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Editorial - July 2018

David CharletDavid Charlet
Chairman

What sort of summer for intermediaries and Europe?

And now comes the time for holidays for most citizens in Europe, but also time for everyone in their offices to have a couple of quieter weeks, dedicating their work to more fundamental tasks like reviewing their processes or closing late files that lie on their desks.

But after the first wave of transposition of GDPR, IDD (almost), PRIIPS and MIFID 2, it’s also time for questions.

If Europe is again asking about her future, advisors, intermediaries, producers and clients are doing the same - and for our advisors and intermediaries, it would be useful to spend more than a few weeks this summer creating their New Relationship Models, their processes and, at the end of the day, thinking about the goals and hopes for their SMEs.

Having said that, let’s have a look at the situation.

On one hand, we are facing authorities and, perhaps more than them, the EC, considering that they should “now and again” go forward and propose rules anew, for all of us, before any of the previously quoted texts have been fully applied and, by the way, their effect understood.

On the other hand, everyone is talking in the same sentence about the need for:  “advice”, “self-assessment”, “cost reduction”, “stronger firms”, “best product”, “better education of both professionals and clients”, “financing SMEs” and … “less risk for investors”.

Then, perhaps it’s now time for our questions?

Is it possible to create, in an “ongoing manner”, new rules for the same situation – or, in fact, for the rest of our lives -  hoping to create some profit from our industries to be invested in a way that may produce wealth for all?

Is there any situation in a normal life one should accept, where men and women are supposed to give advice and help a client but are forced to work harder for a decade on processes and compliance reviewing, than on the client’s situation but … are then accused of being paid too much when this money is increasingly used to meet costs - and their margins have fallen below the level of many industries?

Is it possible that the writers of these texts are hoping for a better advice process compared to what they expect from a situation where a producer is also the seller/distributer, particularly as our industry has the ability to avoid this?

Is it possible for the only people in that game who are expected to remain human, at least for the next couple of years (the retail investor), to put his or her money in one firm, for the welfare of the entire economy, without any risk? Is it possible for them to be educated in finance, when they don’t want to be in many cases – they just need advice and have only a few Euros to spare? They may not be opposed to “advice” from a robot but may well prefer advice from a person to whom they can explain their personal and emotional situation, perhaps because their dad is dead or their wife or husband has gone!?

Is it possible that the work of the Advisor or qualified Intermediary should always cost less and less despite the costs of his life and his firm’s running costs increasing? That adviser could of course be a robot. But we are all now discovering the real cost of automation (absolutely not free), the dedicated rules (more difficult to manage than with human staff), the resultant firing of some of our employees/citizens/Tax payers - but also the advantages (it’s quicker, it avoids “some” but not all mistakes, it offers a perfect employee, always in agreement with you or … not in agreement with you on one issue so you have to do things that fit in with the IT!).

So, the job is moving but costs keep rising - the price for global and not local security for clients and our economy. Is it impossible that the regulations that producers, humans and economic agents deal with can become reasonable and, as a minimum, let us adapt our IT or basic processes to one text, before creating another?  

But, whether robot or human, our activities are still needed by retail investors and firms, and our market share is growing every year. At FECIF and at every Association, mostly our members, we help them to better understand and practically adapt to the ongoing new regulation, for the interest of our firms, our European economy and our clients.

So, dear citizens of Europe, advisors, intermediaries, clients, have a nice summer, but do keep it in mind. If our members do the expected job for a good adaptation to the new rules in the next 2 months, when they’ll be back at work, the world of finance, insurance and banking offered to the “normal” citizen you have known before, will have changed dramatically, for better or worse. A wedding phrase but the truth. Aren’t we all part of the same market, linked to each other, the client of one another?

And please, madam Europe, during this incredible year of 2018, we’ll use the summer in order to build the firms of the EC’s dreams, but let us take a breath after that …

 

 

 

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Editorial - June 2018

Jirí ŠindelárJiří Šindelář
Deputy Chairman FECIF

Did we become hostages to ever-increasing regulation?

According to most common sources, Stockholm syndrome is a type of psychological bond between hostage and their hijacker, when the former develops emotional ties to a person that beats, abuses or generally hurts him or her. Plainly sad, it is....

>> CONTINUE READING

Editorial - May 2018

Simon ColbocSimon Colboc
Member of Fecif Advisory Committee

The PEPP saga: what does it mean for advisors?

Anyone interested in the future of pensions should welcome the European initiative on the Pan European Personal Pension products (PEPP). Retirement provision is a major issue facing all European countries, hit by a combination of increasing...

>> CONTINUE READING

Editorial - April 2018

Vania FranceschelliVania Franceschelli
Member of Fecif Board of Directors & Foreign Affairs, Anasf

IDD and MiFID II. Beloved sisters or competing friends?

Time has come. On 19 March the amendment postponing the application date of directive 2016/97 (Insurance Distribution Directive - IDD) has been published in the Official Journal of the European Union. By 1 July Member States shall thus adopt and publish all the laws...

>> CONTINUE READING

Editorial - February 2018

Daphne FoulkesDaphne Foulkes,
Partner, The Spectrum IFA Group and FECIF Board Member

Will your pension sustain you through retirement?

It is widely known that Europe’s ageing population is a problem for EU Member States. Quite simply, people are living longer and this impacts on the sustainability of State pension systems, referred to as...

>> CONTINUE READING

Editorial - December 2017

David CharletDavid Charlet
FECIF & ANACOFI Chairman

Beyond robo-advisors, what might the future be for following generations?

The media seems to have only one word to say at present, when explaining our future: robots! Is it time for robo-advisors to replace our human members?
If you take a look to some of our previous editorials, written by our Secretary General or some of our members, you will...

>> CONTINUE READING

Editorial - October 2017

Dhruv MehtaDhruv Mehta,
Chairman of the FOUNDATION OF INDEPENDENT FINANCIAL ADVISORS

Evolution and Regulatory Challenges – Lessons from India

The Foundation of Independent Financial Advisors (FIFA) is a body representing Advisors and Distributors of Mutual Funds in India, commonly known as Independent Financial Advisors (IFAs).
During my recent meeting with FECIF I realised the common vision that both associations have for their members...

>> CONTINUE READING

Editorial - August 2017

Jirí ŠindelárJiří Šindelář
Member of FECIF board of directors

How Vox Populi in Europe is (sometimes) being portrayed

Two weeks ago, my home city of Prague hosted an important event: the Joint ESAs’ Consumer Protection Day. This is an event that forms an important part of the regulation agenda and according to its organisers should “discuss issues related to consumer...

>> CONTINUE READING

Editorial - June 2017

David CharletDavid Charlet
FECIF & ANACOFI Chairman

Europe as financial advisers see it

A long time ago, the European Union used to be a place for the production of coal and steel. Nowadays, it seems to be a global Union far more engaged than the US with our jobs and other matters. Consider: in the US no would find “passports” for...

>> CONTINUE READING

Editorial - April 2017

Paul StanfieldPaul Stanfield
Chief Executive at FEIFA / FECIF Secretary General

Are you really ready for the future?

“The other day Ray was having a conversation with his 13 year old son and they ended up on a topic / issue that they needed more info on – his response was to “Google” it, his son chose to “YouTube” it. He realised at that point that they had different ways of looking for information, learning answers, and engaging with...

>> CONTINUE READING

Editorial - February 2017

Paul StanfieldPaul Stanfield
Chief Executive at FEIFA / FECIF Secretary General

Transparency not commission is the real key for 2017 and beyond

A number of industry commentators keep stating that it’s now all about the end of commission on a global basis – but is it, really? We all know of the switch to fees in the UK, and also a small number of other locations around the world, but certain other jurisdictions have also been quoted as moving in that direction, only for regulators in...

>> CONTINUE READING

Editorial - December 2016

Paul ResnikPaul Resnik
Cofounder & Director of Finametrica

Robo 3.0

Robo advisors are, beyond any doubt, hugely disruptive to the financial advice market. But not in the way that many people expect.

Many commentators and analysts are still focused on trying to pick the ‘Uber moment’, when robos wipe out the old world by...

>> CONTINUE READING

Editorial - October 2016

Schroders Investment ManagementSchroders Investment Management

Over confident investors and the help they need

Investors thinking they know more than they do about investing could cause problems when it comes to their future financial planning.

Investors could be missing out on billions of Euros in investment returns by over estimating their own ability to understand...

>> CONTINUE READING

Editorial - August 2016

Paul StanfieldPaul Stanfield
Chief Executive at FEIFA / FECIF Secretary General

Robo-advice financially unviable

The above was the main content of an article in a financial industry publication last month. This was based on a recent study, which found that UK robo-advisers are structured in such a way that they will lose money and “most will go bust before acquiring the sizeable assets under management needed to survive”.

Food for thought, not least for regulators – many of whom seem...

>> CONTINUE READING

Editorial - June 2016

Paul StanfieldPaul Stanfield
Chief Executive at FEIFA / FECIF Secretary General

Do consumers and advisers finally have the same goals?

Over the last year or two it has struck me that the increasing complexity of regulation is not only being seen in a negative light by the financial advisory and intermediary market – there are also growing concerns being expressed by consumers and, in particular, consumer groups, that this is having a negative impact on the public at large.

>> CONTINUE READING

Editorial - April 2016

Paul StanfieldPaul Stanfield
Chief Executive at FEIFA / FECIF Secretary General

Interesting implications for the rest of Europe and beyond?

Last month saw the publication of the results for the UK’s Financial Advice and Market Review (FAMR). Whilst this might not have had much in the way of impact elsewhere across Europe, it perhaps should have done...

>> CONTINUE READING

Editorial - February 2016

Jirí ŠindelárJiří Šindelář
Member of FECIF board of directors

The Brussels’ Circle of Overregulation

Even though the European Union was given a series of warnings regarding its effort to regulate anything and everything, it did not slow down. Despite proclamations about “changing the course” and “smart regulation”, from November to December...

>> CONTINUE READING

Editorial - December 2015

Paul StanfieldPaul Stanfield
Chief Executive at FEIFA / FECIF Secretary General

Robo-advice: fact and fiction

I have lost count of the amount of articles about so-called robo-advice. It certainly is the “flavour of the month” and, if we believe all that we hear, will soon become the most important element in the delivery of financial services. I have some strong views on this….

>> CONTINUE READING

Editorial - October 2015

Paul StanfieldPaul Stanfield
Chief Executive at FEIFA / FECIF Secretary General

Where now for commissions?

European regulators eventually “stood back from the brink” and within the agreed text of both MiFID 2 and the IDD (Insurance Distribution Directive) fell short of a complete commission ban – a ban that many thought might well happen as little as 12 months ago!...

>> CONTINUE READING

Editorial - August 2015

Paul StanfieldPaul Stanfield
Chief Executive at FEIFA / FECIF Secretary General

The importance of effective representation

The compromise text for the Insurance Distribution Directive (IDD) was recently finalised and it was very pleasing to see that the vast majority of the proposals put forward by FECIF in the recent consultation period have been heeded.

>> CONTINUE READING

Editorial - June 2015

Garry HeathGarry Heath
Director General Libertatem

Garry Heath announced the launch of Libertatem last month, a new trade association set up to represent all types of financial advisers based in the UK. His thoughts and plans are outlined below – they have great relevance to the rest of Europe.

Over the last decade the industry has lost sight ...

>> CONTINUE READING

Editorial - April 2015

Paul StanfieldPaul Stanfield
Chief Executive at FEIFA / FECIF Secretary General

10 reasons to use a Financial Adviser

Many people have the perception that only the very wealthy need financial advice. However, the facts are that anyone can potentially benefit from such advice...

>> CONTINUE READING

Editorial - February 2015

Garry HeathGarry Heath
Journalist, The Heath Report assured

IFAs: Support trade associations or jeopordise independence

The last month has been one of travel. Firstly a symposium to address in Toronto and then it was Brussels and the FECIF conference...

>> CONTINUE READING

Editorial - September 2014

Paul StanfieldPaul Stanfield
Chief Executive at FEIFA / FECIF Secretary General

Our immediate goals

I was very pleased to be elected as the new Secretary General of FECIF at our last Board meeting, it is very much an honour to represent a body that supports and promotes the adviser...

>> CONTINUE READING

Editorial - June 2014

Paul StanfieldPeter Brooke
Financial Planner, member and partner with the Spectrum IFA Group

Should I use a Financial Adviser to help me?

Creating a financial plan is NOT a complicated thing to do; it is an audit of where you are today, financially, and where you want to be at different stage...

>> CONTINUE READING

Editorial - March 2018

Jirí ŠindelárJiří Šindelář
Deputy Chairman FECIF

How much do we pay for over-regulation?

Over-regulation of financial services in the European Union is a well-recognised fact, even among the bureaucracy in Brussels. The key feature of all those MiFIDs, IDDs or GDPRs, however, is not its devastating effect on the (small and medium-sized) businesses themselves, but its detrimental cost to the customer...

>> CONTINUE READING

Editorial - January 2018

Paul StanfieldPaul Stanfield
Chief Executive at FEIFA / FECIF Secretary General

The moment I realised the value of (human) advice

This was (almost) the title of an article I recently read – and which reminded me of the fact that many advisers don’t always realise just how much positive impact they have on people’s lives. Or where that impact is most beneficially experienced by the client...

>> CONTINUE READING

Editorial - November 2017

Vania FranceschelliVania Franceschelli
FECIF Board Member and Regional Manager of the ANASF financial education programme

The social value of financial education

If I consider my personal experience as a financial advisor and, more generally, the provision of investment services to citizens, I can envisage two concepts for the future of our professional activity: investor protection and financial education. On the one hand, investor...

>> CONTINUE READING

Editorial - September 2017

Daniel GuéguenDaniel Guéguen
Head of Strategy and Lobbying at PACT European Affairs

A journey through the EU Institutions

Every year before the start of the summer break, I treat myself to a journey through the EU Institutions. I say ‘treat’ because it is a real pleasure for me to speak freely and in full confidence with elected politicians, senior civil servants, head lobbyists and representatives from...

>> CONTINUE READING

Editorial - July 2017

Vania FranceschelliVania Franceschelli
FECIF Board Member & ANASF Executive Committee Member

Product governance requirements will lead to greater quality of advice

Product governance requirements represent one of the most outstanding innovations of MiFID II, aiming at ensuring that firms which manufacture and distribute financial instruments act in the clients’ best interests during all the stages...

>> CONTINUE READING

Editorial - May 2017

Paul StanfieldPaul Stanfield
Chief Executive at FEIFA / FECIF Secretary General

The value of advice – and the cost of being unadvised

There have been numerous studies over the years that have shown the value of good quality financial advice – not least, the fact that clients that receive it are, in general, significantly better off in retirement and much more financially protected during their life journey towards that point...

>> CONTINUE READING

Editorial - March 2017

Vania FranceschelliVania Franceschelli
FECIF Board Member & ANASF Executive Committee Member

We need new market propositions not unnecessary bans

The final date for the transposition of MiFID II in each Member State – January 3rd 2018 – is fast approaching. Is it possible to see some initial insights into the industry, in order to foresee the impact of the Directive on business models? In particular...

>> CONTINUE READING

Editorial - January 2017

Daniel GuéguenDaniel Guéguen
Head of Strategy and Lobbying at PACT European Affairs

2017: action, action, action

”My right flank is destroyed, my left flank is in retreat, everything is fine – attack!” Those were the words of General Foch in the darkest moments of World War One. We are there once again. Sink or act – that is the choice we have.

>> CONTINUE READING

Editorial - November 2016

Paul StanfieldPaul Stanfield
Chief Executive at FEIFA / FECIF Secretary General

Playing your Trump card

Well, for those of us surprised by the Brexit vote - and there were plenty in the City of London that is for sure – the US election creates a whole new perspective with regards to astonishment, and on a much wider spectrum. I don’t know what it says about Hillary Clinton and her campaign – well, on reflection, I probably do – but the fact that Trump won, allied to the UK’s EU...

>> CONTINUE READING

Editorial - September 2016

Paul StanfieldPaul Stanfield
Chief Executive at FEIFA / FECIF Secretary General

“The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated”

This famous quote was a statement made by Mark Twain on hearing that he had been mistakenly announced dead. Although it is apparently a slight misquote, the meaning remains very much in line with what the great writer intended. It also came to my mind the other day when I was once again thinking about so-called “robo-advice” and...

>> CONTINUE READING

Editorial - July 2016

John WestwoodJohn Westwood
FEIFA Board Member and Blacktower Group Managing Director

Brexit: a disaster or something far less worrying?

The British electorate has given its verdict on the UK’s membership of the European Union in no uncertain terms but, in spite of some emotional appeals to the contrary, this is not a disaster.

It is worth remembering that on the 20th February 2016, when David Cameron announced that the EU referendum would...

>> CONTINUE READING

Editorial - May 2016

Rebecca MurphyRebecca Murphy
Director of Sales & Marketing at Praemium
Re-engaging the investor

Re-engaging the investor

It’s rough sailing right now for investors and savers alike! Volatile markets and low interest rates are the norm, and investors are bombarded with information about products and services without understanding how any of it relates to them...

>> CONTINUE READING

Editorial - March 2016

David DentonDavid Denton
Member of FECIF board of directors

You can run, but you can’t hide

The Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD) Common Reporting Standards (CRS) - also known as Automatic Exchange of Information - is gathering pace post FATCA. For decades, developed economies have wrestled with the notion that wealth overseas, whilst not illegal...

>> CONTINUE READING

Editorial - January 2016

Hans-Jürgen BretzkeHans-Jürgen Bretzke
CEO of FinanzAdmin  GmbH

Some of the myths surrounding fintech companies

“I would go so far as to say that any broker armed with an average customer base and network is better placed than a fintech company on the strength of his or her client contacts alone.”

In this guest contribution, Hans-Jürgen Bretzke, a member of ...

>> CONTINUE READING

Editorial - November 2015

Paul StanfieldPaul Stanfield
Chief Executive at FEIFA / FECIF Secretary General

Pension provision - is this the real “gap”?

The “advice gap” has received considerable coverage in the personal finance pages and trade press for some time now, across the UK in particular but it is also a growing concern across Europe and beyond. I wonder, however, if the focus should really be on the “pension’s gap”...

>> CONTINUE READING

Editorial - September 2015

Vania FranceschelliVania Franceschelli
Member of the Board of FECIF / Member of the Executive Committee of ANASF (Head of Foreign Affairs)

In July FECIF sent its contribution to the ESMA Consultation Paper on the Draft guidelines for the assessment of staff knowledge and competence under MiFID II. This Consultation Paper is of outmost importance for all financial advisors in Europe, as it provides the basis for the definition of the qualification and...

>> CONTINUE READING

Editorial - July 2015

Paul StanfieldPaul Stanfield
Chief Executive at FEIFA / FECIF Secretary General

Making regulation more effective and accountable

The month of May saw the launch of a new trade association in the UK, as highlighted in last month’s editorial. It seems to me that its aims and concerns are highly important elsewhere in the EU.

>> CONTINUE READING

Editorial - May 2015

Johannes MuschikJohannes Muschik
Chairman of FECIF, Chairman of AFPA

New Chairman takes office

Back to my desk after our Annual General Meeting where I have been elected as Chairman for the period 2015/2016.  The AGM was also an opportunity to exchange views on a number of hot topics concerning our industry...

>> CONTINUE READING

Editorial - March 2015

Jirí ŠindelárJiří Šindelář
Chairman of USF CR / Member of the board of FECIF

Squaring the circle, or back to roots? A view of European regulatory turmoil from the former “Eastern Bloc”

When the Velvet revolution overthrew the Czech communist government in 1989, a crucial part of the change was the transition to liberal...

>> CONTINUE READING

Editorial - December 2014

Graham ReidGraham Reid
Managing Director at Classic Financial Solutions CVBA

The true worth of an adviser

A few years ago one of our clients suffered a nervous breakdown.  After early retirement he had continued working as a consultant from a small office at home, from where he also managed the family finances, something in which ...

>> CONTINUE READING

Editorial - July 2014

David CHARLETDavid CHARLET
ANACOFI

For my first editorial as President of FECIF, I would like to thank every member of the Board, the General Assembly and the Staff.
I would also express a special thought for Daniel Nicolaes, one of the best representatives of our profession in Europe, who disappeared a few months ago.

>> CONTINUE READING

 

 

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