The Association of IFAs (AIFA) is working with Legal & General (L&G) to research ways advisers can apply alternative business models to their firms to prepare for "unparalleled change".
The report will help firms as they make key decisions about the future of their businesses.
AIFA and L&G say the project, which includes research and analysis from Ernst & Young, will give financial advice firms insight and guidance as they consider changing the way their businesses operate.
A report will detail the findings of a steering group, set up to oversee the project, on issues including understanding the value chain, the role of the firm and the individual, and the definition of independence.
Case studies of optimal business models will be included as part of the report, including strategies for success, which firms can use as they plan for continuing regulatory, economic and social change.
AIFA director general Chris Cummings says the firms which will thrive through the present period of "unparalleled change" will be those which can read the landscape best.
He adds: "Our project, exploring sustainable alternative models for financial advice firms, will help advisers do just that. We believe that members will find the report an important source of reference as they assess and plan the strategic direction of their firms."
L&G head of planning, intermediary distribution Andy Marson says: "One thing is clear, if they have not done so already, many firms will need to change the way they operate if they are going to be viable, sustainable commercial organisations over the next three to five years.
The steering group, which will publish its report in the summer, comprises the following members:
Andy Marson, head of planning, intermediary distribution - Legal & General
Shaun Crawford, head of EMEIA insurance advisory - Ernst & Young
Robert Wood, director, financial services - Ernst & Young
Ian Darby, chief executive officer - Towergate
Jim Reeve, chief executive officer - Positive Solutions
Dennis Hall, managing director - Yellowtail
John White, managing director - RSM Tenon
Bought plans in 1988 and 1989
To be added to model portfolio service
Launched 25 September