Over 100 advisers leave the industry in a single week

This week saw 103 financial advisers leave the industry driving down the total number of advisers to 19,850, according to data. 

Wealth Data’s (formerly HFS Consulting) latest analysis of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) Financial Adviser Register (FAR) found the week’s adviser movements were dominated by IOOF finalising its acquisition of MLC Wealth and its advisers. 

At the same time, the number of adviser roles fell by 107 to 20,199 and this was driven by IOOF which reported a loss of 64 adviser roles, based on the combined number of advisers at MLC and IOOF last week. 

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However, Wealth Data’s director Colin Williams explained that many of these roles were non-client facing and therefore might have not have necessarily lost their jobs as their roles may have been reclassified.  

“However, quite a few advisers have left and are appearing at other licensees,” he said. 

IOOF was followed this week by AMP and Easton Group which were down 19 and 10 roles, respectively. Also, 43 licensee owners reported net losses for 155 adviser roles. 

Another significant development this week was the ongoing race between the two largest licensee owners, AMP Group and IOOF, which now fully owns MLC. IOOF was well positioned to overtake its rival as it had almost 50 more adviser roles (1,470) than AMP which was sitting at 1,424. 

Earlier this week, Money Management reported that  with the acquisition of 406 advisers brought from MLC, IOOF expected to boost its total numbers of advisers to around 1,500. 

This was further in line with Wealth Data’s estimate which indicated that the gap between AMP and IOOF could have been even closer given AMP’s additional loss of 19 adviser roles this week. 

By comparison, in September 2020 when IOOF first announced the proposed deal with MLC, the combined IOOF/MLC had 1,964 advisers and AMP had 1,824, a variance of 140. 

Counting year-to-date, the new IOOF was down 346 adviser roles, while AMP, NTAA-owned SMSF Advisers Network, and Easton Group saw a departure of 167, 67 and 64 roles, respectively. 

Source: Wealth Data 

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The exam numbers are pointing to at least another 4,000 going by the end of the year. With 30 weeks to go, I'd say 100 per week will be the new normal.

PS. I wish these so-called non-client facing advisers would be reported separately. Muddies the waters. The new PY requirements have provided an incentive for some industry participants to mothball their status, boosting the numbers on the adviser register in a way that wouldn't have been seen pre-2019. FASEA created this incentive, and they use these numbers to justify behaviour, when in fact the real number of financial advisers has been decimated beyond what the headline numbers suggest.

Oksana, thanks for your weekly adviser decline reports. As per George's comment above, seems like we are all still in the dark about what the individuals listed on FAR actually do (ie. client facing / back office support roles etc). Can you please do some research and let us know the break up of
1) Number of client facing Financial Planners advisers
2) Number of client facing stock brokers
3) Other

Really confusing with some advisers on the FAR being non-client facing... I would really like to know how many advisers on the FAR actually "face" clients, because for all we know, there may already be less than 15,000. :P

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