Vanguard Asset Management has devised a guide to help investment advisers conquer post-RDR advice rules in just five steps.
A consistent and disciplined investment advice process is what will keep clients happy and the regulator at bay post-2012, it says.
The guide pulls together tips from successful fee-based advisers in the UK and other countries on how to "thrive, not just survive" under RDR.
Vanguard suggests the best proposition sticks to just the five basic concepts of know your client, develop a plan, portfolio construction, implement the plan and monitor progress.
Firms which fail to develop a similarly structured and disciplined approach can build up "invisible regulatory and reputational risk", it warns.
"A systematic process leads to transparent and consistent client outcomes.
"This helps to manage risk because you can demonstrate the systems and controls to the regulator and your clients," Vanguard says.
Firms should aim to give each client the same service and outcome no matter which adviser they see, the guide says.
Advisers who have created consistency in their advice process define their investment principles at the outset, Vanguard says.
Rather than an onerous chore, it suggests advisers view a strict advice regime as a way to help sell their service.
"With trust at a premium in the financial services, being able to show your clients you have a rigorous process which helps control risk and systemised investment planning will go far to help build that trust," it says.
Click HERE to access 'Building a robust investment advice process'
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