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Next generation wary of vertical integration

Reflecting on 20 years of working with financial advisers, Lonsec Stockbroking believes younger advisers will lead a resurgence of independent practitioners.

While the number of independent advisers has dwindled in recent years, David Wyllie, chief executive of Lonsec Stockbroking – which celebrates its 20th birthday this month – said the non-institutional market is set for a cyclical shift.

“We’re optimistic about where the IFA market is going,” Mr Wyllie told ifa. “We can see growth away from the larger institutional dealer group structures, and that’s a given.

Asked what is driving the resurgence, Mr Wyllie pointed not to dissatisfaction with the big end of town, as often suggested, but to the next crop of financial advice leaders.

“The younger generation of advisers is a little different,” he said. “They’re looking at how to really include a great offering to their clients, and seriously considering whether a large, vertically integrated dealer group is right for them.”

Lonsec Stockbroking’s offering is aimed specifically at IFAs and their particular needs and challenges, Mr Wyllie said, adding that “trying to align and understand the needs of IFAs” has been the business’s “driving force” over its 20-year history.

Mr Wyllie also said that many IFAs would prosper in the new era by focusing more on the client-facing side of advice, rather than investment portfolios – indicating partner opportunities are the way forward for successful IFAs.

The comments follow the findings of a study tour of advisers and product manufacturers to the east coast of the United States which found a dichotomy in the American advice market between ‘asset gatherers’ and ‘asset managers’ and a thriving independent market.