National IFA, pensions and employee benefits consultancy, LEBC Group has reported a6 6 per cent increase in operating profit in the final quarter of 2015 to GBP1,841,000 (GBP1,106,000 30 September 2014).
Turnover meanwhile, rose to GBP15million from GBP12.3million, an increase of 22 per cent
LEBC says that this growth was driven primarily by an unprecedented increase in activity from auto-enrolment (AE), defined benefit consultancy, and pension freedoms, which the company forecasts will be maintained during 2016.
Jack McVitie (pictured), Chief Executive of LEBC Group, says: “We have maintained our focus on increased efficiency and better use of technology which provides greater access to advice to our existing and ever increasing number of new clients. We have also continued to benefit from the positive impact of pensions freedoms with the extension of choice and opportunity for planning that this gives to clients.
“Given the sharp increase in demand for advice, we have coined the term “bionic advice”. This is the use of technology and human interface with the client to deliver appropriate solutions. We see this combination as the only way to fully embrace this growing advice demand.
“We now have 15 offices spread evenly across the UK and each one has enjoyed a very good year. We have maintained a proactive recruitment programme for qualified and part qualified advisers, and paraplanners along with the introduction of a graduate scheme. These programmes will remain in place during 2016 so we will continue to attract the necessary talent to ensure that we are meeting the demands of our growing client base, the business and ever changing sector.
“This time last year, I stated that our aim was to transform the access to top quality advice for employers, employees and individuals; and in doing so we would be in a position to develop our business and plan for the next 10 years of growth. We could not have wished for a better start.”
LEBC believes the whole package of liberalisation of pension funds means that it is more important than ever for those with pensions and savings to have a financial plan in place to help them manage the way in which they access those savings and income throughout their lives.
This new environment with its extension of choice and opportunity means that individuals carry far more personal responsibility to use their accrued wealth wisely and experienced advisers have a crucial role to play.
Looking at AE, small employers will be – or should be – completing their staging and large and medium sized businesses will have entered three year reviews of their AE arrangements.
McVitie adds: “For those mini and micro employers who are facing and will be facing the requirement for AE between now and 2018, we are proud to have provided them with the markets simplest and most effective solution with our partners, the Institute of Certified Bookkeepers (ICB) and Aviva.
“We are delighted to again release results with such improved performance and are happy to note that current year trading is significantly ahead of plan. Finally, we again note that it is only through the continued hard work, dedication and skill of our staff that we are able to deliver such results.”