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Archive 2019

IFAs must remember difference between due diligence & research

As the FCA’s suitability work continues, Chris Jones reminds advisers of their obligations to inform themselves and make informed recommendations You will often hear about the need to undertake research and due diligence on the products and services you recommend to clients, but what does that mean in practice? Specifically, is undertaking research the same

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You can’t hide behind a top rating, if you don’t know how it’s made

Not all ratings are created equal. It is advisers’ responsibility to check their sources and make sure grading systems are reliable. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has recently re-highlighted the need for advisers to understand the tools they use. Speaking at a conference in September, FCA director Debbie Gupta urged advisers to ‘consider the limitations

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“Agent as client” or agent for the client?

Last Thursday the PFS published a very detailed guide written by consultancy Diminimis on the potential issues arising from the “agent as client” basis on which some discretionary and MPS services are run. Many advisers will be on top of this but, for those who aren’t, the potential consequences are significant… Under the agent as

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What is “due diligence?” Lessons from the Berkeley Burke case

Working in a regulated industry, the importance of “due diligence” is drummed into us. The FCA regard research and due diligence as core requirements to ensuring suitability, and that poor research and due diligence can lead to poor customer outcomes (TR16/1). So you might assume that “due diligence” is a clearly defined requirement of the

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Pre packaged due diligence – Nirvana or sword of Damocles?

The ways to reduce the burden of due diligence are often crystal clear – provide a pre-packaged set of data that covers all the main points raised about due diligence. Or, even better, build an industry standard one! Of course, life isn’t that simple. Advisers want their own questionnaires for reasons discussed in my previous

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Assessing suitability: Research and due diligence of products and services

Advisers know that suitability lies at the heart of good advice – identifying the client’s real needs and then identifying the best solutions. And identifying those best solutions requires good market knowledge, based on research and underpinned by due diligence to ensure that the solutions will deliver as expected. So what comprises appropriate research and

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Why advisers want their own due diligence questionnaire.

Speaking to discretionary investment managers on almost a daily basis about due diligence matters I often hear the anguished rejoinder, ‘and advisers insist on having us complete their questionnaire rather than taking our standard due diligence pack.’ I am never sure whether insisting that the standard pack is sufficient is a matter of arrogance on

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