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A view from the 2019 Forum

By Mark Scanlon | 11 December 2019

SUMMARY: Chief Executive Mark Scanlon gives an overview of his keynote speech at our recent Adviser Forum.

Firstly, thank you to everyone who attended this year's annual forum. The theme was ‘change through technology’ and I don’t think anyone would debate the fact that we have been in the midst of this over the past months! This has made for a busy and turbulent eight months since I joined Tenet, but this has also afforded me the chance to learn a lot about the business in a short space of time.

In my keynote speech, I asked the question "is digital the monster at the gate, or an opportunity?" I didn't intend to give anyone a definitive answer to this, as it is of course for people to make up their own minds, but I want to share with you my take on this.

Firstly, I believe that our market has to be one of the best-kept secrets, by way of the fact that is enormous, (£2.8tn investible over next 10 yrs from the aged 55+) with nowhere near enough people to service its needs, commonly referred to as the 'advice gap'. How will we bridge this advice gap going forwards, with a profession that has a typically ageing workforce and has seen little growth in recent years?

When we look at Tenet's size in relation to our competitors, St James's Place are well ahead of us in terms of AR numbers, followed by Intrinsic and Openwork. This just demonstrates our potential to grow. Our end products and services fulfill an enduring need and there are very few independent networks left in the industry.

You told us we needed to modernise and we worked diligently with our incumbent software provider for a number of years to try to do this. However, we reached a point where we had to change and after in depth consultation, we decided on iO because it is the most comprehensive system we could have adopted for the group as a whole, with over 160 members who undertake both wealth and mortgage business.

We acknowledge the initial difficulty with iO implementation however, particularly in relation to payment matching. It's been a real team effort between Intelliflo, ourselves and you, our membership, to move things forward and we are making positive progress.

Looking to the future, as I noted before, the market is enormous and if our profession doesn't advise it, nobody will. There are some green shoots from the banks and building societies but it's nowhere near enough to service the demand.

We are uniquely positioned, with our bird's eye view of the wealth and mortgage networks and the marketplace more widely. In the future, we will focus our efforts down four core business lines - TenetConnect, TenetLime, TenetSelect and Aspire. We're also going to undertake some branding work, to make sure we have a cohesive and ‘joined up approach’ with our members, employees and the market.

Finally we'll need a ‘digital nose cone' for the front of the business. We're not trying to become a fintech but we believe advisers will be replaced by advisers with better technology. Digital disruption is all around us in the market and if digital is the monster at the door, then it's knocking, and just ignoring it won't make it go away. Consequently, we are focusing on the opportunity of investing in technology, systems and people, to remain current in a changing market.

It's important to underline however that 25 years’ of experience hasn't gone away and we're the same company through the change. We are a combined force, where your success is our success, so let’s continue to work together to build on that success and take advantage of the opportunities ahead.

That just leaves me to wish you a happy and peaceful Christmas and a prosperous New Year.

Mark Scanlon
Chief Executive

On the back of this year’s successful forum, we'll soon be sharing details of next year’s event, but you can register your interest via this link and you will receive first sight of our early bird rates.