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Chase de Vere ‘hitting clients from all directions’ on pensions

Chase de Vere has been vigorously preparing for the new pension rules and expects a rise in the number of new clients, says Patrick Connolly, head of Communications

ABR: How has Chase de Vere been promoting off the back of the new pension rules?

Patrick Connolly: While we are very interested in growing our business and taking on new clients, our primary focus has been on making sure our existing clients are fully looked after and that they continue to receive the best possible advice.

The way we’re doing this is to ensure our advisers are completely trained on the changes – and not just one-off training, we offer ongoing training sessions, which have proved invaluable, and are a chance for advisers to raise any questions they may have.  We also operate a very bespoke service; we have a formal understanding of each of our clients and the conversations had between client and adviser so we know what has been discussed. Additionally, we’ve been writing to our clients explaining the new rules. In short, we’ve been hitting them from all directions.

The wide sweeping changes are fantastic in providing people with greater freedom, but they must also be carefully managed so that the right choices are made. In most cases, people rely on their pension for retirement so we need to ensure they fully understand the implications of the choices available. Before, retirement options were fairly straightforward and most people knew which path they were going to take but now there are so many more options. While greater choice is more exciting, it also adds much more complexity to the situation. Knowing how to make the right decision, both in the run up to and during retirement, is absolutely crucial.

ABR: Are you targeting new clients?

PC: We’ve received significant interest from new clients as awareness around the changes grows and people realise the need for financial advice. We’ve been active in talking about the new rules in the press, and always make sure that our website and literature are up to date and reflect the services we offer, which makes us easily accessible and approachable to prospective clients.

We’ve also produced a guide on our website for both existing and new clients which explains the changes in detail and emphasises the role financial advice can play. Our experience leaves us ideally placed to help new clients, but we would typically only look to take on long-term clients. I expect these changes will lead to a number of requests for transactional business, but that is not the kind of business we would look to take on.

ABR: What kind of new clients are you expecting to attract?

PC: These rules will open up the market; there will be a growing number of people who now realise they need advice. That said, we wouldn’t deal with just anybody. There is little point in someone coming to us if they have a relatively small pension pot; we would ideally expect clients with assets of £50,000 and above. Those with smaller pots may approach us but once we have explained our fees, it would make little financial sense for them to wish to continue.

We’re aiming for clients that require ongoing advice and are open to exploring the wider financial planning opportunities these reforms will create, including passing wealth more effectively on to loved ones. For those looking for more general information, or some help in understanding what the new rules will mean for them, we point them in the direction of our guide or steer them to government websites.

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