Celebrating the 4th anniversary of AKG’s DFM assessment sector launch

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Time flies. That has certainly been the case with AKG’s DFM financial strength assessment work.

It is hard to believe that the original DFM financial strength ratings and reports were issued in July 2016 but here we are now delighted to be celebrating the fourth anniversary of the sector.

We commented then about the importance of this assessment lens falling on the firms operating in the DFM space and we have been pleased consequently to assist with that provision. The need and appreciation of it only having continued and grown since.

Time for a quick recap then.

Who are they for and how do we do it?

AKG’s financial strength ratings and reports are designed specifically for use by advisers, paraplanners and any other stakeholders within intermediary firms who are tasked with carrying out DFM research and due diligence exercises.

They consider things from an end-customer perspective with a key focus on operational strength and sustainability. Read more about this focused approach and watch our animation at https://www.akg.co.uk/information/financial-strength.

Which DFMs are covered?

AKG currently issues financial strength ratings and assessment reports for the following 18 brands in the DFM market:

  • Aberdeen Standard Capital
  • Brewin Dolphin
  • Brooks Macdonald
  • Canaccord Genuity Wealth
  • Cazenove Capital
  • Charles Stanley
  • Close Brothers Asset Management
  • Heartwood
  • Investec Wealth & Investment
  • James Hambro
  • LGT Vestra
  • Octopus Investments
  • Parmenion
  • Quilter Cheviot
  • Rathbone Investment Management
  • Seven Investment Management
  • Smith & Williamson
  • Tilney

We have plans in place to further expand this assessment coverage during the second half of 2020 and into 2021 and we are in active dialogue with both intermediary and DFM contacts about how to sensibly add to the names above.

Please do get in touch with us if you have any suggestions of DFMs that you would like to see covered by AKG in future (akg@akg.co.uk).

How do you view the ratings?

A first port of call for viewing the DFM financial strength ratings is via the AKG Rating Portal. You can do this be registering for free access to the portal at https://www.akg.co.uk/register.

AKG financial strength ratings are also available via some third-party research channels and for example you might be able to view some DFM financial strength ratings in research resources provided by Synaptic Software and RSMR.

How do you access the reports?

AKG’s DFM financial strength assessments can be purchased directly from the AKG website on an individual basis or as a full set of reports produced (https://www.akg.co.uk/purchase).

Purchasing on this bulk basis comes with the additional benefit of online access to the full set of DFM reports for 12 months from the date of purchase. Where DFMs engage with the AKG financial strength assessment process on a full, participatory basis it should also be possible to access their assessment report from them directly.

Where can you read more about AKG’s views on DFM due diligence?

AKG produces regular content for advisers and paraplanners in relation to our views on DFM due diligence exercises and the role played by company-level financial strength assessments within these due diligence frameworks.

A recent example feature, unapologetically consistent with our other output on this theme in terms of recommended approach and positioning, was posted here on the Money Marketing DFM Hub .

AKG will continue to progress its DFM assessment work in 2020/21 and is always open to suggestions on future coverage and developments. Please do get in touch with your feedback.


Matt Ward, Communications Director, AKG

15 July 2020

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AKG Financial Analytics

AKG is an independent organisation, which has specialised in the provision of assessment, ratings, information and market assistance to the financial services industry for over 25 years. A core focus is financial strength. In this AKG takes a specific and distinct customer perspective – that of the customer with ratings and reports designed and delivered for use by financial advisers.

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