Six questions you will want answers to when selecting a financial advisor for your workforce
Making the decision to offer financial advice at work can be a key part of an employer’s wider wellbeing strategy. But selecting the right financial advisor for your workforce can be a challenge. Who do you choose? How much will they charge and will you be held responsible for their advice?
Below we answer some of the key questions you might ask:
1. What is the benefit of considering a financial advisor for my workforce?
It’s unlikely that, as an employer, you haven’t heard about the benefits of financial wellbeing as part of a wider wellbeing strategy within the workplace. It helps reduce financial stress, minimising distractions at work and, as a result, improves productivity and engagement. Quite simply employees can get on with their jobs without worrying about their finances.
But what about the higher earners amongst your workforce? You may assume they already know how to manage their finances and how to get the best from their money. But is this really true? Whether through lack of time, poor organisation or other financial commitments you may not know about, this may not be so. Such high earners will still want to know how to manage their finances wisely and understand how to choose the right products for their circumstances.
2. What type of financial advisors are there?
There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to financial advice and financial advisors. Given topics can range from retirement planning to investments and mortgages to debt management, ensuring you get the right advisor for your employees’ needs is key.
Advisors can be:
- independent – offering a range of products and unbiased advice
- restricted – may only be able to recommend products from a limited range of providers
- both independent and restricted advisors can be specialists in a particular market – such as retirement advisors.
Recruiting independent experts in their individual field, such as mortgage advisors, ensures that your employees get the in-depth knowledge that helps them make the best decisions set in the context of current market conditions.
It may also give them access to relationships and deals that may not be available through traditional channels. At Charles Cameron & Associates for example, we have access to exclusive mortgage products which aren’t available directly from high street lenders, enabling your staff to access the most suitable mortgage available from the whole of the market.
3. Who is responsible for such financial advice?
For many employers there is a nervousness about selecting a financial advisor. They worry that if things go wrong they could be held liable. At Charles Cameron & Associates the advice is our full responsibility – you are not liable for any of the advice that we give.
Starting by offering mortgage advice as part of your financial wellbeing strategy can also be a gentle first toe in the water of offering financial advice as an employer, whether someone is looking at how to get mortgage ready, invest in property or ensure they are on the right mortgage deal for them.
4. What will it cost me or my employees and how does the financial advisor get paid?
Beyond who the responsibility of financial advice lies with, the issue of cost is often a major sticking point. How much do they charge and is the cost borne by the employer or the employee? Financial advisors are often rewarded or incentivised on the products they sell and employees can be wary that this leads to bias when it comes to recommendations.
At Charles Cameron & Associates we offer completely independent, whole of market advice. We often have access to preferential rates but, most importantly, we can give this advice for free, thanks to the scale at which we offer it. Like any mortgage broker we are paid a commission from the lender but, as an added benefit to corporate clients, waive all broker fees for employees as well as their friends and family. The service is free throughout the process – from the first initial advice to product sourcing and full administrative support from application to offer.
5. How can I minimise the impact of disruption in work whilst also maximising the benefits?
Offering advice in-house can help to reduce pressures on staff at work. By having experts go to your offices disruption to your employees’ day is minimised, which is especially important for more senior staff who may have greater time pressures.
Charles Cameron & Associates offers a range of services, but most commonly the financial advice takes place face-to-face during individual 30 minute sessions in a meeting room within your offices. We can also provide video meetings, seminars, workshops and other methods, such as an online knowledge hub and benefit fair attendance, to deliver the advice your employees require if you would prefer an alternative format.
All we ask is that you help to promote the sessions, either through your HR or benefits departments, and allow staff to take time out from work to take part.
6. What experience does the financial advisor offer and how closely does the profile of their existing clients employees match my own?
If, as an employer, you have decided to offer financial advice to your staff then it is vital to ensure that you pick the right financial advisors and that they also fit in with the profile of your employees. Some financial advisors will only deal with high worth employees whilst others will have a more general approach.
Charles Cameron & Associates, which is directly authorised by the FCA, offers free in-house mortgage advice for employees of more than 170 blue chip companies across the UK. Our clients range from global law firms and technology giants, to independent marketing houses and small consultancy firms. We help everyone, from young graduates wanting to get into the best financial shape to make their first home purchase, through to experienced landlords wanting to manage their investment portfolio. No matter the size or demographic of your workforce, we offer professional advice for professional people.
This article is sponsored by Charles Cameron & Associates.
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