Advisor Speak 28th December 2012
2 good ways to deal with the forthcoming change
Dhruv Mehta, Mumbai; Chairman - FIFA


The new year brings for IFAs optimism on asset classes but some apprehensions as well on the new direct plan regulations that kick in from Jan 2013. Dhruv Mehta, in his new year message to all IFAs across the country, shares 2 key ways in which IFAs should prepare for the new paradigm and emerge stronger. Read on as Dhruv explains how going back to basics and sharing best practices can help all IFAs manage change successfully. This article is part of FIFA Perspectives - the monthly newsletter that Wealth Forum produces jointly with FIFA.


A mix of optimism and apprehension

All of us in the advisory and distribution business are approaching the new year 2013 with a positive view on debt and equity markets, which is good for our clients and for industry volumes. We are at the same time somewhat apprehensive about how recent regulatory changes might impact our business models.

At FIFA, we have been actively representing our views to the industry and to regulators about how we see the impact of new regulations - both positive and negative. We have been forthright in giving our suggestions on how some of these regulations can be shaped to better serve the objectives they are meant to. We await the final advisor regulations, and hope that our as well as everybody's comments and views are taken on board in framing these important regulations. On the other key issue that concerns us - direct plans at a lower expense ratio - we have actively put forth our apprehensions to the regulator.

While representations will continue and we at FIFA are committed to continue playing an active role in reaching the voice of the IFA to the regulators, we have to at the same time understand that it is in our best interests to prepare for the new environment that lies ahead of us.

When preparing for change, go back to basics

When preparing for change, it is always useful to go back to basics. We need to ask ourselves some simple questions - What is our business? Whom do we serve? What is the value proposition we offer to those we serve? We are all in the profession of offering advice and service to our investors. As long as we keep focussing on adding more and more value in terms of advice and service to our clients, our value proposition to them will remain strong. When our value proposition is strong, clients will continue to want our services. In other words, what I am really saying is that we must all introspect in our own business models to find out what will enhance our customers loyalty to us and to our services, and do what it takes to enhance loyalty.

Sharing views and experiences is the best way forward

In large organisations, HR teams prepare you for change, help you with tips to deal with change, share best practices from other organisations on managing change successfully. We IFAs do not belong to any large organisation, and therefore do not have readymade access to such change management programs. But, we do have a fantastic opportunity to help each other, by sharing views and experiences. The more we do this, the more willing we will become to embrace change, deal with it and emerge stronger. Wealth Forum is a very useful platform for all of us to exchange our views on a common platform and imbibe best practices from each other. It is towards this end that many of our FIFA members have been actively participating - through FIFA Perspectives (the monthly newsletter that Wealth Forum and FIFA produce) - in sharing their insights and learnings on key business issues.

To download FIFA Perspectives, go to FIFA Corner on the Wealth Forum Ezine website

Let's come together and strengthen ourselves

It will be FIFA's ongoing endeavour to reach out to all IFAs across the country with an intention to share insights, learn from each other, and strengthen our common cause. FIFA now has 110 members (including one IFA association), from 21 cities across the country. I would like to use this opportunity to welcome all IFAs and IFA associations from all over the country to come together, join FIFA and strengthen our efforts. All information on how to join FIFA is available at or in Wealth Forum's FIFA Corner

Biggest service for our clients in 2013 is to get their asset allocation right

Finally, I suppose all of us are quite optimistic about both the key asset classes - debt and equity - as we go into 2013. This augurs well for our clients and for business volumes. The one thing that we all need to reiterate to ourselves, as we go into the new year, is to ensure we do our best to get all our clients' asset allocation right. If we succeed in executing this one thing properly in 2013, I am sure we will have many satisfied clients and consequently more robust businesses by the end of the year.

Wish you a very happy and successful 2013 !