100% increase in plan and implementation fees
Turnover increases 10% while client numbers
FP Advance helped David Norton Award winners Page Russell put the final polish on their business, increasing plan and implementation fees by 100% and reducing plan preparation times by over 50%.
Page Russell is a family run business consisting of five team members.
Challenges facing Page Russell
- To improve the initial engagement process with new prospective clients. Many clients just didn’t ‘get’ the service being offered and commitment rates were poor. It would sometimes take two or even three meetings before a client would sign the client agreement for a financial planning report.
- The financial planning processes were inefficient, complicated and lengthy. The company were confusing complicated with good. Inadvertently they had become more worried about technical, professional and regulatory requirements than client requirements.
- The client review process was inconsistent. Apart from self-administered pension clients, there was no structured review process in place and no way of demonstrating the value being provided throughout the year. If no major life events happened to drive the client back to the business the activity tended to drop off which had a negative impact on client retention over time.
What did FP Advance do?
In Tim & Stephen Page’s Words …
Revamped the client engagement process
Our client bank was properly segmented to determine who our core clients were and what we did for them. We also identified who we didn’t want to work with. From that data Ideal Client Profiles, Service Standards and Case Studies were created. In addition a First Meeting Story Board was created, together with a simplified fee tariff. Now, typically four out of five prospects admitted to a first meeting, commit to a financial plan either at or soon after that meeting – without a need for a second initial meeting. This has saved us as much as 4 hours with each client, a direct cost saving. Because our process is so much clearer many clients now commit and progress on to the discovery stage at the end of the first meeting.
Streamlined the financial planning process
The process of preparing advice for clients was streamlined and documented in operational procedures. Our internal time sheet analysis shows we now consistently make a profit on the upfront financial planning, before any implementation work is done. The plan turnaround time has plummeted by more than 50%, which has helped improve our cash flow tremendously. Just as importantly the client take-up of recommendations has increased as well.
Systemised the review process
A consistent review process has been implemented for all ongoing clients. Clients are contacted 4-6 weeks prior to their review date with a request for information and advance notice of the meeting agenda. The review meeting has a consistent structure using a personalised Scorecard for each client to politely remind them of the value provided by Page Russell throughout the year. It has helped to re-establish, re-define and reinforce our clients’ views on the service that we provide. They now realise how little they have ‘suffered’ in light of recent market volatility and the process has clearly positioned Page Russell as a trusted guide, rather than a transactional investment adviser.
- Turnover has increased by 10% compared to the same quarter last year in a period where client numbers were deliberately reduced by 10%.
- Typical plan and implementation fees have increased by as much as 100% and although we had already started charging 1% pa for ongoing service we are maintaining this margin on larger case sizes that are now coming into the business.
- The client engagement process now takes on average 4 hours less as we have eliminated the need for subsequent meetings to re-explain what we do. This has a direct impact on profitability.
- The enhanced review process has helped us secure an extra £2M of assets under advice from existing clients in the first two months of implementation, adding £20,000 of extra renewal income pa.
- Our plan preparation time has fallen by 50%, turning this into a profit making part of our delivery in its own right.
- Our confidence has increased dramatically when talking about the company to clients, prospects and other professionals.
Tim Page CFPCM APFS IMC & Stephen Page BA (Hons) DipPFS CFP