Another institutional licensee is exiting the advice industry, with the BankWest salaried advice division due to close its doors in a few months. This comes off Suncorp exiting its advice business in 2015.
Rod Bristow, Managing Director and CEO of the Infocus Group, said “This is an emerging trend within institutional licensees. It seems to us like the institutions want to either go direct to customers, or move solely to salaried advice models, in order to have more control over their risks and margins. This is a real shame as these decisions appear to be being made without taking into account feedback from Advisers or clients. There are many, many fantastic Advisers around the country giving great advice to their clients who, through no fault of their own, will be forced to restructure their businesses as the institutions unilaterally make decisions that impact their livelihoods”.
“We believe the clock is ticking on some of the larger AFSLs currently within institutional ownership. It’s only a matter of time before these are either sold or closed down. Advisers in these cases will be left with no choice but to move to a salaried model within an internal AFSL of that institution, or find a new home with a quality AFSL if they want to remain non-aligned”, Bristow said.
Over the last 12 months, the Infocus Group has recruited Adviser businesses representing nearly 5% of the Group’s annual revenue. The Infocus Group’s strategy of helping Advisers grow revenue, increase efficiency and effectively manage risk in their business is reaping rewards in terms of the quality of advice businesses wishing to join the company. Infocus’ national team of nearly 70 staff, client engagement tools and outstanding software, Platformplus, means advisers receive outstanding service and support to grow their businesses and enhance efficiency.
“We don’t believe the industry’s focus on Adviser numbers as a success metric is the right one”, Bristow said. “Taking into account a more balanced or risk-weighted view of business is really important to Infocus. We want to ensure we’re working with qualified, experienced and culturally aligned Advisers who if not already, will become the future leaders of the industry”, he said.
For more information, contact Rod Bristow, Managing Director and CEO, Infocus Wealth Management, 1300 463 628 or visit www.infocus.com.au