What is an IFA?

Knowing what kind of adviser you are dealing with is important

26013171901_4cd919f7f6_bFinancial advisers and planners can go by many different titles and present themselves in different ways. In Italy, the most common financial adviser is known as a Promotore Finanziario. These are not IFA’s in the international context.

A Promotore Finanziario usually works for or within a large institution, bank or advice group. Usually that organisation is one (or is owned by one) that creates financial products to sell to consumers, or to the public. The products they sell could be mutual funds or managed funds, bonds, Italian BTP’s, pension schemes, fixed investments at a bank, or deposits and similar financial instruments.

An IFA or Independent Financial Adviser, is usually distinguishable solely by the fact they do not work for any organisation involved in creating or producing a financial product.

IFA’s are not expected therefore to sell the financial products produced by their employer, since their employer doesn’t produce any products. Instead, IFA’s have a range of products and solutions provided to them by many different product providers and institutions across the market (and often across the world). They focus on advice, and usually have an advice process.

When it comes to choosing what product or other advice solution is needed for any client, IFA’s can choose from among a range of different providers made available to them, to arrive at the product or solution most appropriate to each individual client. Sometimes a new product is not suitable for a client, and the client perhaps can maintain what they have. You may only need advice about a particular course of action or plan that you are thinking about, that affects your life, financially.

Financial advisers ought to be able to create a future plan for clients, a strategy based on the client’s overall financial situation today, their goals and desires for life in retirement, and the resources available to them to meet those goals. This is true for either IFA’s or a Promotore Finanziario.

If you would like more information or to know how to get in touch with an IFA, contact the author by email or phone, at your convenience.
photo credit: dolanh hammock boy via photopin (license)


The Spectrum Group is regulated by the French regulator ORIAS - responsible for Insurance Intermediaries in Banking and Finance.
Spectrum operates a branch location in Italy, and is registered with Italian regulator IVASS (Istituto per la Vigilanza sulle Assicurazioni)
TSG Insurance Services (Rome branch)Via Livorno, 45, piano I, interno 3, Roma. TSG Insurance Services S.A.R.L.
Siège Social (Headquarters) : 34 Bd des Italiens, 75009 Paris. R.C.S. Paris B 447 609 108 (2003B04384)« Société de Courtage d’assurances »« Intermédiaire en opération de Banque et Services de Paiement » Numéro d’immatriculation 07 025 332 – « Conseiller en investissements financiers », référencé sous le numéro E002440 par ANACOFI-CIF, association agréée par l’Autorité des Marchés Financiers »