This exploratory qualitative study identifies and examines the drivers of surrogate usage and selection criteria in the context of the use of an Independent Financial Adviser (IFA) by a UK consumer.
This study results in three main findings. Firstly, the expertise offered by the surrogate is identified as being of central importance to both the decision to use an IFA and also in the selection of a particular IFA. Secondly, both the complex nature and wide variety of products offered to UK consumers are shown to be key drivers of the decision to use an IFA. Thirdly, this study confirms suggestions in existing literature regarding the importance of word-of-mouth communication in the financial services industry and finds that it has a prominent role in the selection of an IFA by a UK consumer.
This paper offers suggestions for future research and implications for mangers in the financial services industry.