Mind the Gap: A personal journey towards bridging the advice gap.

The Advice Gap: 95% of the population are underserved and disintermediated by the adviser population on account of their limited wealth.

The Adviser Gap: 95% of advisers have disappeared in a generation. From a peak of 400,000 towards the end of the last century, to just 25,000 today (with half set to retire in the next 10 years).

Would you agree that where there is high demand in a big market but a lack of supply, and imagine if a model emerges that can operate in that segment profitably … then that would be interesting? Right?

Well I’ve been a leading proposition architect and business development expert for over 30 years, and here’s why I think there’s an interesting opportunity emerging.

Let me tell you … why listen to me?

It was 1993, at the HQ of Refuge Assurance in Wilmslow, Cheshire. I was in my office, as Pensions Department Manager. Jenny, head of training walked in and told me that out of a salesforce of 1200, not a single person had passed the new pension transfer course. I said leave it to me, I’ll get them through it. I went out into the field with a trace of a grin on my face. If I worried I hid it. I started to sing, as I tackled the thing, that couldn’t be done. And I did it. They asked me to carry on in the field supporting advisers.

It was 2000, at the Wilmslow HQ of United Assurance (previously Refuge Assurance now merged with United Friendly). I was in my office, as Pensions Development Manager. Ashley, the Sales Director, told me he was firing all the advisers. I was surprised given that I’d grown the pensions business four-fold in as many years. 100,000 Insurance Company reps lost their jobs across the industry. Blaming regulation and inefficiency in the advice model. The insurance companies exited the market. I quit and joined Bancassurance.

For the next 12 years, I grew salesforce after salesforce for several firms. I developed six market leaders. Six market firsts. Multiple-prize-winning. I was the Proposition Architect and Business Development Director for tens-of-thousands of advisers, across three of the five biggest banks – bancassurance, corporate, and independent. Including a stint as BDD for the UK’s fourth largest IFA network.

In 2011, as Head of Investments for the world’s largest bank HSBC, I had now become the go-to-authority in my field. Eight out of ten investors still use my products today. I’d even won an award for the best product in the world, which saved five-million lives, was launched with 50 MPs present and my first client was the Pope. Could it get any better?

To trump that I chose to attempt to solve the industry’s biggest problem. What mattered most to customers mattered least to bankers, according to the Edelman Trust Barometer we were the least trusted profession in the world.

I then looked for the best and most TRUSTED advice model in the world. I trained in that. Became a Master. Trained advisers for Kinder. The biggest and best financial planning trainer in the world.

It was Dec 2011. I was at the HQ of HSBC in Canary Wharf. In one of those small grey meeting rooms you see on the Apprentice, with my boss David. David told me that he was firing all advisers, despite me having trained, tested and proved a Trusted Adviser model that was 10-times more profitable for the bank. 10,000 bancassurance reps lost their jobs across the industry. Blaming regulation and inefficiency in the advice model. The Banks exited the market. I quit to go independent.

It was 2014. I’d set up the Academy of Life Planning two years previously, to help independent advisers, and had been an IFA for a couple of years as well. When an opportunity presented to join forces with George Kinder, I was a co-founder of LifeSpire. A National & International Life Planning Firm.

But asking boutique independent advisers to join a large national/ international firm was like herding cats. An INTERMEDITING financial planning NATIONAL was not the answer.

I have continued planning clients and training advisers to this day.

It was Spring of 2019. Nigel, the boss at the firm where I held my FCA licence to intermediate, called me at my home office. My clientele lived all over the world, and I had long since moved operations on-line. His PI insurance premium had gone up 500%, and he was looking at options. One was a sell-out option; Nigel said the compliance team of prospective purchasers had advised that he had to remove me from the books as it was so long since I intermediated. As the need to intermediate had long-since disappeared from my business model, I agreed. This cut my links to FCA, I became a non-regulated financial planner.

I had developed my own financial planning system. Adding bits here and there along the way, bits that I thought were missing. The result was The GAME Plan. Putting everything I had learnt over 30 years plus into one system, so you don’t have to!

I launched my book in June 2019, Your Money or Your Life: Unmask the highway robbers – enjoy wealth in every area of your life.

I now run events around the world and online and train advisers on this. One adviser won Times best IFA for 2019 and 2020. Peter Johnys.

But my model had become Non-intermediating Financial Planning.

I set up LinkedIn Group and focused the Academy on being the world’s first Non-intermediating Financial Planning Network.

I was doing my Proposition Architect and Business Development Director bit again, this time for Non-intermediating Financial Planners.

People around the world started joining the Academy and buying my books. Sweden, United States, Singapore, Hongkong.

Then the ex “Man from the Pru” started to join us. The displaced 400,000 insurance company reps and bancassurance advisers I talked about, finally had a route to set up their own business doing something they enjoyed and were good at …

Serving the underserved. Being non-intermediating for the disintermediated.

Then the coronavirus pandemic hit. March 2020.

Intermediaries were furloughed.

But non-intermediating financial planners could easily deliver online. And, thrive. Globally. Country boundaries matter little in a non-intermediating advice model.

My highlight. I’m so proud that Justin joined us, the UK’s lead trainer with the Kinder Institute.

So, it’s a work in progress. It’s early days. But we are heading in the right direction.

I’m a proposition architect and business development director of 30 plus years’ experience, now delivering an online global network of non-intermediating financial planners.

Helping a global village of underserved and disintermediated, facing a global life and money emergency, escape with a life and money exit plan delivered directly to their home.

So, I have tens-of-thousands of satisfied advisers who I have trained … ho can now set up their business or side-line business doing what they love.

Should you choose to join us today?

You will be one of the first to be trained on The GAME Plan Generator.

Mind The Adoption Gap

Where do you come on the innovation adoptive cycle?

For more information visit:

https://www.academyoflifeplanning.com/

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