Hammond Raggett Client Services Agreement
Hammond Raggett & Company Ltd is a fee based Independent Financial Advisory business operating from offices in Manchester City Centre and Lymm, Cheshire. We are proud to be independent, which means we can recommend solutions to suit out clients from across the whole of the market place, and to be one of the first firms in the UK to be awarded Chartered Status, a prestigious award that recognises our commitment to professionalism and fair treatment of clients.
Steve, Malcolm, Stella, Richard and Howard provide advice across most areas of financial planning including Saving and Investments, pre and post Retirement Planning (including the full range of flexible retirement options and specialist pension arrangements such as SSAS and SIPP), Inheritance Tax Planning, Personal and Family Protection and Business Protection including shareholder and key person planning.
We are also one of a limited number of firms that are able to offer advice to individuals in relation to their benefits in “Final Salary” pension schemes. The advisory team is backed up by a well resourced and experienced client support team split across the two offices.
Our client base is varied and our clients come from all walks of life. They include individuals and corporates, those who are still working, and those who have retired. Client retention is fundamental to our business and we aim to build and maintain long-term relationships.
Hammond Raggett & Company Ltd is a privately owned company registered in England. No product provider, insurance company or third party who might influence our independence owns any stake in the company nor does any such entity provide any form of finance/loan facility to the company.
Stephen Whamond is the Chief Executive of the business, Chartered Financial Planner and a Fellow of the Personal Finance Society. He has considerable experience having worked in the financial services profession for over 25 years. He became a shareholder in Hammond Raggett & Company in 2004 and in 2012 became and remains its majority shareholder. Stephen is responsible for key client relationships and for the overall management and direction of our business.
Stella Collinge is a Chartered Financial Planner and Fellow of the Personal Finance Society who has spent over 25 years working in the financial services profession. Stella works with both Private and Corporate to help them achieve their goals and objectives throughout life. This includes pre and post retirement planning, investment advice, inheritance tax planning and family and business protection as well as advising companies on their pension obligations. Stella is a shareholder in our business.
Richard Leigh is a Chartered Financial Planner who has over 20 years’ experience working in the financial services profession. Richard’s client work is varied, and he predominantly advises individuals on their pension savings, investments and protection needs. He is very experienced in the post retirement planning market and is able to advise on the full range of flexible options. Richard has spent considerable time working with our corporate clients in relation their employee pension arrangements and has built up a level of expertise in dealing with international clients who have set up operations in the UK and need assistance with benefits for their employees. Richard is a shareholder in our business.
Malcolm Pritchard is the former principal of Beechwood (Pensions & Investments) Ltd. In that role he built up a very successful practice advising personal and corporate clients in all aspects of financial planning, but with a particular focus on pension and investment planning. The success of his business is a tribute to his hard work and energy and his ability to develop lasting relationship with clients. Malcolm has worked in financial planning for over 15 years and has a career in financial services spanning more than 3 decades.
Howard Goodall is the former principal of Rowley Goodall Ltd, and is an extremely professional and experienced Financial Planner. He has worked in financial planning for more than 30 years and has built a small but very loyal client base through the delivery of a highly personalised service. His advice is principally focussed on investments for private clients, and pre and post retirement pension planning.
Alex Benett has worked within financial services for a number of years since completing her degree in Mathematics at Manchester University. She has held other roles within our business before making the transition to become the newest addition to our Financial planning team. Her work is varied covering most aspects of personal financial planning. She also works with a number of our corporate clients advising on staff pensions and other benefits. She is currently working toward attaining Chartered Status.
1. Our Services
Whatever financial decisions you have to make, the first step towards making the right decisions is to establish a clear understanding of your financial needs. People seek financial advice for many different reasons so it’s important that we understand exactly who you are and what you want to achieve. At our first meeting we’ll gather information about you to help define your needs and priorities.
Our services include: –
- Financial Planning: It’s important to identify what you might want to achieve and how you can do this. We can help you to identify your goals and create a plan for your finances to help you achieve them.
- Retirement Planning: It’s important to know whether the money you are saving towards retirement will provide you with sufficient funds to meet your retirement objectives. We can work with you to proactively plan for your retirement and help you decide on the options available once at retirement.
- Protection Planning: Most of us want to protect the things that are important to us, our family, business and quality of life. Protection planning can help to provide peace of mind in the event of your income changing due to unexpected events. We can help you plan for the best way to protect you, your family or your business.
2. Our Advice
We offer independent investment advice. This means that we consider a wide range of financial strategies and products. We are constantly reviewing the market to ensure that the services and products we offer are appropriate for our clients.
Where we recommend particular investment strategies and products to you, these will be selected based on your personal circumstances, financial goals and objectives. We’ll consider a number of factors, including the services you need, the cost of investing, how much risk you are prepared to accept in an investment product and how much of a drop in its value you could withstand.
The areas we can advise on include:
• Life Assurance
• Investment Bonds
• Phased Retirement & Drawdown
• Structured Products
• Term Assurance
• Critical Illness Cover
• Income Protection
• Unit Trusts
• Open Ended Investment Companies
• Structured Deposits
• Investment Trusts
• Exchange Traded Funds
• Enterprise Investment Schemes
• Venture Capital Trusts
We don’t provide advice on Unregulated Collective Investment Schemes, Options, Futures and other Derivative contracts as we believe that these are unlikely to be suitable for our clients. We don’t provide advice in relation to individual share holdings. If this is something you need assistance with, we can refer you to a stockbroker.
Where we provide protection planning services we are an insurance intermediary and will provide advice which is based on a fair and personal analysis of the market.
3. Our Charges
The way we are paid for our services may depend on the type of advice given. Typically this will be:
- Investment business: fees agreed and paid by you.
- Insurance business: fees agreed and paid by you or commission payable by the insurance provider, which is a percentage of the total annual premium.
More details on these options and how they are paid is found in the following sections on initial and ongoing charges. Our charges fall into the following categories:
- Initial charges: these are the upfront costs of our services. We offer several types of initial service depending on your needs.
- Ongoing charges: once your financial plan is in place it is important to keep it under review so it can be adapted, where necessary, as your circumstances change. Our ongoing services are designed to do this.
Our actual charges and fees (in pounds and pence) will be agreed with you before we do any work and we’ll explain your payment options too. We’ll also let you know where any fees are subject to VAT.
Investment Business – Initial Charges
Our charges relating to new work e.g. client take-on, new investments and one-off reviews are as follows;
Financial Planning Report – One off report which may focus on a specific area of financial planning or need or be more generalist in nature. Where appropriate the report may include cash flow forecasting.
Minimum charge of £500 for a non-complex report. A typical charge for a more complex report would be £1,000 – £2,000.
Transactional i.e. where you are not taking up ongoing services.
3% of any monies invested subject to a minimum fee of £500. For example, if you were to invest £100,000 you would pay £3,000.
Financial Planning Service – full service or tailored to a specifically identified financial planning area or need – where you intend to become an ongoing services client. The service follows the advice process set out above and will include ongoing services. The financial planning may include initial cash flow analysis.
2% of the first £150,000 invested (minimum fee of £750)
1% of the next £350,000 then
0.75% between £500,000 and £1 million then
0.5% on sums over £1million
An average charge will be agreed at outset using the tiers above. For example, if you were to invest £200,000 you would pay £3,500 (£150,000 x 2% plus £50,000 x 1%).
Where the initial service necessitates the implementation of a financial product or service this is included as part of the service and we will keep you informed of the progress of our work at all times.
Paying for our Initial Services by Fee
If you wish to pay us a fee for our work, we will charge on an hourly rate basis. The actual hourly rates we use for Chartered Financial Planners is £250 per hour, for non-Chartered Financial Planners, £200 per hour and £75 per hour for client support staff. We will give an indication of the likely fees involved before starting work for you and will advise you if you are approaching or likely to exceed the indicated fee as we progress. We are prepared to quote fixed fees at the commencement of work.
Lump Sum Investment (Simple)
Advisor time: 2-5 Hours
Administration Time: 1-2 Hours
Advisor time: 2-5 Hours
Administration Time: 2-3 Hours
Set up Personal Pension
Advisor time: 2-5 Hours
Administration Time: 1-2 Hours
Pension Transfer (Money Purchase)
Advisor time: 4-6 Hours
Administration Time: 2-3 Hours
Pension Transfer (Defined Benefit)
Advisor time: 15-20 Hours
Administration Time: 3-5 Hours
Investment Business – Ongoing Services and Charges
We offer two levels of ongoing service designed to provide periodic reviews to ensure that recommended products remain relevant to your circumstances. Our charges relating to ongoing services are as follows:
Passive – The onus will be on you to contact us for ongoing advice and services although we may send you ad-hoc valuations and/or contact you if/when we feel products or services may be appropriate to you. You will have access to the resources of the Company for the ongoing maintenance of any investment / protection contracts you have in place and are free to request further advice at any time. This service does not include an ongoing assessment of suitability. Where you register to do so you will receive our regular newsletter.
0.5% per annum of the value of assets under advice. For example, if you were to invest £100,000 we would charge £500 per annum for our services. Our minimum annual fee is £500.
Active – As part of the initially agreed service we will:
Contact you annually (unless otherwise stated) to review and re-assess the suitability of your products and advice we have previously provided. The initial contact will include a valuation of your existing arrangements. The review service may include a review of your personal and financial circumstances, your goals and objectives, attitude to investment risk and capacity for loss, asset allocation, fund and product selection. It will take into account these factors and others including changes to the economic or legislative environment that might affect you. You will have access to the resources of the Company for the ongoing maintenance of any investment / protection contracts you have in place and are free to request further advice at any time. Where you register to do so you will receive our regular newsletter. You will have access to our Managed Portfolio Service. We will maintain records of your products.
0.75% p.a. on assets of up to £100,000
0.6% p.a. on assets of up to £250,000
0.5% p.a. on assets of up to £500,000
0.4% p.a. on assets of up to £750,000
0.3% p.a. on assets of up to £1,000,000
0.25% p.a. on assets of over £1,000.000
An average charge will be agreed at outset. For example, if you invest £200,000 the average charge will be 0.68% p.a. which would equate to an annual cost of £1,350.
These fees are subject to a minimum annual charge of £750
The amount of our annual ongoing charges may increase as the size of your fund grows.
Paying for our Ongoing Services by Fees
We offer the ability to pay for our ongoing services by fee. If you choose this option you will be invoiced for the services you have used based on the time/cost calculations shown under the “Paying for our Initial Services by Fees” heading above. The ongoing fees will be subject to the minimum charges set out in the “Investment Services – Ongoing Charges” table above.
Paying for our Services
We will discuss your payment options with you and agree with you how we will be paid. You can pay our adviser charges by cheque or bank transfer.
We do not accept payments by cash. Our charges will become payable on completion of our work and should be settled within 28 business days. Should you request one, you will be provided with a receipt upon payment. You may also pay our adviser charges via deductions from the financial product(s) that you might invest in, where the provider of the product allows this. Please note that if you choose to pay by deduction from a financial product this will reduce the amount left for investment and may, depending on your circumstances, have other consequences. Please note (as referred to in the table above) a minimum charge may be applied even if you choose not to invest in a product. We reserve the right to charge you for services provided prior to cancellation.
Where we have arranged investment business for you using a “platform” the ongoing fees for our services, where appropriate will either be taken by making deductions from your client cash account or by making encashments from investment funds held. Where more than one “tax wrapper” exists (e.g. ISA, General Investment Account, Pension) our fees and any deductions associated with them will be taken proportionately across each tax wrapper unless we specifically agree an alternative basis with you.
Payments for the above services can be made either by regular fee (paid by standing order) or by deduction from your investment(s) on a monthly, quarterly, six-monthly or annual basis, where the provider of the product or service is able to offer this facility. Such deductions will normally take effect from the first period following agreement of the fees e.g. after one month, one quarter etc. These deductions could reduce the amount left for investment and may, depending on your circumstances, have other consequences. If you select this option we will discuss the implications of using this payment method with you prior to putting it in place. Where the agreed basis is a percentage charge based on the value of invested assets, it is important to note that the overall charge in cash terms will increase as the value of those assets grows. Ongoing services can be cancelled at any time by giving us notice in writing. Please note that we reserve the right to charge you for services provided prior to cancellation.
You can pay for our advised protection services by commission, fee or a combination of these. In relation to non-investment protection contracts, if you wish us to work on a fee basis the fee will be based on either an hourly rate basis which will be subject to a minimum fee of £500 or on a specific one off fee agreed on a project basis. Any commission generated by a product sale can be used to offset this fee and any surplus will be refunded to you subject to the transaction being reasonable and not exposing Hammond Raggett & Company to undue financial risk. In some circumstances we may decline to undertake business on a commission rebate basis. Where we use or refer to hourly rate fees the current rate we use for Chartered Financial Planners is £250 per hour, for non-Chartered Financial Planners, £200 per hour and £75 per hour for client support staff. Where we are paid by commission we will tell you the amount before we carry out any business for you.
In respect of any regular premium policy which we have arranged for you, should you subsequently cease to pay premiums on the policy and in consequence we are obliged to refund the commission that had been paid to us by the product provider, we reserve the right to charge you a fee representing the amount we have to repay for a period of up to four years after the commencement of the policy. We will not charge any such fee if you exercise your right to cancel in accordance with any cancellation notice sent to you by the product provider. Nor will the fee we charge exceed the amount of commission that we have been asked to repay by the product provider. In normal circumstances the amount that we may be asked to repay runs off proportionately over the initial four years of the contract although for some contracts the period is shorter. Where we intend to rely on this, we will make it clear to you in our suitability report.
Non-advised Services (Execution Only)
You can pay for our non-advised services on the basis of commission, fee or a combination of these. If you opt for the commission route, we will tell you how we get paid and the amount before we carry out any business for you.
The above represents the standard basis for charging for our services. Please note we reserve the right to amend the fees detailed above on a client or transaction specific basis to reflect factors such as the time and work involved in a particular piece of work or other factors such as the historical relationship a client has had with our firm.
Under our non-advised service, we’ll not provide any advice or exercise any judgement as to the merits or suitability of the transaction for you the client. We’ll instead arrange the transactions on your behalf in certain non-complex products on a non-advised basis, that is, either an execution only or direct offer basis.
Value Added Tax
HMRC have confirmed that where we act in the capacity of intermediary between client and most financial services product providers our services, will normally not be subject to VAT. This means that when the financial planning process begins in order for our fees to be exempt from VAT there must be an expectation on the part of you as the client that you intend to enter into the purchase of a financial product. However, if there is no such intention, for example, where you specifically want us to prepare a report only, our charges will be subject to VAT.
The process of ongoing review of financial products is also generally exempt from VAT provided this review process was agreed to as part of the initial service or, if as part of that review there is an expectation that the sale of a financial services product will take place. In the case of the review of an existing investment portfolio, the expectation of the sale of one fund and the purchase of another as part of the review process would be sufficient to justify exemption from VAT. However, if we are asked to simply report on an existing portfolio, with no expectation of implementing changes which lead to the sale of a financial product, VAT will be applicable.
Where VAT is payable in relation to our fees, whether that be in relation to an initial or ongoing service we will confirm that to you in writing. Where existing services become subject to VAT, we will give one month written notice to clients affected.
Existing Clients – Ongoing Commissions
Some of our existing clients may have existing plans in place with us that pay an ongoing commission for example trail commissions under investment products or renewal commissions under Life Assurance products. By signing this agreement you are explicitly agreeing that any such payments may continue to be paid until such a time as they cease to be paid because of some disturbance to the existing arrangement or an alternative agreement in relation to them has been reached. Where such commissions take the form of trail commissions they will be taken into account in relation to the fees we charge for ongoing services as set out above.
Depending on the services we provide, there may be costs and charges (including taxes), not charged by us, but related to the financial products we arrange for you. These charges may be one-off charges (payable up front) or charges payable on an ongoing basis. For example:
- Service costs: If your investments are held on a platform (an online investment administration service) or held with a Discretionary Fund Manager (DFM), the platform provider / DFM will make a charge for administering / managing your investments.
- Investment costs: These are the costs relating to the manufacturing and managing of your investments – for example, fees charged by the investment fund manager, costs relating to investment transactions.
- We’ll always disclose any third party costs as part of making our recommendations.
Aggregated Costs and Charges
To help you understand the overall costs of our services and recommendations we’ll add together all the costs and charges payable. This is referred to as aggregated costs and charges information.
The last page contains an indication of costs for potential solutions that we may recommend. These are purely designed to provide an indication of what the overall costs may look like as we won’t know exactly what solutions we’ll recommend until we’ve assessed your needs and circumstances. We’ll confirm the actual aggregated costs and charges based on our recommendations within our suitability report.
This is our standard terms of business upon which we intend to rely. For your own benefit and protection you should read these terms carefully before signing them. Please sign both copies of this letter, and return one copy to us. If you do not understand any point please ask for further information.
4. Our Obligation and Recommendations
- Before providing advice we’ll assess your needs, consider your financial objectives and assess your attitude to any risks that may be involved. If you don’t want to discuss a particular area of financial planning and that area should not form part of the advice given, we can exclude it, if you instruct us to do so. This might of course have a bearing on the advice that might have been given.
- Before making any recommendations we’ll carry out a suitability assessment so that we are able to act in your best interests.
- We’ll confirm any recommendations we make in writing (our suitability report) along with details of any special risks that may be associated with the products or investment strategies we’ve recommended.
- Where we agree to provide you with a service that includes an ongoing review of the suitability of the investments we have recommended, we’ll carry out this review at least annually. To do this we will need to make contact with you to assess whether the information we hold about you remains accurate and up to date. We’ll issue you with a report setting out the results of our assessment and, if relevant, any updated recommendations.
- Please be aware that investments can fall, as well as rise, and that you may not get back the full amount invested. The price of investments we may recommend may depend on fluctuations in the financial markets, or other economic factors, which are outside our control. Past performance is not necessarily a guide to future performance.
- Specific warnings relevant to the investments, investment strategies or other products we arrange are provided in the relevant product literature provided.
- We may, where appropriate, recommend holding some, or all, of your investments with a discretionary fund manager (DFM), a professional investment manager appointed to monitor your portfolio and make investment decisions on your behalf. In such cases we’ll explain the respective responsibilities of ourselves and the DFM in relation to your investments.
- In some circumstances we may need to act as your ‘agent’ in relation to the part of your portfolio held with a DFM. This means that you won’t have a direct contractual relationship with the DFM and the DFM will instead treat our firm as its client. Before setting up this type of arrangement we’ll explain the implications to you.
We are obliged to put in place controls to prevent our business from being used for money laundering and other forms of financial crime. We’ll verify your identity before undertaking any business with you. To do this we will use electronic identity verification systems and we may conduct these checks from time to time throughout our relationship, not just at the beginning. The check may leave a ‘footprint’ on your credit file but it will not affect your credit rating. You may also be asked to supply evidence of your identity and address. This would normally include either your passport or driving licence and a utility bill in your name. If these documents are not available please speak to your adviser who will confirm what alternatives will be acceptable. We may also use electronic identity verification systems and we may conduct these checks from time to time throughout our relationship, not just at the beginning.
We aim to comply at all times with the Data Protection requirements and we have a privacy statement which is available on our website. Some services are provided to Hammond Raggett & Company Limited by third parties such as processing business or obtaining compliance or regulatory advice, which warrant the disclosure of more than just your basic contact details. You agree that personal information held by Hammond Raggett & Company Limited and/or group companies may be disclosed on a confidential basis, and in accordance with the Data Protection legislation, to other member companies of the group or any such third parties. You also agree that this information may be transferred electronically, e.g. email. Product Providers, Lenders and Investment Managers may administer your policy/contract, any existing policies you may have with them and provide other services, from centres in countries outside Europe (such as India and the USA) that do not always have the same standard of Data Protection laws as the UK. However, they are required to put a contract in place to ensure that your information is adequately protected, and they will remain bound by their obligations under the Data Protection legislation even when your personal information is processed outside Europe.
Where we send investment applications on your behalf to third parties (e.g. to put an investment into force), we’ll take all sufficient steps to ensure that we obtain the best possible result for you. This is referred to as ‘best execution’. We have a best execution policy. If you want to see a copy of it please ask us.
Conflicts of Interest
Although we’ll always try to act in your best interests there may be situations where we or one of our other clients has some form of interest in the business being transacted for you. If this happens or we become aware that our interests or those of one of our other clients conflict with your own interests, we’ll write to you and ask for your consent to proceed before we carry out any business for you. We’ll also let you know the steps we’ll take to make sure you are treated fairly. We have a conflicts of interest policy. If you want to see a copy of it please ask us.
Communicating With You
Our normal ways of communicating with you are by telephone, post, e-mail, fax or in person. Our communications will be in English. We may ask you to confirm your instructions to us in writing as this helps to avoid any future misunderstandings.
5. Your Obligations
This section sets out your obligations in agreeing to receive our services.
Providing Information about your Circumstances
Our advice will be based on the information that you give so it’s important that you provide us with accurate and up to date information when we request details about your circumstances and objectives. This will allow us to provide you with suitable advice. If the information you provide is inaccurate or if you limit the information provided this could affect the suitability of the advice we give.
Payment for Services
By signing this agreement you are agreeing to pay the charges for our services as set out under the Client Authorisation page. Your selected payment method is also confirmed in this section. We’ll tell you if any payments are subject to VAT.
Legal and Accounting Advice
We are not qualified to provide legal or accounting advice or to prepare any legal or accounting documents. This means that the onus is on you to refer any point of law or accountancy that may arise during the course of discussions with us, to a solicitor or accountant.
6. Cancellation and Amendments
Ending This Agreement
We may terminate this agreement by giving you at least 20 business days’ written notice. You may terminate this agreement at any time, without penalty. Notice of termination must be given in writing and will take effect from the date of receipt. Any transactions already initiated will be completed according to this agreement unless otherwise agreed in writing. You will be liable to pay for any services we have provided before cancellation and any outstanding fees, if applicable.
From time to time it may be necessary to amend the terms set out in this agreement where it’s not necessary to issue a new agreement. If this is the case we’ll write to you to give you one months’ notice of the changes.
Product Cancellation Rights
Full details of any financial products we recommend to you will be provided in the relevant product information you will receive. This will include information about any product cancellation rights along with any other early termination rights and penalties.
7. Useful Information about our Services
Who authorises us to advise you?
We are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), 12 Endeavour Square, Stratford, London, E20 1JN. www.fca.org.uk. Our firm reference number is 194710. Our permitted business is advising on and arranging pensions, savings and investment products and non-investment insurance contracts. You can check our details on the Financial Services Register by visiting the FCA’s website www.fca.org.uk/firms/systems-reporting/register or by contacting the FCA on 0800 111 6768. Unless we tell you otherwise, we’ll treat you as a retail client for investment business. This means that you are given the highest level of protection available under the UK’s regulatory system.
What if things go wrong?
If you are unhappy with our advice or any aspect of our services, we encourage you to contact us as soon as possible. We’ll do our best to resolve your concerns. The contact details are:
Telephone: 0161 834 2222
In writing: Stephen Whamond, FCII, CFP, Hammond Raggett & Company Limited, Eagle Buildings, 64 Cross Street, Manchester M2 4JQ.
We have a complaints procedure and we can provide further details on request. If you do have a complaint, and you are not happy with our response, the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) may be able to help. The FOS settles disputes between financial services business and their clients. Full details are available at www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk.
The Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) is the UK’s statutory compensation fund for customers of authorised financial services firms who are unable to pay claims against them, usually because they have gone out of business. Further information is available from the FSCS at www.fscs.org.uk.
You may be able to claim compensation from the FSCS if we can’t meet our obligations. The amount of compensation available will depend on the type of business and the circumstances of the claim. We can provide more specific information on request, but as a guide:
- Investments – eligible claims for most types of investment business are covered for up to a maximum of £85,000.
- Insurance – in the majority of cases, eligible claims about the advising and arranging of protection products are covered for 90% of the claim, without any upper limit.
It is important to note that HAMMOND RAGGETT & COMPANY LIMITED DOES NOT HANDLE CLIENTS’ MONEY. We never accept a cheque made out to us (unless it is a cheque in settlement of charges or disbursements for which we have sent you a bill) or handle cash. We will never ask you to make a cheque payable to us in respect of a premium under an insurance policy or an investment under an investment plan and/or pension.
Benefits We May Receive
Under the rules of our regulator, the FCA, as a firm providing independent advice we are unable to accept or retain payments or benefits from other firms (e.g. product providers) as this would conflict with our independent status. From time to time we may attend training events funded and /or delivered by product providers, fund managers and investment platforms. These events are designed to enhance our knowledge and enhance the quality of service we provide to our clients. As such this doesn’t affect our obligation to act in your best interests. Please ask us if you want further details.Agreement