Advisers focused on clients and survival

20 April 2020

Publicly-listed financial planning dealer group Centrepoint Alliance has sought to reinforce the strength of its capital position at the same time as releasing new survey data which suggests financial planners are very focused on the survival of own businesses through the COVID-19 volatility.

The Centrepoint Alliance research found a third of survey respondents were focused on ensuring their practices survived over the medium to long-term.

“The majority of financial advisers are small business owners, so many are focused on ensuring their businesses remain viable and sustainable beyond the current period of market uncertainty,” Centrepoint chief executive, Angus Benbow, said. “At the same time, they are focused on doing crucial work to support clients, many of whom have lost their jobs, or are experiencing financial distress or cashflow issues.”

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Another key finding from the Centrepoint Alliance research was that more than nine in 10 advisers (93%) who participated in a survey of 177 authorised representatives and self-licensed advisers conducted during the first week of April by Centrepoint Alliance said they expected Australia will enter a recession despite the Federal Government’s stimulus packages.

Commenting on the findings, Benbow said that in this environment the value of quality financial advice had never been greater.

On the question of Centrepoint Alliance’s financial strength, Benbow reiterated that the Board and Executive team had volunteered a temporary 20% reduction in pay and non-executive staff had been invited to salary sacrifice six weeks’ leave over six months.

He said the business was also undertaking an on-market share buyback of up to 10% of ordinary shares, reflecting its confidence in the underlying value of the business at current price levels.

“We entered this crisis with a clear strategy and a strong financial position. Our focus is on supporting our advisers and ensuring we are well positioned for growth in the future,” Benbow said.

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