At PIMFA we cover the Financial Advice and Wealth Management arena in the UK. This community of financial expertise in the UK is forever changing and the research we produce and the data we collate will represent this, we want to inform and educate you as to the current trends and to the more traditional facets of advising on and managing assets. This section will give a brief overview, and the members section will give greater detail, on how this world is changing and how you can adapt or focus your best efforts in a timely and efficient manner to take advantage of opportunities that arise.
The Financial Adviser Market:
The seventh in PIMFA’s series of annual reports on “The Financial Adviser Market: In Numbers”, describing the size and nature of the advice sector, shows a vibrant industry coping well against a backdrop of increased regulation and market volatility.
Conservative estimates of AUM for the Financial Advice and Wealth Management sectors stand at approximately £272Bn and £942Bn respectively. Whilst the slight contraction in the overall number of firms continues, there has been an increase in the number of advisers per firm – up to just under 5, showing an improvement in client service. Revenue is up by a significant 14% on 2017, pre-tax profits jumped by 25% to £872 M, the most significant rise since 2010, and retained profits are up by over £70 M to £303 M, with overall sector margins averaging 17%.
As to industry sentiment, whilst many consider the current regulatory burden as excessive, there is a feeling that regulators should “get more involved in the industry”, particularly where this relates to the continual and unacceptable increases in the FSCS levy, enforcement action against those who cause reputational damage to the industry and that regulation should be tailored for smaller firms too.
Overall, there is a desire to serve clients better through the removal of excessive administration, plus a streamlining of regulatory and compliance requirements, which PIMFA expects to take shape over the coming months as we prepare for our departure from the EU.
The following excerpt is partly taken from ComPeer’s Q3 2021 update of the UK Wealth Management Industry report
The UK wealth management industry continued its growth path with total investment assets increasing to £1.27 trillion by the end of the third quarter. This growth was driven by Wealth Managers who reported growth in excess of the rise in the market as inflows remained strong. This was despite the potential uncertainty surrounding new COVID-19 strains and how they may impact the markets going forward.
Across the industry, total revenue remained flat quarter on quarter. Wealth Managers achieved some growth on the back of a rise in investment management fees and net interest income. However, the story was less positive for Execution Only Stockbrokers, who witnessed further reductions in commissions as trade volumes decreased (but remain high compared to previous years), causing a quarter-on-quarter reduction in total revenue.
Encouragingly, firms appear to be improving their cost control, thereby suggesting the business models are becoming increasingly scalable. Wealth Managers kept costs flat, and so the rise in revenue fell onto the bottom line, resulting in a small increase in average pre-tax profit margin. Meanwhile, Execution Only Stockbrokers were able to cut costs by 9%, although it was not sufficient to cover the fall in revenues and so margins reduced for this firm group.
Key Statistics on the UK Wealth Management and Financial Adviser Market
Same Quarter in Previous Years
Investment Assets (£billion)
Client Trades* (000s)
Retail Market Bargains (000s)
Total Revenues (£million)
FTSE UK Private Investor Balanced
(FAMIN Report 2019)
Latest No of Financial Adviser Firms
Basically no real change here
Consolidated Revenue (for all Regulated business)
A strong revenue increase for firms
A bigger increase than last year
There was some tracking back to prior higher levels of Retained Earnings last year, but still this year has ramped up well
Double figure rise in pre-tax margins, fairly significant increase mainly due to the size of the pre-tax profits this year rather than the revenue factor
* participating firms only
 Investment Assets and Revenue are for the total market, based on extrapolated quarterly survey participant data. Participants account for over 60% of total market assets and 65% of total market revenue. Client trades represent participating firms only. Retail market bargains are for UK Retail Stockbrokers.
With thanks to ComPeer limited: www.compeer.co.uk