Principle 3 – Other stakeholder responsibilities
The Board recognises that the Group’s long-term success relies on good relations with its wider stakeholders – the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), financial advisers, employees, clients and suppliers. The Chairman takes a pro-active role by personally contacting a sample of stakeholders, from time-to-time, and providing feedback to the Board.
The Group has processes to gather regular feedback from clients, including recommendations or complaints, for identifying any improvements that would result in better client outcomes or satisfaction. Also, the Group has established a Product & Service Committee which meets three times a year. This Committee reviews existing and potential new products or services to ensure they are distributed to and meet the needs of the proper target market.
Every financial planner of the Group has a nominated Training & Competency Supervisor and they also have direct access to the Group’s Client Solutions Manager. Regular development forums are held, and these are attended by senior management of the Group.
Employees have regular 1-2-1 sessions with their immediate line manager, and annual reviews where development plans are discussed to ensure individual’s objectives are aligned to the business strategy and to improve levels of employee engagement. Internal newsletters, briefings and communications are distributed to keep all employees informed of important developments. A forum for the senior management of the Group takes place on a regular basis to involve the broader management team in business planning and to improve teamwork and Group identity.
The Group has identified key suppliers or advisers such as the nominated broker, external auditor, legal adviser and PR consultants. The Group seeks the independent and experienced view of its key advisers on various matters as and when required. The Group values their independence and seeks to establish long-term business relationships to benefit the Group.
The Financial Conduct Authority
Most of the Group’s revenue is derived from FCA regulated subsidiaries. The Group takes an open and co-operative approach to the regulator and positively embraces the FCA’s 11 principles of business. The Group submits regular returns to the FCA. Employees whose role encompasses compliance activities are encouraged to attend regular forums or workshops arranged by the FCA on topical issues. All new and existing employees, advisers are made aware of the FCA’s principles of business. The Group arranges regular external compliance audits to provide assurance that the Group is meeting the requirements of the regulator.