Managing director of deVere UK, Mike Coady, says that the accolade is just the start.
“Being awarded the corporate chartered financial planners (CFP) status illustrates our continual commitment to raising standards and expertise, providing the highest quality advice backed up by world class service and support for our clients – our most valued asset.
“Our focus on continual development is recognised by this achievement and helps to set us apart from our competition.”
For Coady, achieving the “gold standard for financial planning companies in the UK” demonstrates “that we can provide the highest possible planning service to our clients by proving that we meet stringent criteria, regarding professional qualifications and ethical standards”.
One “client-focused upgrade” that Coady credits with contributing to deVere achieving corporate CFP status is the company’s Best Advice Team.
“The team brings together and shares best practice across the business. With strong relationships and regular interactions with external sources including: solicitors, investment managers and tax specialists.
“[It] continually seeks and identifies areas of improvement, looking for new ideas to ensure deVere benefits its clients’ best interests. The ultimate aim is for deVere United Kingdom to become a ‘thought leader’ in respect of advice standards in the industry,” he explained.
The deVere announcement follows swiftly on the heels of AES International announcing a similar achievement on Monday.
Just 5% of UK firms have qualified for the professionals ‘gold standard’, AES said.
A long-term holder of corporate chartered financial planner status is Killik & Co; which, like AES International, also has offices in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC).
According to the CII, at the heart of chartered status for firms is the desire to help the insurance and financial advice disciplines to improve standards of knowledge and behaviour and, in turn, levels of professionalism.
To gain corporate CFP status at least one of an organisation’s board members or an appropriate member of the management team must personally hold the CII chartered financial planner title.
The organisation must commit to having the entire board (or appropriate management team) together with a minimum of 90% of its customer-facing staff maintaining membership of the Personal Finance Society (PFS) or CII.
Ideally a firm should offer a full financial planning service and, where requested, provide customers with access to an individually-qualified chartered financial planner within 10 days of the request.
The firm should have an appropriate professional development programme in place and be able to provide evidence that the company’s core values and business practices align with the PFS/CII code of ethics.
Other criteria apply and those interested in pursuing corporate financial planner status can complete the CII questionnaire to determine your suitability.