Standard Life is set to launch a programme on its wrap to help IFA firms prepare for the RDR.
Building Business Value, a modular consultancy change programme, will launch through IFAs using the Standard wrap and will consist of either a bespoke one-to-one consultancy service or seminar programmes.
Standard Life head of platform sales Steve Sands says the programme is ready for soft-launch and is available to all the 536 firms using its wrap.
The programme is being launched to help firms adapt to the fast-changes in the industry.
"We anticipate the pace of change in financial services will only accelerate from now until January 1, 2013 and we think that could potentially pose challenges for IFA firms," says Sands.
Building Business Value is the fruition of extensive research carried out in both the UK and oversees to identify those factors that make for a successful business. From that research, Standard has come up with six critical success factors shared by successful companies - what Sands refers to as "flying firms".
He says the value-added service is only available initially to IFAs using the Standard wrap because of the need to train staff. Eight business development manages, 14 area managers and eight national account managers have been trained up.
Sands thinks the changes being driven by the FSA's regulations will drive some IFAs out of the industry.
"We fully expect some advisers will not stay in financial services post-RDR - but we will support and assist those advisers that do stay and make the necessary changes. We are an IFA-biased organisation and we can't afford for firms to go out of business. We want to support as many IFAs as possible."
He stresses the programme is voluntary but expects a large uptake. "No firm is immune to the changes in the industry."
One major benefit of the programme, he adds, is flexibility. "It is a modular set of solutions that firms can dip in and out of at any time - a business could use it as either a thorough self-discovery tool or as an annual MOT."
Earlier this week, managing director of transitional planning firm FP Advance Steve Billingham told IFAonline the process of successfully adapting a firm to RDR-readiness could take as long as five years.
"There will be different time frames for different business and this programme is for IFAs to reflect on what their priorities are," says Sands.
But he warns that some firms could be under-estimating the challenges that lie ahead.
"Our advice to firms is to imagine that the RDR is a matter of weeks away and to ask yourself what you need to do to get your business in shape. Think in weeks, not years," concludes Sands.
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