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Chris Budd

The Full Repertoire Of Advice

If there’s one thing we like here at Ovation it is a good analogy.

An advisory practice like Ovation is very much like an orchestra. There are many skills and disciplines needed to give advice or to create a performance. It is only when these different skills are brought together that a team of people can produce something greater than the sum of its parts.

This particular analogy can be mangled even further. There are various sections to the orchestra and there are different areas of advice we provide. The orchestra has a conductor who brings out the best performance for the audience to hear, in the same way that a lead adviser will be the main point of contact for a client but will bring in skills from others within the business as required.

When clients deal with Ovation they do not simply have a relationship with one person as they would with many firms. The typical model for an IFA (Independent Financial Adviser) practice is based around one adviser dealing with his own client bank, perhaps supported by a paraplanner (someone not authorised to give advice but technically knowledge who conducts research and write reports).

There are many drawbacks to this model. The client will only get the knowledge and experience of that one person. For example all the advisers at Ovation are required to be pensions specialists as this area affects all long term financial planning, but only a minority of UK advisers have this expertise. By holding on to a client and only allowing them to deal with that one person, and adviser is limiting the advice the scope of the advice the client will receive. It would be like listening to a piano recital instead of hearing the force of the full orchestra!

This ‘my client’ mentality which is so prevalent amongst financial advisers brings other issues. What happens if the adviser goes on holiday, leaves or retires for example? These are all reasons why we at Ovation have worked hard to develop a team approach to providing a top notch advisory service to our clients.

In this way we can ensure consistency of advice and quality of service. Although clients deal with a lead adviser, they are encouraged to speak to other members of the team and even to come and meet us at one of our regular Connections events. We hold regular team meetings and share ideas with each other in technical and investment committee meetings and adviser days.

The result is clients who have the benefit of the full repertoire of advice that is needed to perform proper financial planning.

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