Time to re-think your gapfill approach – why wouldn’t you?

The world has changed since 2012 and the implementation of the Retail Distribution Review – (let’s face it the world has turned on its head since March!!)

Since 2012 when the RDR was introduced many firms have revised their business strategy and whilst the service offering of Discretionary Investment Management is still a discreet activity, many firms believe their clients are best served with a more holistic approach to managing their wealth. This approach, coupled with a helpful nudge from the CISI, has resulted in individuals looking closely at their Statements of Professional Standing and checking if their FCA Specialist Activities should be widened.

These specialisms are:

  • Securities

  • Derivatives

  • Retail Investment products and friendly society tax-exempt policies

It’s not just their firms’ desire for their staff to deliver a more holistic approach to providing support to clients that has prompted individuals to review the specialisms required- it’s also the clients themselves. Many clients are expecting to speak to a trusted adviser who can discuss (and or advise) on the merits of a particular product or asset class. For example how many clients, will in light of COVID, want to speak to someone whose view they respect about their pension arrangements and if they continue to be fit for purpose?

You may not think you are giving advice, but realistically and in our experience you will be asked for your opinion.  Pension arrangements are just one example but equally, clients may want to discuss hedging opportunities and the use of derivatives as part of their investment strategy. Most firms have internal experts who pick up the detail of pension planning or derivative use which is fine, BUT wouldn’t it be good practice to at least discuss the fundamentals with your clients before you pass them on to someone else?

Gapfill Requirements
We believe the examples above are the reasons behind a number of seasoned individuals seeking our help when they received the CISI’s recent communication informing them that gapfill for older exams will not be accepted beyond 31st December 2020. This means you won’t be able to gapfill older pre 2012 exams to gain any additional permissions i.e. you have Securities and want to gapfill Derivatives and/or Retail Investment Products.

We have already delivered a number of highly successful in house and open workshops to fill those gaps which means those individuals who attended can apply to have these additional specialisms added to their SPS.  Here is what some of the attendees to our live, virtual interactive workshops said;

“I just had the gap fill training with Ian Richardson and I thought he was a brilliant instructor. He kept the course moving and was engaging on what I thought was a very difficult topic! Thank you very much for offering the course.”

If you received a letter from CISI telling you gapfill will cease and listing the requirements of the specialism that you could add to your SPS, why miss the chance?

HERE are the dates and costs of Gap Fill sessions FSTP will be offering to support you:

PCIAM Derivatives – 3 x c 2.5 hr sessions (£495+VAT per person)

  • November 25th – PM
  • November 26th – AM & PM

LSE Derivatives – 4 x c 2.5 hr sessions (£650+VAT)

  • November 25th – AM & PM
  • November 26th – AM & PM

PCIAM Retail Investment Products – 2 x c 2.5  hr sessions (£325+VAT)

  • December 7th – AM & PM

LSE Retail Investment Products – 4 x c 2.5 hr sessions (£650+VAT)

  • December 8th – AM & PM
  • December 9th – AM & PM

LSE Securities – (£325+VAT)

  • December 10th – AM

LSE/PCIAM Taxation – (£325+VAT)

  • December 10th – PM


If you interested in attending any of the sessions please use our contact form below and a member of the team will be in touch with you to get you booked in or discuss any further questions you may have.


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Julia Kirkland

Senior Partner