Achieving Growth and Scale: A guide for financial advice businesses

NextWealth and Standard Life have published a report offering benchmarks and practical recommendations to help financial advisers grow and scale their businesses.

Financial advisers spend their days helping people plan for the future and so by nature, even more so than for other professionals, financial advisers think about their own future. Support and guidance on how growth and scale can be pursued in a successful and sustainable way will help advice firms map their future path. We have produced this report with the support of Standard Life to help financial advisers and those working in financial advice businesses to achieve their growth ambitions by drawing from the successes of others.

We have defined six principle areas that we believe define a successful financial advice business. Based on a survey of advisers, we report current practice in these areas. The six principles we examine are:

  • Focus on the client
  • Planning and execution
  • Engaging your people
  • Investment proposition
  • Operational excellence
  • Future plans

Our report reveals that financial advice businesses have ambitions to grow and to work with more clients. While success comes in many shapes and sizes, we think that businesses with a clear focus on the client, who plan and execute well, who engage their people, who follow a robust investment proposition, who invest in operational excellence and who have a clear plan for the future will attract the best talent and grow fastest and these firms will enable more clients to benefit from professional financial advice.

The fieldwork for this report was conducted before the Coronavirus outbreak clouded short term business projections. However, the results remain entirely relevant to any firms wishing to pursue business growth and scale, and in fact serve to further illustrate that those firms with robust processes, engaged teams and good levels of investment in their infrastructure are the ones most likely to adapt and cope with the current challenges.

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