Most advisers who plan to continue giving advice have fulfilled their education requirements and are focused on growth again but are being hampered by the increased workload around the adviser service fee consent regime, according to Colonial First State (CFS).
CFS chief distribution officer, Bryce Quirk, said the issues regarding education were tailing off and the main issues were around the workload required to service financial adviser clients while trying to focus on growing their business.
“There are significant groups of advisers now that they've made their way through this transition process that they are focused on growth again,” Quirk said.
He said CFS had digitised some of the processes regarding adviser service fee renewal requirements, and that a lot of the updates had been a result of listening to what its advisers were asking for.
“We've really focused there on ensuring that we try and build as an efficient process as possible but also with flexibility for advisers needs,” he said.
“In the next month, we're rolling out a whole lot of new features as well, which we're just starting to talk to the market about with respect to digitising some of these other processes, other pre-population forms, and simplification of the way advisers use our tools and services.”
Quirk said the firm was also looking at integrating planning software to support those digital processes, and operational efficiencies in its back office.
He said the difference in its tech was about using as much data and information CFS had about the client to pre-populate a lot of the work so that advisers did not have to re-key the same information.
In terms of the increasing cost of providing advice, Quirk said CFS’ role was an “input to the advice process”.
“We see our role is trying to reduce the input costs around service so the less time that an adviser takes to do a task, or their support the back office takes to do a task with our business, then the likelihood is that that's going to cost less to deliver that advice,” he said.
“Importantly, it’s advisers who determine what the cost of advice with their client as it's their right to run a profitable business in supporting their clients to receive advice.
“I see our role is minimising as much as possible the cost that is incurred by the adviser and doing business with us through the time that they spend. At the end of the day, it's up to the adviser as to how they price their advice after that.”