MiFID II: A hidden opportunity for advisers and planners

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The advisers and planners we work with are generally a happy bunch.

Over the past few weeks though, the morale of some has dropped appreciably as the full extent of MiFID II dawns on them. My attempts at some gallows humour, mentioning the GDPR which follows a few short months later, haven’t been universally well received either!

But, as you grapple with the complexities of the new legislation, and the changes you will have to make in your business, MiFID II presents an overlooked and unlikely opportunity.

The new rules will undoubtedly mean making changes to your client agreements, terms of business, etc.

In my experience, these documents already represent something of an Achilles’ heel for advisers. Often built on the back of a template, great care goes into ensuring they are compliant but, in too many cases, that’s at the expense of making them engaging; in terms of design and content.

So, while MiFID2 is something most advisers and planners could do without, it’s the opportunity to right a wrong. If you need to rewrite these documents anyway, why not take the time to redesign them entirely to ensure they reflect more positively on your business, while improving the experience for your clients?

That leads me on to overall brand consistency.

Why’s it important?

Consistency is reassuring to potential clients. It shows you’ve got an eye for detail and believe that the small things are important.

It starts with the simple stuff; making sure your logos are displayed correctly wherever they appear, from your website to social media channels, printed literature to your office. It’s equally important to make sure the fonts and colour palette are consistently used.

Consistency is key at every stage:

  • The first interaction a potential client has with you, whether that’s on or offline
  • The communications prior to your meetings
  • Your office; including reception areas and meeting rooms
  • Any documents or brochures you give to clients
  • Suitability or cashflow planning reports
  • Newsletters or other communications between meetings

Achieving consistency takes constant vigilance, three things make it easier though:

A consistent culture: Whether it’s just you in your business, or you have a larger team, making sure that everyone understands the need for consistency and is zealous in its pursuit is crucial.

Make it easy: Every business needs brand guidelines or a style sheet, showing among other things, how your logo should be displayed, the names of your chosen fonts, and the relevant codes to ensure the correct colour palette is used. These should be shared within your business and embedded in your processes, referred to regularly to ensure consistency is maintained.

A brand audit: As part of commitment to consistency, an initial audit will show you where (if at all) you are missing the mark. Fixing these issues, followed by regular checks and reminders of its importance, will help to cement the culture of consistency into your business.

It sounds like hard work!

It is, and guess what? It never ends.

But it’s worth it, both in the long run and the short. Clients appreciate consistency, even on items that you might label as insignificant. The devil is very much in the detail, though you’d probably be forgiven for thinking that the devil is disguised as MiFID2 right about now…

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