Rathbones has been using an unregulated subsidiary Castle Investment Solutions to charge a due diligence fee regarding its DFM panel to clients of its advice network Vision, a model that has left some adviser clients confused, reports New Model Adviser.
The complicated arrangement sees clients of Rathbones’ advice network Vision charged an extra due diligence fee by this business. Rathbones had made a reported £18m cumulative profit.
The following sorts of stories are likely to be very frustrating for advisers. Abrdn is to shut its platform for four days though with promised upgrades as it continues work to place both its main wrap and Elevate on to the same FNZ technology system, a story featured in NMA again.
The managing director at Tenet&You Simon Broadley stepped down from the network last month after 12 months in the role, as another NMA exclusive reveals. He is now chief commercial officer at Furness Building Society. (A strong week for NMA.)
The FCA has overlooked the adviser market in its Sustainability Disclosure Requirements consultation, according to ratings provider Square Mile.
The above may be a statement of the obvious, but it is an important one as well. It really doesn’t make any sense that advisers are an afterthought.
Back, inevitably, to the CII saga.
The PFS board spent about £800,000 last year on third-party legal and audit costs after seeking advice and legal guidance on the CII’s loan and financial requests, NMA reports according to several sources.
(It would be great to get an idea of CII spend as well, given that finances seem to underpin the dispute.)
Ten days or so ago (when you read this review) the CII sent another email to members reiterating its position on governance and winning positive coverage with the headline “CII: PFS had 'astounding reaction' to governance failings” featuring in FTAdviser.
The CII clearly believes that a laser focus on governance wins the broader argument.
The acting PFS CEO Don MacIntyre responded on Monday 30th January writing to members saying: "Friday’s message and the CII letter to the PFS contains information that is extremely important to address, and I will be taking this content to the board before any formal comment.
"I continue to maintain that it is not helpful for the situation facing the CII and the PFS to be played out publicly in the media, with messages and assertions continuing to find their way into the public domain.
"Considering the best interests of the organisation and of its members it is not appropriate to comment on these matters at this time."
The CII, of course, has access to professional outside PR advice. This CII message was rebutted by PFS members, but that was on Twitter. I am not sure if that is optimal. The story will inevitably play out in the media. Wishing that it has not and will not, does seem to play into the hands of CII in terms of coverage.
The Money Marketing’s leader comes close to taking a position and suggests a shattering of the CII framework if the dispute continues in this manner, ‘riffing off’ views it published from Fiona Tate in mid-January.
At the time, Tate wrote: “I believe we are past the point where the CII can simply use its muscle to get what it wants, and it is high time the membership got a chance to hear both sides of the story in full. Otherwise, we risk fracturing the CII framework deeply and potentially permanently.”
Again, I wonder if the adviser trades should move into campaigning mode. The fact that some facts and the interpretation of those facts are in dispute, make this more difficult, but not impossible.