Listening and learning
Quite early on when deciding what sort of provider we would like to be two things were obvious: 1) Lets take the Roy Walker approach to the SIPP market and "say what we see" and 2) Rather than fritter (other words were used) money away on research why don't we listen to advisers and planners about what matters to them.
We're still listening and thought it was worth sharing a recent conversation with a financial planner. They see two types of SIPP provider they want to do business with:
- at the lower end, cost effective e-SIPPs with efficient operating systems and IT functionality.
- for a client who wants more than a basic product, excellent service, full investment flexibility and access to sound technical knowledge.
Music to our ears and something we would welcome your feedback on because the Curtis Banks SIPP was designed with this in mind. The exception being that with a fair fee structure we aim to deliver to both markets in one product and the feedback we get from advisers is confirming that we are getting it right.
It puts some of the larger long-established SIPP operators in a difficult position, though, as they don't fit into either of the above boxes. The fact is a number of large SIPP providers will have dated legacy operating systems which just cannot compete with the best platform SIPPs, and sadly the quality of service provided for clients and advisers isn't always up to dealing with those wanting something more than the basic product.
Small wonder, then, that advisers are losing interest in them and switching their business to firms such as ourselves in increasing numbers. So we would ask you to see through the big firm "Use us, we're big" argument, and ask yourself if they are delivering what you really want ? As always we would be interested to listen and learn.