For a number of years at the end of our business financial year Jean and I have sat down and discussed how much longer we intend to remain in business. We have run our business for 35 years now and our clients are an integral part of our lives and it is their future rather than ours which gives rise to concern for us. Our clients have remained on board through all of the regulatory cycles and vocabularies and even when we changed our remuneration process back in 2003 they seemed to trust that we knew what we were doing and that it would be of benefit to both of us.
About six years ago for health reasons we gave away almost 400 accounts to other IFA,s leaving us with 250 to look after. We received no payment for these clients and our only stipulation was that the clients were to enjoy the same terms that they had with us for the following twelve months. Our impression was that as these clients were all paying a recurring 1% on their Transact accounts any IFA would be only too glad to provide a service to them and indeed look to expand the relationship we had enjoyed. Sadly there has been an almost universal disappointment as the new advisers seemed happy to simply take the existing income and renege on any concept of communication or ongoing servicing.
Our business is very profitable and rather simple to maintain, which is has to be with just the two of us and one part time self employed administrator, but we have to be realistic and acknowledge that whilst we thoroughly enjoy working the time will surely come when we just have to stop. We are fortunate that we are now economically independent so are not reliant on receiving any significant sum in exchange for our business but we do want to do our very best to provide our clients with a standard of continuity which matches that which has been quite normal for them over many years.
All of our income is derived from ongoing charges on wrap accounts ( one wrap ) for which we provide whatever financial advice or service is required by clients. The business has 35 years of audited accounts, all available online, showing consistent growing profitability and they underpin our expectations from anyone assuming responsibility for our clients.
Apart from the usual consolidator offerings we continue to struggle with a solution for our future and would be very interested in hearing your ideas.