INDUSTRY NEWS | 1st November 2021
7 Min Read
Connor Broadley selected as one of New Model Adviser’s Top 100 financial planning firms for 2021
We’re delighted to have been selected by New Model Adviser to be on its list of Top 100 financial planning firms for 2021. Below is the introduction from NMA and their summary about why we were selected. It is good to see that our commitment to corporate social responsibility and our employees’ mental wellbeing resonated with the judges.
Welcome to the 2021 edition of the Citywire New Model Adviser Top 100. As you will see, this year’s list is a real mixture. You’ll find a good number of firms that made the list last year, and some that have done so several years running, but also plenty of new entrants.
The list also represents the true spectrum of sizes when it comes to financial advice firms. We do not use assets under advice to calculate the points we award – preferring other factors, such as investment in new advisers and qualifications – so while you may read about a one-adviser outfit on one page, you might well read about a national on another.
By far and away, the focus of the NMA Top 100, and the awards that are based on the information gathered for this list, is on local and regional advice firms. The financial planning profession has been founded on people leaving big businesses to set up on their own, to pursue their own vision and serve clients better. That is still the typical new model firm, and even among market consolidation this spirit of independence is alive and well.
A couple of observations. While ESG investment is gaining momentum – about 25% of new fund recommendations were to ESG-type mandates compared to 14% last year – planning businesses are becoming more sustainable too. And while three firms this year have already achieved B-Corporation status, regarded as a gold standard of sustainable business practices, several more are pursuing it. One firm has even pledged 25% of its ownership and future profits to environmental charities.
Recruitment and investment in the next generation of planners is more widespread than a few years ago, and there are now well-established programmes providing training, or sometimes just work experience, to young people. It is often not long before those new entrants are offered some sort of stake in the business, and there is a lot of talk about succession planning. Interestingly, it is clear that no one solution suits all businesses when it comes to passing the baton. Each new model business is unique, and the right succession strategy will have to reflect very particular circumstances.
Almost a third of firms now use flat fees for initial charges, and a handful do so for ongoing fees too. Sometimes, this will be an option alongside percentages. Compared to the scepticism around flat fees five years ago, the argument about whether they work seems settled.
And there seems to be more community involvement and charity work than ever. New model advice firms are establishing themselves as a positive presence in their communities and have thrown themselves into this role with renewed energy following the pandemic.
After a painstaking scoring process, we have worked hard to draw out the best stories from each firm on the list this year. We hope you enjoy reading about the exciting things going on in your profession.
Connor Broadley, London; James Connor
While looking after clients will always be the main priority, Connor Broadley and its CEO James Connor also want to do more for the team and the outside world.
The firm has established a corporate social responsibility committee, signed up to the UN’s Global Compact and selected five sustainable development goals to focus on.
After reviewing suppliers it has switched to renewable energy and sustainable office stationery. It has also moved its default company pension scheme to an ESG fund and introduced more ESG options for clients with lower investment levels.
ESG assets commanded 39% of assets under advice and accounted for 40% of fund recommendations during 2021.
To support its workforce, a wellbeing team formed in 2020 focused on the training of mental health first aiders. The company also introduced a share incentive plan for employees.
A client development director for private clients and a benefits consulting director for corporate clients were hired to segment the client bank and focus on different needs and expectations.
If you’d like to hear more about our services, or specifically about our progressive investing solutions, please do get in contact via the following email address: firstname.lastname@example.org