Time for some new thinking…


20 years ago, charged up with enough energy and enthusiasm to sink a battleship, I decided to set up a coaching business and, like most of us, fell into financial services.

By luck, my very first client happened to be a financial adviser and at the time I was totally unaware of the magic that I was going to uncover over the next 2 decades.

New to coaching and financial services I found myself surrounded by coaches all of whom were (and still are!) focused on service proposition, referrals, sales skills and client engagement. But, for me, this made no sense – there was a bigger issue in the mix and it appeared that no one could see it coming.

The main issue I could see was that due to a severe lack of structure and clearly defined ways of working, these guys were working themselves to death and to me the solutions appeared so simple.

But, for me, this made no sense – there was a bigger issue in the mix and it appeared that no one could see it coming.

They were working hard but certainly not smart.

Add to this that over the past 10 years we have seen the market change exponentially.

  • The regulators are well and truly awake, the global wave of change is heading straight for us.
  • The regulators continue to conduct reviews, audits and sector surveys.
  • New policies are being introduced to raise professional standards.
  • Compliance was running the show and more and more focus was being given to it
  • Qualifications, designations and industry achievements are mistakenly becoming a global obsession.
  • Administration is overwhelmingly restrictive, time consuming, and in so many cases totally unnecessary.
  • Commissions are being cut, and even banned in some countries.
  • Consumers are becoming smarter, more demanding and more powerful.
  • Employers and people in general are no longer motivated solely by money
  • … and most importantly your clients have a deeper reliance on their intimate relationship with you. The world is changing and it’s now time for new thinking.
  • Accepting and overcoming these game-changing demands is no easy feat, so let me ask you, and I want you to be honest with yourselves
  • I saw it coming 20 years ago and I could share hundreds of stories of firms that had not seen and/or planned for these changes. Their life is hard and running their business is no fun at all!
  • How many of you have any idea how to deal with these challenges?
  • Do you have the skills, the desire, or drive to take your business to the next level?
  • Are you ready to ride that wave or is it time to hang up your boots? Now I might be talking 5, 10, or even 15 years away but the point is that you need to prepare for these changes today. Don’t wait 15 years for that wave to take you off your feet. Time is NOW against us. We need to think differently, we need to behave differently, we need to run our businesses differently.You see the truth is that the business of the future should have one main focus and that is NOT their clients – their focus should be on one thing and one thing only – the business. It is your most important client of all.Global standards are on the rise and the quality of every single thing that you do is on the increase. Have we got that right or have the scare mongers within our industry caused us to fear what is actually an opportunity to establish global best practices within our business?
  • Think on it…
  • Compliance – an area for regular debate! Compliance – the rules of the game set by the regulators who rule with an iron rod. Or is it?
  • The future financial services firm understands that their business is the centre of their universe, not the clients.
  • But the silver bullet has been around for several years, the problem is the profession has simply been ’too busy’ to see it.
  • But I know and so do you that habits die hard. Those who encourage change in so many others are often the ones who find change the hardest in themselves.
  • Your succession, your exit, the next stage planning for your business, needs to start being planned today.
  • Wherever you are at, one thing is for sure, the next generation of a financial planning firm will look nothing like it does today.

In 2011 – BS 8453 Compliance framework for regulated financial services firms was developed in collaboration with a group of trade associations, industry practitioners and professional bodies to establish a professional framework for an effective compliance management system.

BS 8453 can be used as a benchmarking tool by those working in compliance oversight functions, those with audit and assurance responsibilities within a business, and by external compliance consultants.

The standard encompasses:

  • Guiding principles
  • The compliance culture
  • Transparency
  • Independence
  • Authority
  • Adequacy of resources
  • Confidentiality
  • The compliance framework (includes responsibilities, risk management, ongoing monitoring, training, reporting, regulatory relations, controls and supervision)

Understanding, implementing and adhering to this British standard of excellence will increase your professionalism and accountability, providing peace of mind to your business.

Over the next 6 months we will breakdown the key stages of the standard and uncover how you can embrace the best practice framework within your business.


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We believe everyone has the power to realise their extraordinary potential. “Standards International is the powerhouse behind professionalism and operational excellence in financial services. We set the standards, we live the standards, we are the standards!” That’s us in a nutshell! We support the development of financial adviser business owners, their business partners, practice and business managers, and support teams in all areas of personal and business development. We have some super-exciting developments under way and it gives me such a buzz when I sit for a moment and realise what an impact all of this could have on our magical profession! Please be sure to keep in touch with us via social media, use our contact form or email us on enquiries@standardsinternational.co.uk to say “Hi”.

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