for little fees.
"But if you can do 10 average people in a day it can be very profitable. If you set out the systems procedures and processes it is possible," he says.
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