London National Financial Planning Symposium 2018

2018 Financial Planning Symposiums – Resistance is futile

Incredibly powerful forces are driving change in the way professional financial advice is delivered. Should you resist or let the forces guide you? Demographics, longevity, later life and a new retirementality. Shifting social values that are driving innovation and a quickening pace of change that is demanding scenario planning and clearer financial roadmaps to aid decision making.

Register now to secure your free place and let the forces guide you.

*Please be advised that this conference is a 2 day event, starting on Thursday noon and ending early Friday afternoon. If you are interested in attending for either 1 or 2 days, please register your interest for the entire event. 



11:00 - 12:00 Registration and exhibition opens

12:00 - 12:20 Welcome to the 2018 Financial Planning Symposiums

Speaker: Sarah Cruddas, Space for Humanity

12:20 - 12:45 The Professional Force Awakens- A New Hope

Speaker: Keith Richards, Personal Finance Society

12:45 - 13:15 Difficult to see, the future is

Frank Witte will take you on an exploration of how people deal with and prepare for unexpected events, or events they do not want to expect but know to be possible future reality anyway. He will do so by exploring stories and narratives that people share with each other taken from and/or exemplified by narratives from the Galaxy far far away. Almost seamlessly that will also involve the question which role the stories and narratives that we tell clients play when they confront their choices concerning risk and opportunities still in the future. Although we will look at examples from a different universe, it will all very much apply to us, here and now.

  • Gaining deeper insight into how human beings make choices and how they depict humans making choices
  • Gaining a better understanding of the role of time, uncertainty and location in the stories we tell about decision-making
  • Analysing examples of story-telling, its impact on people and how we might knowingly and unknowingly use this impact of story-telling in advising and guiding people who are making choices
  • Increase the awareness of attitudes to loss, risk, sickness and health and how stories talk about how they influence our choices

Speaker: Frank Witte, University College London

13:15 - 13:45 How can you help clients make sense of an uncertain future?

The FCA’s Retirement Outcomes Review has made it very clear that when it comes to delivering good client outcomes the bar for good practice is high and only set to rise. But clients now have so many options that helping them to understand what will deliver the best outcome for their needs is challenging. This session takes a step back and looks at how thinking through scenarios with a client can help to improve outcomes.

  • Understand why planning is important but plans are not
  • Recognise why it’s important to consider multiple scenarios
  • Using scenarios to explore a client’s capacity for risk without getting mired in the detail.

Speaker: Jason Whyte, EY

13:45 - 15:00 Lunch and exhibition

15:00 - 15:30 Investing for clients in challenging times

The aim of the session is to answer investor demands for a decent income with limited risk. It will explain why we have to say that so called safe bond investments still yield very little, and come with the added risk of capital loss if you buy a longer dated instrument. It will examine the case for taking more risk to access higher yields on shares and properties, and explain the circumstances where that cannot be done. It will also provide a view on how long this cycle might last and when we should fear a recession and bear markets. It will introduce the concept of total return and the way in which some charities and pension funds look at sustainable income, which combines actual income with an element of capital drawdown from capital gains.

  • By the end of the session gain a better understanding of how to navigate the increasingly difficult search for income for clients
  • By the end of the session understand why total return should be a consideration within a client portfolio
  • By the end of the session understand why prevailing low interest rates have meant that investors, where appropriate to their circumstances, have had to take more risk

Speaker: John Redwood, Charles Stanley

15:30 - 16:00 Do, or Do Not. There is no try.

When markets shift, resistance is futile. So what are the forces for change and how do you respond? Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen, called it the Innovators Dilemma; “how successful, outstanding companies can do everything "right" and yet still lose their market leadership – or even fail – as new, unexpected competitors rise and take over the market.” (Wikipedia) Financial advice is likely to be affected by precisely this challenge as advisers continue to work in the high profit “at retirement” market, whilst new generations of clients come through seeking a totally different business model. Current industry discussion focusing solely on ‘price’ and ‘how to charge’ might be missing this broader change. Brett Davidson of FP Advance believes it’s time for some new thinking. Come and find out what he suggests advisory firms should be doing to position themselves for this exciting future.

  • Understand the powerful market forces driving change 
  • Discover how other businesses have responded to disruption in their industry 
  • Consider a range of business models to help you continue to meet your clients changing needs

Speaker: Brett Davidson, FP Advance Ltd

16:00 - 16:40 The power of invisible wealth

The so-called pension freedoms are the most important change to our pension system in a lifetime. The value of accrued past DB entitlements for many millions of people is significant. While it was once possible to regard all DB pension income as a retirement income stream that is no longer the case irrespective of whether such accrued entitlements are taken as income or not. Advice given to people who have substantial past DB entitlements must take account of them. Advisers are the most likely source of information about pension entitlements going forward. From a public policy viewpoint it seems crucial that individuals’ rights are enhanced to allow partial surrender of accrued DB entitlements as a right.

  • Many future clients will have significant ‘invisible wealth’ generated from past DB pension scheme membership
  • It is and has always been invisible to many of them and those around them
  • Advisers will be unable to give holistic financial advice to many clients without taking account of such accrued wealth

Speaker: Steve Bee, Jargonfree Benefits

16:40 - 17:10 The outlook for the UK economy beyond Brexit

Brexit is an issue that is dominating the energy of government, diverting it from dealing with some of the pressing issues facing the UK that would exist with or without Brexit. That latter is purely a decision made by the UK and any economic consequences that flow from it is avoidable but could and will interact with some of the unavoidable risk and issues that the country faces. Rising inflation and interest rates, slower growth, buoyant equities, low bond yields, tight credit spreads and yet Brexit uncertainty, protectionist attitudes – what do these and other challenges mean for the UK’s economic prospects after Brexit? Former Lloyds Bank Chief Economist, Professor Trevor Williams, moves beyond the headlines to uncover what the current situation means for your business.

Gain an understanding of those challenges ranging from:

  • low productivity
  • an ageing population
  • high levels of public and private sector debt
  • demographics that is changing the world, and its economic and social and political relationships
  • threats to globalisation
  • the 4th industrial revolution and all it implies as the pace of economic change speeds up, across a range of industries

Speaker: Trevor Williams, TW Consultancy

17:10 - 17:25 Wrap up and close

Speaker: Sarah Cruddas, Space for Humanity

08:00 - 09:30 Registration and exhibition opens

08:00 - 08:40 AVIVA Breakfast Session- separate registration required

NOTE: Separate registration is required. Please go to to register

08:00 - 08:40 Fidelity Breakfast Session- separate registration required

NOTE: Separate registration is required. Please go to to register

09:30 - 09:40 Welcome to the 2018 Financial Planning Symposiums

Speaker: Justin Urquhart-Stewart, 7IM

09:40 - 10:10 The investment adviser's highest value proposition

In the age of robo-advice, AI, and other tech innovations, where does the adviser value lie? As alpha becomes more and more elusive, how does the adviser role evolve in order to remain relevant to clients?

  • The session will explore the key threats to traditional advice model from technology and commoditization of investment management
  • Drawing on behavioural science, we'll explore the key aspects of the financial planning most likey to will survive commoditisation 

Speaker: Abraham Okusanya, FinalytiQ Limited

10:10 - 10:40 Supercharge your client journey and take it from woe to woww!

We all know that WOWWing your clients on a regular basis simply won’t happen by accident! In fact, most planning practices are failing miserably to deliver a consistent service; never mind designing one that they can, hand on heart, say they are truly proud of. Why is this? Well, as the saying goes, you can’t see the outside of the label when you’re looking at it from inside the bottle! So, equipped with over 20 years’ experience in designing and assessing exceptional standards of client service, Michelle will inspire you to adopt a fresh perspective by sharing some of her top tips (from ‘The Little Book of WOWW!’). She will help you to supercharge your client journey and deliver a service which will not only burst through regulatory requirements, but also support you to operate in line with the highest levels of global standards.

  • Discovering what WOWW! means for you and your clients as we enter the new world of The WOWW! Economy™
  • Finding a NEW but proven process for taking a deeper dive into knowing your client
  • Why it is no longer about a client’s “Why?” but all about how they experience the most amazing journey of their life
  • A new-found appreciation for why collaboration could be the missing ingredient in your business (and, yes, this means all of you!)
  • Why documented procedures are no longer just a “nice to have” but are a critical MUST HAVE as we enter The New World of Financial Planning™
  • An understanding of why continual improvement should rise to the top of your agenda!

Speaker: Michelle Hoskin, Standards International

10:40 - 11:10 The force of technology and how it’s shaping the future of advice delivery

In this session Abbie will share insight into how advisers are harnessing digital, using examples, and evaluate the evolution of adviser business models in response to emerging trends.

  • Does digital signal the end of advice as we know it?
  • Learn how advisers are using technology to service their clients in new and innovative ways - while at the same time reducing risk
  • Why building a tech savvy business matters in intergenerational financial planning

Speaker: Abbie Knight, DISCUS

11:10 - 11:40 Coffee break and exhibition

11:40 - 12:10 The new way to succession

There have traditionally been two ways to exit a business. Management buy out, or trade sale (typically a consolidator). Both are riddled with issues. Now there is a third way – the Employee Ownership Trust (EOT), offering the ideal solution for owner, employees and clients alike. Transitioning to an EOT is about much more than the legal and tax aspects, however. Having been through such a transition, Chris Budd looks at why the EOT is ideal for owners thinking about retirement, and employees who want to get involved in their business but may not have the money to buy shares. He provides an answer to the challenge of how to create a sustainable business.

  • Technical details of the Employee Ownership Trust, of interest to owners and employees of IFA businesses as well as their clients
  • What changes to make to the infrastructure of a business to make it more sustainable
  • How to engage employees in order to increase the strength and profitability of a business

Speaker: Christopher Budd, Ovation Finance Ltd

12:10 - 12:40 Your client needs and Cyber Advice - Science Fact or Fiction

  • What current and future clients are saying they want and need from the advice profession
  • Identifying the forces at play to enable suitable advice and streamlined service propositions 
  • Meeting The FCA benchmarks for conduct, risk and professional practice 

Speaker: , Model Office and Engage Insight

12:40 - 13:40 Lunch and exhibition

13:40 - 14:10 Say Hello, Wave Goodbye

In this session, we’ll think about when it’s right to make a change to both your clients’ investments and your own propositions. We’ll talk about what makes a compelling case for a change, and what is harder to justify. Can it ever be OK to make a change which costs a client more? And how do you balance your own requirements as a business with suitability for the client? These aren’t new issues, but changes in technology and problems for providers with – amongst other things – replatforming – have brought them back into focus. At the same time PROD, MiFID II and the Investment Platforms Market Study are upping the ante on demonstrating suitability. It never gets any easier…

  • Understand the impact of PROD and the Investment Platforms Market Study on replacement business
  • Consider the impact of these on the construction of adviser propositions, with particular reference to Centralised Investment Propositions
  • Investigate the barriers to change and consider which are relevant and which are perceived

Speaker: Mark Polson, The Lang Cat

14:10 - 14:40 Now, witness the power of this fully operational cash-flow plan

In recent years, cash-flow planning has moved from being a niche activity to being much more mainstream. You could argue that every adviser should now be using cash-flow planning to a greater or lesser extent. In this session, Rory will explain his understanding of the FCA’s expectations in this area, how cash-flow planning can be used to meet FCA requirements, highlight some pitfalls to avoid and give examples of good and poor practice.

  • Understand FCA expectations in relation to cash-flow planning
  • Consider examples of good and poor practice
  • Review your approach

Speaker: Rory Percival, Rory Percival Training and Consultancy

14:40 - 15:25 Out of this world

Helen Sharman is a pioneer, scientist, role model and inspirational speaker. Shebecame the first British Astronaut in May 1991 when she launched on a Russian Soyuz spacecraft. She spent 8 days orbiting the Earth, living and working on the MIR Space Station. Selected from 13,000 applicants,Helen didn’t think she stood a chance of being chosen, after hearing an advert on the radio on her way home from Mars Confectionery, after work. But Helen was exactly the right person - calm, practical, friendly, professional and a team player. Helen enthuses and inspires as she speaks about Space, STEM and the wonders of science. She describes the meticulous training and preparation, learning Russian, launch and landing, how weightlessness feels, her science experiments, the team spirit, and readjusting to life on Earth. Awarded the OBE in 1993, she was further awarded a rare and special honour in the New Year Honours List 2018, being made a Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George (CMG) for services to Science and Technology Educational Outreach. She received the CMG personally from Her Majesty The Queen at Windsor Castle in February 2018.

  • The importance of international collaboration and connectivity
  • Communication and teamwork
  • The fragility of the Earth
  • Training to be an astronaut and what weightlessness feels like
  • What it feels like to live and work in Space in zero gravity

Speaker: Helen Sharman, The First British Astronaut

15:25 - 15:35 Summary and Symposium Close

Speaker: Justin Urquhart-Stewart, 7IM


CPD CII Scheme
PFS Accredited 7h 25min

This event has been accredited by the Personal Finance Society and the CII and can be included as part of your CII CPD requirement should you consider it relevant to your professional development needs.


Sarah Cruddas

Space for Humanity

Keith Richards

Personal Finance Society

Frank Witte

University College London

Jason Whyte


John Redwood

Charles Stanley

Brett Davidson

FP Advance Ltd

Steve Bee

Jargonfree Benefits

Trevor Williams

TW Consultancy

Sarah Cruddas

Space for Humanity

Justin Urquhart-Stewart


Abraham Okusanya

FinalytiQ Limited

Michelle Hoskin

Standards International

Abbie Knight


Christopher Budd

Ovation Finance Ltd

Model Office and Engage Insight

Mark Polson

The Lang Cat

Rory Percival

Rory Percival Training and Consultancy

Helen Sharman

The First British Astronaut

Justin Urquhart-Stewart



Intercontinental the O2

1 Waterview Drive
Greenwich Peninsula
SE10 0TW


Click on the ‘Book Now’ button above. Once you have logged into your PFS account you will be taken to the booking pages for this conference.

The dress code is business attire.

You can amend your registration details by logging into your Events profile. Click on the ‘My Events’ button to do so now.

It could be that you have entered your email address incorrectly or that you have switched to a new email address, or that for some technical reason your registration failed. Please contact the Personal Finance Society Conference office and we can check your records.

At the present we are not able to automatically upload the CPD records, but we hope to be able to offer that service in the near future.

Please also note that you MUST sign in at the Conference for all sessions you attend in order for the Conference Office to validate your attendance.

You will be able to download your CPD Certificate from the PFS website after the event, and will receive an email with the link once we have recorded your attendance online. Although we do our best to do this as soon as possible after a conference, in some circumstances this may take a few days. If you are not able to download your CPD Certificate after 7 working days please email to clarify this.

For general information and links about the CPD process, please click here.

To log-in and view your CPD records, please click here.

If you have any further queries about CPD, please contact the Personal Finance Society /CII on 020 8989 8464.

We will do our best to accommodate all special and/or dietary requirements. You can make us aware of this as part of the registration process, or update your Event Profile on the PFS website (click on My Events to login and then edit your requirements on your Event Profile).

Please email the Conference Office at after the Conference and we will send you all the post event literature.