Traditional Firm, Go It Alone Or IFA Network? We Weigh Up The Pros & Cons

15th November, 2021

Traditional Firm, Go It Alone Or IFA Network? We Weigh Up The Pros & Cons

As an independent financial advisor, you face a choice: join a company as an employee, set up on your own or become part of a network. But have you thought about:

  • Whether you’re willing to compromise on the direction of your IFA business?
  • Why best-in-class technology that optimises the way you work is a must-have?
  • The time and effort involved in organising regulation and licensing?
  • What tools and support you’ll need to focus on boosting client outcomes?

From regulation to technology and freedom, we’ve outlined some key considerations for advisors thinking of switching firms, joining networks or going it alone.

Traditional FirmGo It AloneIFA Network Like Ours
Regulation & Compliance Regulation & ComplianceDon’t worry about it – your employer will organise regulation and licensing so it’s not something you need to lose sleep overHuge regulatory burden – you need to organise regulation and licensing, keeping up to speed with ever-shifting compliance requirementsRegulatory infrastructure taken care of – giving you a compliant platform to operate without having to organise regulation yourself
Technology, Software & Systems Technology, Software & SystemsToo many traditional firms have paper-based processes and legacy systems which they’re notoriously slow to replace – impacting everything from client comms to speed of writing businessFrom integrated submission checking processes to CRM and PEP checking, cutting-edge technology is expensive – to go it alone, expect to face a huge initial financial outlayBest-in-class technology – at Lawsons Network for example, our comprehensive cloud-based multicurrency system makes it easy to do business in a way that suits you, your team and your clients
Resources & Support Resources & SupportExpect to find huge variation in the quality of resources and support you’ll receive from a traditional employer – though you should be able to leverage their relationships with product providersUnlike networks or traditional firms, going it alone means you’re unable to share resources – or fall back on the expertise and contacts of your network or employersOur IFA Hub gives you 24/7 access to our resource centre while our experienced team have spent decades in the international wealth management sector so you benefit from established relationships with product providers
Flexibility & Freedom Flexibility & FreedomWith your employer in charge, there’s no freedom to choose who you work for or who works for you – that’s fine if your interests align, but if you have ideas that aren’t listened to, it can become frustratingIt’s your business so you decide the direction – but expect to spend valuable time taking care of a growing business, rather than focusing on the needs of your clientsNetworks are a fantastic home for entrepreneurs – embrace the flexibility to develop your business in any direction you choose without worrying about compliance, technology and support
Payments & Profitability Payments & ProfitabilityDoes your salary reflect the effort you put in or the business you win? With traditional firms, you may have to watch your employer benefitting from your hard workWhile you don’t need to pay commission, the initial outlay means it’s likely to take you longer to start making a profitA favourable commission structure (like our 80/20 model that applies across all revenue) gives you the power to boost your profitability

Growing numbers of IFAs are choosing to join our network. Want to know more about the benefits you’ll enjoy as a member of Lawsons Network? Our expert team would love to answer your questions.

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