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Exploring adviser understanding

Our client needed to explore whether advisers understood new FCA rules and check adviser satisfaction with their proposition.

The Challenge

Following FCA changes to the regulatory environment, UK DFM’s are now allowed to partner with IFAs to provide their underlying ‘suitability’ work prior to passing the client on to the DFM. This has led to a change to normal practice in the industry and therefore in the relationships between DFM’s and IFAs.

Our client was launching a new operating model and proposition to advisers. They wanted to ensure the launch was supported by independent, expert analysis to inform what was needed.

In addition, recent findings from a published ‘DFM Satisfaction Survey’ showed competitors had higher satisfaction in some aspects, so our client wanted to run proprietary research to understand why.

Our approach

We conducted 35 qualitative interviews with advisers from across the UK, half worked with our client and half did not.

Advisers are busy people and finding time in diaries is tough. So we interviewed online via a Teams video call which is just as effective as face-to-face interviews. It built rapport, allowed screens to be shared (both ways) and body language to be assessed.

The research was anonymous at first with non-clients, with the client revealed partway through.

The outcome

Research found that

  1. advisers were confused about the models & better comms are needed
  2. although customers are broadly satisfied, competitors do minor things slightly better, giving them a slight edge

This research has helped to ensure the launch of a new adviser proposition is focused on adviser needs, challenges and understanding.

It is also being used to redevelop processes and to guide future marketing and communications.

Ultimately this work will help our client expand the IFA network they work with a view to new  client acquisition.

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Exploring adviser understanding