3rd July 2023


The Trust revolution: WPS advisory paving the way for trustworthy financial advice

For a long time the word trust has not been synonymous with financial services or financial advisers. So how important is receiving an award which focuses and rewards the rebuilding of trust between an industry and consumers.

Trust, in our view, needs to become the new benchmark in our industry. It needs to be earned over time by means of hard work in consistently understanding and delivering to the consumer’s needs.


Now, there is a very important point here: this is not the same as essentially planting loaded questions to sell a financial product. Instead it is by building an advice programme that records the consumer plans and objectives, their needs and wants, in their own words then delivers to these objectives in a secure environment.

Working in this way helps us to learn how the consumer communicates, allowing us to talk to them in a way they understand.

The key to all of this is that in our view the expectation of what a financial adviser has to achieve has been sadly misunderstood. Simply providing a Personal Recommendation (Advice) was never the true requirement, the true requirement was the ability to evidence an informed choice, with a clear understanding demonstrated by the consumer as to how they would achieve their objectives, importantly the risks they will be taking.


Our innovative and groundbreaking “Who am I” advice programme is designed to evidence informed decisions.

This programme does not simply seek to ensure the consumer can set out their plan, the reasons for their plan, it is constructed in a way which ensures right at outset we can measure the individuals:

  • Experience
  • Financial sophistication
  • Understanding or risk
  • Communication style

An important aspect of any advice programme is the testing, ensuring the consumer can arrive at a conclusion as to whether their plans are realistic and achievable, in particular our programme ensures the individual not only understands the risks they are taking, but can evidence they are capable of seeing those risks emerge, make decisions in their own right: in managing their money.

It is no good if the plans reflect our knowledge, our values and our understanding as advisers as the first time an individual makes decisions, sometimes even without realising, then the plan will fail.


We have consistently referred here to consumers. This is because when deciding we wanted to create change, we wanted to work with regular people who in our view were not supported by the financial advice and financial services sector.

We had to find a way of creating access to advice for regular people and to do so in a way which clearly demonstrated value for money.


To achieve this, we engaged both directly and indirectly with employers and pension scheme trustees and set out our belief that a firm could be genuinely trusted to deliver advice via the workplace and / or the pension scheme.

To develop this market we had to set out a strong proposition showing how we could help employees and scheme members, including how we would deliver value for money to the following stakeholders:

  • Employers
  • Trustees
  • Their advisers
  • Consumer representatives, including trade unions

Each of those parties had a natural cynicism based on historic experience.

We said we wanted to provide access to trusted, high quality, value for money financial advice and we showed exactly how we would do this, right down to seeking to change the way people pay for advice.


We sought to deliver this advice in the most complex and highly regulated area, engaging now with over 100,000 consumers.

We have appointments to provide access to advice via some of the largest employers and pension schemes in the UK.


To obtain these appointments we had to undergo significant diligence right at outset, and on a regular basis. This can include independent assessments of advice, examination of our regulatory status, reporting against service levels and provision of consumer feedback via our agreed Customer Service index.

At all times we prioritise the needs of the consumer, no third party is allowed to influence our advice, or our relationship with the consumer. On the one occasion dialogues headed in this direction, with a third party seeking to influence our programme we resigned the appointment. That was not easy, this was a world renowned name.

Earning trust is not easy and nor should it be. You have to stand tall when tested and be prepared to hold your ground to deliver the changes you have promised.


We set out on this mission in 2015 and today we are recognised as the leading firm in our specialist segment. But we did not do this on our own.

The work we do,has to be backed by real and tangible financial strength. If we make mistakes we have to be able to ensure the consumer is protected.

We sought backing for our project, our wish to create change in the world of financial advice. That support was not easily found.

Ultimately we were backed and remain backed by Nigel Green and deVere Group. They believed in what we wanted to achieve and they have backed us all the way, providing support whenever we have asked, without ever trying to influence the way we work.

Sometimes, given the market influence and reputation we have established in the last eight years our parent company get over-excited when we achieve positive results, surely that is reasonable, it is their money and support which have allowed us to engineer genuine and positive change.


We are not finished yet, there is more to do. We have a generation of consumers who need help more than ever due to the death of defined benefit schemes and much lower pension savings.

In late 2023 we will launch our Life-stage Advice Strategies proposition, making advice accessible on a value for money basis to even more consumers.

To do this we need to continue to evidence we can be trusted, to receive this award as genuine recognition of our efforts will help.