Adviser FOFA sentiment more positive, survey finds

4 February 2013

Financial advisers see increased efficiency as the most likely legacy of the Future of Financial Advice (FOFA) reforms – indicating a much more positive outlook coming from this sector, according to a new survey commissioned by Zurich Australia.

The survey, which was conducted by Beaton Research in December 2012, saw 40 per cent of advisers rate ‘becoming more efficient in the way they deliver advice’ as the single biggest change FOFA will force on their business.

Zurich Life general manager retail Philip Kewin said most of the commentary and research to date has been about the challenges of being FOFA-ready.

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“We think these findings really show a different way of looking at FOFA and its future impact; and that is, examining how advisers are using this as an opportunity to improve the way their business operates,” Kewin said.

He said increased efficiency would also allow advisers to deliver on value.

“There is a well documented gap between the cost of providing quality advice and what consumers are prepared to pay, and FOFA will add more cost pressures,” he said.

“Enhancing the efficiency with which advice can be delivered is not just about cost containment, it’s about value – the value advisers offer to their clients and the value they are able to capture for their business.”

The survey also highlighted that the majority of advisers see greater use of technology – including mobile technology – as important in terms of their ability to improve efficiency.

“We are already seeing strong evidence that advisers are acting on this sentiment, with a 2011 survey finding that 34 per cent of advisers owned a tablet, up from just nine per cent in 2010,” Kewin added.

The Beaton Research surveyed 213 randomly selected financial advisers via phone.

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