Prepared in partnership with Phil Billingham, Perceptive Planning

Nucleus white paper

The future of financial planning


Where have we come from?


What's going on out there?


What do planners and the profession think?


What does the future look like?


Final thoughts from Nucleus

It’s fair to say that financial planning as a profession has come a long way – both when looked at over recent decades, but also perhaps even over the course of the past year.

As we (hopefully) emerge from lockdown for the last time, it’s a good opportunity to reflect on different, better ways of working. It also offers us all a chance to think about how the financial planning profession might need to evolve for the future, and what this could mean for business models and practices.

Financial planning is a term that, like financial wellbeing, is applied in a lot of different contexts – and it’s not always used accurately. We have seen providers launching ‘financial planning’ arms as a means of distribution, and we have also seen individuals calling themselves financial planners with little to support this claim.

Arguably, the focus up until now has been on technical standards and ethics, and that has got us to where we are now. But what about financial planning practices as businesses – could placing more emphasis on business models be the thing that helps power financial planning forward?

Nucleus has compiled this white paper, together with Phil Billingham of Perceptive Planning, to support planners in navigating some of these big questions. Phil sets the scene with an examination of the heritage of financial planning, before going on to analyse financial planner numbers on a global scale. He discusses the dynamics around chartered and certified financial planner accreditations, and the emergence of new groups within the financial planning profession.

Rather than present solutions, this paper is designed to support a wider debate around financial planning and where it’s headed, as well as offering up ideas for forward-looking practices to continue to be fit for the future. To ensure a range of views, we opened up the floor to planners themselves, alongside professional bodies and planning organisations, through a roundtable discussion, to hear their take on the challenges that lie ahead.

We hope you enjoy it.

Barry Neilson Chief customer officer, Nucleus

Explore the future of financial planning

For adviser use only

© Nucleus Financial Services Limited 2021

Nucleus Financial Services Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, is registered in England with company number 05629686 and has its registered office at Elder House, St Georges Business Park, Brooklands Road, Weybridge, Surrey KT13 0TS. Please note that telephone calls may be recorded in order to monitor the quality of our customer service and for training purposes.