Advisers can choose to remain haunted by the ghosts of Christmas past or embrace the ghost of Christmas future, says Aegon's head of Business Brain, John Joe McGinley.
While the bookies now offer 4/1 on a white Christmas the best deals on a Christmas related bet have to be that it is odds on we will have at least 4 film versions of Charles Dickens " A Christmas Carol " on the box over the festive period.
Everyone will have his or her own personal favourite. Some will love the nostalgia of the classic black and white treatment with Alistair Sim others the quirky reimaging of Bill Murray in Scrooged. My personal favourite has to be the Muppets edition staring Michael Caine.
While I have seen every version including the new Jim Carey version animated film, I had never read the book.
However, I decided to start and the first paragraph really struck me especially as we approach the world of RDR. It goes like this;
"Marley was dead: to begin with. There is no doubt whatever about that. The register of his burial was signed by the clergyman, the clerk, the undertaker, and the chief mourner. Scrooge signed it.
And Scrooge's name was good upon 'change, for anything he chose to put his hand to. Old Marley was as dead as a door-nail".
What resonated with me was that the old world of commission like Marley is as dead as a doornail and not coming back.
Yes, we have legacy issues that will no doubt dog us in 2013 and cause confusion for both life companies and advisers but we have a paradigm shift as we move to the world of the adviser charge.
This is because regardless what some people say, the Adviser charge or the consultancy charge for corporate business is not commission by another name. That really is the ghost of Christmas past.
Our new world is about providing a service for clients and being paid for it not for recommending products.
The challenge is to ensure that clients value and want to pay for this service.
Like Scrooge advisers have a choice, they can choose to carry on as normal and not adapt to the new world in effect saying bah humbug to the changes that RDR brings or they can choose to change. That change needs to cover a number of issues not just how you are paid!
Every business has key questions it needs to answer covering:
• Its future direction
• Its clients now and in the future
• Its proposition both initial and ongoing
• Its remuneration options
• Its business processes that ensure profitability
In essence, the secret has to be to define a service position that is deliverable, desirable and profitable.
This is the big challenge for 2013 and we can help. Aegon has a 5-step process for RDR success on our business brain proposition zone, and I would urge you to have a look at it now.
If you do, we can help ensure you have a merry Christmas and a happy RDR year.
'Exact timescale' of complaints not yet provided
1,400 reviews of adviser technology
To engage next generation
Now accessible to all
Some scheme’s ‘fib’