Mark Hutchinson reveals how the Festival of Financial Planning will deliver practical solutions to the challenges facing the profession
As the advice profession continues to wrestle with its own costs crisis, we look forward to the return of the Festival of Financial Planning in November to celebrate the growing importance and value of advice. As with the original festival, it certainly won’t be dull and boring, but there will remain a core focus on practical planning skills and practitioner-led good practice inspiration. You’ll need your thinking cap on to derive maximum value.
As professional indemnity (PI) insurance and Financial Services Compensation Scheme costs continue to soar, the PFS continues to promote an alternative levy to policymakers, most recently contributing to the Public Accounts Select Committee inquiry into compensation following the chaotic British Steel Pension Scheme restructure. Our radical solution is a levy on all investments under management in the UK, replacing the volatility of the FSCS levy and the uncertainly around PI cover with a tiny percentage contribution to the cost of compensation, which would leave consumers every bit as well protected as they are now. At the festival, we look forward to hearing from financial litigation solicitor Phillipa Hann about her work lobbying the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and UK government for change.
As with any professional services provider, client satisfaction is of paramount importance. However, with the FCA’s supervision focusing on ongoing advice and the new Consumer Duty, we’ll help planners untangle the new requirements of customer duty, vulnerability and suitability in the context of outcome-focused regulation.
Market volatility continues to be a big concern for retail investors and with demand for sustainable investments rocketing, especially driven by institutional investment funds, we will help planners unpack the environmental, social and governance (ESG) acronym to understand the drivers for demand and help give clear, expert advice to clients.
In a dedicated zone, we will be focusing on tech from a few different angles. Not only will we be helping firms understand options for driving process efficiencies and productivity to improve scale, but we will also be painting a picture of what content strategies you need to employ to raise your head above the parapet and compete in a digital world. Opportunities abound.
Our sector has been accused of dragging its heels when it comes to cultural inclusivity and diversity, so it is time to commit to real action. We will highlight the overwhelming business case for embracing diversity, equality and inclusion, and showcase the good practice that is already driving outperformance and winning the race for talent in our profession.
The holy grail for planners is to engage the whole family in the planning process, but it takes different skills to engage with and meet the needs of different generations. Dr Eliza Filby is a specialist in generational intelligence and believes the family unit itself is changing. In her keynote, Dr Filby will highlight how families have never been so economically entwined and interdependent, while helping advisers achieve engagement with the whole family, beyond the traditional male breadwinner, to ensure that all generations are served.
We will also welcome Paralympian Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson as a keynote speaker.
Baroness Grey-Thompson will take PFS members inside her incredible life story and explain how her focus on planning and teamwork – combined with an extraordinary sense of determination – underpinned her incredible success and medal haul in 16 years and five Paralympic Games. She will reflect on the core attributes needed to achieve 11 gold, four silver and a bronze medal at the Paralympic Games.
We look forward to welcoming you to what is now a standout event in the personal finance profession calendar. And above all, this is the place to sharpen up your financial planning skills, whether it is coaching, wellbeing, leadership or team culture, we have got some truly inspiring practitioners lined up to help you broaden your knowledge and hone your skills.
Mark Hutchinson is membership director at the PFS