Financial Partners International (FPI) is to expand its range of services and number of advisers fol...
Financial Partners International (FPI) is to expand its range of services and number of advisers following its announced merger with OFS Asia.
Sean Kelleher, chairman of FPI, said its number of advisers would rise from 80 to 100 after the completed merger, which is awaiting regulatory approval. But he expects the number of consultants to increase further to 120 by the end of this year. This growth will come through recruiting IFAs and a couple of acquisitions, Kelleher said.
The main development at FPI, however, is the attempt to move consultants from being "product salespeople" to "professional advisers". Kelleher said: "We want to radically change the way IFAs operate in the offshore market."
The basic service for clients, which is already established, is Helicon. This provides clients with 24/7 valuations through the firm's website, a copy of FPI's magazine called Moneytalks, entrance to seminars featuring fund managers and regular strategic reviews with an adviser.
Kelleher said FPI is now working on developing more comprehensive services, to be known as Helicon+ and Helicon++. He added that what these more advanced services will comprise will depend on the demands of clients. The firm will charge its clients fees for these extra services, which would provide it with regular income.
As part of its attempt to move to a sustainable business model, Kelleher said FPI is promoting trail fees above initial commission and is reviewing each consultant's client base. It has increased its trail fees by 65% over the past year. "One adviser, for example, has 200 clients but has only seen 40 in past two years," said Kelleher. "Advisers are not paid trail fees if they are not actively servicing clients, unless the client says they do not want to be advised regularly. It is important to improve the service that offshore advisers provide."
Another key development highlighted by Kelleher is raising the skills of consultants. "We are developing 15 training modules for all consultants. The advisers will have to sit an annual test to ensure ongoing competence."
FPI is also setting up specialist centres to try to enhance its service. These will cover a range of areas, including specific advice for Australian and US expatriates, private equity, corporate pensions and property.
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