The new MD of a large wealth management advisory business had concerns about the quality of some of the advice given by his advisers in key areas of complex tax planning. He was worried that the advice would not stand up to scrutiny and that some customers had been mis-advised to invest in funds that were higher risk than they understood.
We reviewed a representative sample of these cases and gave our views on the advice given. While we thought that it was unlikely that customers had lost money through their investments, in many cases it was not clear what analysis the advisors had done and why they had recommended the funds concerned.
We recommended increasing the levels of quality assurance and making the advice process and requirements of advisers more stringent so that the advice was clearly documented. We were also used to provide deeper guidance to the advisers on important considerations in these areas of advice and we re-trained all the advisers concerned so that they understood how to analyse the customers’ needs more thoroughly and in line with current regulatory expectations.