FTAdviser Top 100 Financial Advisers 2020

Our rundown of the top UK financial advice firms

Welcome to the Top 100 2020

It's fair to say 2020 has not turned out as expected for anyone in the financial advice industry. In our sector, as in others, companies are starting to reconsider both the issues they prioritise and the way they do business.

But intermediaries have shown themselves to be adaptable and resilient in the face of the coronavirus pandemic, both in the way they have handled the challenges of 2020, and the way they have helped guide clients through similar difficulties.

The changes of the past 12 months mean the backdrop to FTAdviser’s Top 100 Financial Advisers list is altogether different this year. And the way in which we construct the rankings has changed, too.

The list continues to use data compiled by our research partner Matrix Solutions, an ISS Market Intelligence company, using their Financial Clarity product to provide a snapshot of some of the very best advice companies working in the UK today. To see the key metrics for each company, on which the rankings are based, click here.

But in uncertain times, we wanted to make sure our list recognises businesses’ efforts to improve professional standards and maintain public trust in their services. So this year, for the first time, our methodology rewards companies that are either chartered by the Chartered Insurance Institute or accredited by the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment. Full details of all businesses that meet these criteria be found online in the bodies' respective company directories.

Of course, to ensure the list remains a dynamic, relevant ranking of advisers’ businesses, there are many other factors that we continue to take into account and full details of the methodology can be found at the bottom of this page.

So while there has been more turnover than usual in the rankings this year, we believe it also means the Top 100 is a more well-rounded gauge of some of the best businesses in the sector.


Dan Jones, editor-in-chief, FTAdviser

The list

1-25

1. Quilter

2. Bartlett Wealth Management

3. FB Wealth Management

4. Pharon Independent Financial Advisers

5. Mazars Financial Planning

6. 1825

7. Skerritt Consultants

8. Attivo Group

9. Punter Southall

10. Beckett Financial Services

11. Premier Wealth Planning

12. Keyte

13. JLT Group

14. Lycetts Financial Services

15. Marsh Commercial

16. Smith & Pinching Financial Services

17. Handelsbanken Wealth Management

18. Advanta Wealth

19. Paradigm Norton Financial Planning

20. NatWest

21. Johnston Carmichael Wealth

22. Antrams Financial Services

23. Wingate Group

24. HFMC Wealth

25. PI Financial

    26-50

    26. Schofield Money

    27. Greaves West & Ayre

    28. Lovewell Blake Financial Planning

    29. Fairstone

    30. HDA

    31. Hoyl Group

    32. St James's Place

    33. Creative

    34. Chase de Vere

    35. IFT Wealth Management

    36. Ellis Bates Group

    37. McHardy Financial

    38. Argyle Consulting

    39. Cullen Wealth

    40. Hazlewoods Financial Planning

    41. Westminster Wealth Management

    42. Origen Financial Services

    43. Openwork

    44. Wills & Trusts IFP

    45. Lomond Financial Management

    46. Tavistock Group

    47. Kerr Henderson

    48. Pareto Financial Planning

    49. Joseph R Lamb Independent Financial Advisers

    50. Canter Holland

    51-75

    51. Martin Aitken Financial Services

    52. WPS Advisory

    53. Tenet

    54. Broadstone Group

    55. Validpath

    56. Wren Sterling Financial Planning

    57. Charles Stanley

    58. Chadney Bulgin

    59. Mutual Financial Management

    60. PK Financial Planning

    61. InPartnership

    62. TSP Wealth

    63. AFWM

    64. Clark Gillone

    65. Francis Clark Financial Planning

    66. True Potential

    67. CRS Consultants

    68. A&J Wealth Management

    69. Foster Denovo

    70. Gale & Phillipson

    71. Edison Wealth Management

    72. Portfolio Financial Consultancy

    73. Brooks Macdonald

    74. Tilney Smith & Williamson

    75. Sense

    76-100

    76. Pannells Financial Planning

    77. Progeny Wealth

    78. Best Practice

    79. Sanlam

    80. Skipton Group

    81. James Brearley & Sons

    82. Douglas Steers & Co

    83. KMG Independent

    84. Lifetime Financial Management

    85. Ludlow Wealth Management

    86. Perry Financial Management

    87. Joslin Rhodes Lifestyle Financial Planning

    88. Beaufort Financial Planning

    89. HFS Milbourne Financial Services

    90. Timothy James & Partners

    91. ASC Financial Solutions

    92. Reeves Independent

    93. Loveday & Partners

    94. Close Brothers Asset Management

    95. Lumin Wealth Management

    96. FM IFA

    97. Unbiased Financial Group

    98. LGT Vestra

    99. Lathe & Co Wealth Advisers

    100. Canaccord Genuity

    Methodology

    This year we have added a new metric - whether a firm is chartered or accredited by the Chartered Insurance Institute or the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment.

    While the weighting afforded to this metric is relatively low in absolute terms, it has had a notable impact on this year’s rankings. As larger businesses are typically less likely to be chartered at a company level, the observable effect is that the change has been of benefit to smaller businesses – partially offsetting the emphasis placed elsewhere on flows and assets under management.

    And while just one of the top three companies is either chartered or accredited, eight of the top 10 and 16 of the top 20 do have such a status.

    As usual, we also look at the growth rate of advisory businesses, AUM and asset retention, the number of years’ experience each business has managing assets in different economic and interest-rate environments, and how well qualified their individual advisers are.

    In order to check how advisers are managing their clients’ investments, Matrix Solutions used data received directly via their Financial Clarity product from fund managers covering 90 per cent of the retail investment market, plus 16 of the nation’s biggest investment platforms. In most cases, that means advice companies’ own platforms are not included.

    As a result, the Top 100 Financial Advisers list incorporates not a company’s stated level of AUM, but rather the amount held on those 16 investment platforms and with most of the nation’s biggest fund houses.

    Key Points

    • AUM held on relevant platforms accounted for an average of 48 per cent of each adviser’s score. 
    • Net flows as a proportion of AUM accounted for an average of 23 per cent of each adviser’s score.
    • Company age accounted for an average of 9 per cent of each adviser’s score.
    • CF30s as a proportion of AUM accounted for an average of 8 per cent of each adviser’s score.
    • Asset retention accounted for an average of 6 per cent of each adviser’s score.
    • Estimated performance accounted for an average of 2 per cent of each adviser’s score.
    • CII or CISI company-level accreditation accounted for an average of 4 per cent of each advisers’ score.

    Displayed figures have been rounded to two significant figures and include assets in retail advisory investments and pensions, reported to Matrix Solutions via Financial Clarity. The likes of DFM assets are not included.

    When it comes to CF30s, simply calculating the number of financial advisers at a company would do little other than benefit the larger businesses. So we have divided companies into quintiles, based on the number of CF30 designees as a proportion of overall AUM, and awarded points depending on which quintile a company sits in. CF30 figures include qualified staff who are actively advising customers, and are accurate as of the turn of the year.

    Clients also want to know if the adviser they see today will help them through the financial ups and downs of tomorrow. With that in mind, the list also continues to rate businesses on their ability to keep clients in their ranks.

    Experience counts too, especially when uncertainty is greater than usual.

    The average Top 100 Financial Advisers company has been in business for 45 years. That, however, is a drop of 10 years when compared with the 2019 list.

    One of the side effects of our new methodology is that a small change in an advice company’s data can produce a relatively large change in its placing in the list.