1. Executive Summary
1.1 The UK financial advisor market is encountering headwinds
1.2 Key findings
1.3 Critical success factors

2. Market Overview
2.1 The number of firms is flat but advisor numbers are up
2.2 Consolidation activity has been significant, with the number of smaller firms starting to decline
2.3 Average revenues have grown strongly since 2016, although growth tapered in 2019
2.4 Financial advisors are the leading channel for pensions and investments
2.5 The affluent are the bedrock of the IFA market, although the drivers for advice changed in 2020

3. Opportunities and Threats for Financial Advisors
3.1 Threats: COVID-19, Brexit, and a market downturn top the concerns of advisors
3.2 COVID-19 has presented numerous challenges to advisors, but opportunities can also be found
3.3 The full implications of Brexit are still unclear
3.4 Banks have a limited presence in the financial advice landscape, but are strengthening operations
3.5 Opportunities: Changing fee structures as well as the aging UK population are key prospects for advisors
3.6 Increasing the transparency of fee structures is considered a key opportunity by financial advisors
3.7 The aging population provides IFAs with steady growth of a core market
3.8 Younger clients are a relatively untapped market for IFAs, but advisors should take notice of banks

4. Working with Financial Advisors: Platforms and Investment Management
4.1 Service provision: Platform usage is an intrinsic part of advisor operations
4.2 Service provision: The use of multi-asset funds and model portfolios is increasing in investment management

5. Appendix
5.1 Abbreviations and acronyms
5.2 Definitions
5.3 Methodology
5.4 Secondary sources
5.5 Further reading

List of Tables
Table 1: Selected financial advisor acquisitions 2020, part one of two
Table 2: Selected financial advisor acquisitions, part two of two
Table 3: Average revenues (£) of financial advice firms, 2016-19

List of Figures
Figure 1: The number of financial advice firms is slowly falling while the number of financial advisors is rising
Figure 2: 85% of financial advice firms had independent status in 2019
Figure 3: The number of mid-sized and large financial advice firms is increasing
Figure 4: Consumers primarily engage financial advisors for investments and pensions advice
Figure 5: IFAs are the preferred source of advice for pensions and investments
Figure 6: Financial advisors account for the majority of retail investment and pension sales
Figure 7: Financial advisor firms dominate the investment advice landscape in terms of number of advisors
Figure 8: Mass affluent individuals account for the majority of financial advisors' AUA
Figure 9: Saving and investment product holdings increases in line with affluence
Figure 10: Concern about leaving a legacy or inheritance tops the drivers of why individuals seek an advisor
Figure 11: Full withdrawal is the most popular option - in most cases without advice or guidance
Figure 12: Reputation is a key consideration for those seeking financial advice
Figure 13: Unsurprisingly, the business impact of COVID-19 is the chief worry among financial advisors
Figure 14: Post COVID-19, many advisors are seeing greater openness to new investment ideas
Figure 15: The FTSE 100 had a rocky ride in 2020
Figure 16: Examples of UK banks' robo-advice services
Figure 17: Increasing transparency of fee structures is cited as the number one business opportunity for financial advisors
Figure 18: The number of DB to DC transfers received has fallen significantly since mid-2018
Figure 19: By 2025, the number of individuals aged 65+ with liquid assets over £50,000 will surpass 5 million
Figure 20: As per pre-COVID-19 estimates, the over 65 population was set to steadily increase year on year to 2030
Figure 21: The use of IFAs to arrange investments increases in line with age
Figure 22: Investors aged 18-34 are most likely to use free advice services or an advisor at their main bank to arrange investments
Figure 23: Younger individuals are most likely to have started a pension due to auto-enrollment
Figure 24: The propensity to work with multiple platform providers increases in line with firm size
Figure 25: 20.1% of financial advisors seek an easy-to-use interface for their platforms
Figure 26: From a product perspective, advisors are turning to platforms that offer strong investment returns
Figure 27: Lower costs and price are the key factors that would make financial advisors switch
Figure 28: Aviva is the most used platform provider
Figure 29: Personal client assets are spread across a broad range of investment management approaches
Figure 30: The ability to allow advisors to focus on financial planning is the key draw for outsourcing investment management
Figure 31: The key requirement financial advisors have of DFMs is a wide range of traditional investments
Figure 32: Barclays Investment Solutions is the most commonly used investment manager by financial advisors

Companies Mentioned
- FCA
- Cofunds
- Aegon
- Blevins Franks
- Asia International
- Blacktower Financial
- St. James's Place
- Openwork
- threesixty
- Bankhall
- and SimplyBiz
- Sanlam
- Tenetselect
- Stirling House
- AFH
- AE Financial Services
- Ascot Lloyd
- Ashton House
- Aylwin
- Belasis
- Brewin Dolphin
- Core Financial Services
- CTL Three
- CWP Financial Services
- Debbie and Nick Burchall
- DG Pryde
- Emery Little Financial Services
- Fairstone
- Generic Financial Management
- Grennan Advisers
- Harvey Curtis
- Harwood Wealth Management
- HMFC Wealth Management
- Index Wealth Management
- Lifetime Investment & Seminar Services
- Lyn Financial Services
- Mark Hughes & Associates
- Moneyfax
- Monopoly Financial Consultants
- Newell Palmer
- Nick Davies
- Old Mutual Wealth
- Premier Wealth Management
- Robert Goodman Associates
- Sanlam UK
- Sense Wealth Management
- Sims Financial Planning
- Steve White
- The Acumen Investment Partnership
- Thomas Heald
- Tilney
- Zimb Johnson Bespoke Financial Planning
- British Steel
- Active Wealth
- Bellpenny
- Sandringham Financial Partners
- Aviva
- Hargreaves Lansdown