Above all else, political uncertainty, both Brexit and broader political volatility combined, is seen as the greatest threat to the UK advice industry over the next two years, the Aegon Adviser Attitudes Report 2017 found.
Brexit was identified as a significant concern for 40% of advisers who "fear it could hurt their business propects".
Optimistic and confident
The report is the first in a series that intends to shed light on the challenges facing advisers.
The responses from over 250 advisers around the UK revealed that they are in a confident mood and that "any concerns that advisers are overwhelmed by the vast array of recent changes in the industry seem unfounded", said Aegon pensions director Steven Cameron.
But he cautioned that "it would be a mistake for the sector to rest on its laurels".
According to the report, 81% of those surveyed said their turnover increased over the past 12 months and they expected that trajectory to increase with 17% expecting a significant increase.
Three-quarters reported profits increase over the past year with 78% expecting a further increase over the coming 12 months. One in five said they expected profits to increase significantly over the same time.
Three-in-four also said they expected to add new clients and 7% said they would add significantly to their client book.
Advisers told Aegon they expected to hire as a result of this new business.
The Aegon reseach found that advisers are in demand and that the market is in rude health. The expectation is that this will continue for the freseeable future.
Client concerns over the adequacy of defined benefit and the benefits of defined benefit pension freedoms have come together to create a surge in demand for advisers, which Aegon said is not being met.
Memories of pension miss selling may have tempered advisers’ enthusiasm for the opportunity which expected FCA guidance could reinvigorate as could pension dashboards.
Dashboards could be transformative by giving clients oversight over a litany of pension pots. 26% of respondents said dashboards would be a major opportunity over the next 24months.
Similarly social care will further drive clients to advisers with 21% seeing it drive new business.