As the financial advice moves away from legislation implementation and towards the design of the profession going forward, the Association of Financial Advisers (AFA) new chief executive, Phil Anderson, is positive on the future.
Anderson told Money Management he was happy to take on the broader responsibilities that came with being CEO and implementing what the association had agreed to work on for 2022.
Anderson was appointed CEO on 4 January, 2022, after former CEO Helen Morgan-Banda stepped down from the role after five months.
He said there was no question the advice profession was subject to challenges this year and that would be reflected in the number of advisers left after the January exam cut off.
“But I think the positive thing that we can take out of it is, yes the number of advisers will be down but the need for the value of advice will only continue to increase and I think we can take quite a lot of comfort from the fact that the momentum has started to change,” he said.
“We've gone from this constant barrage of reforms that were only increasing the complexity and cost of advice to now both the government and an opposition that are listening to the implications of reform on access and affordability.
“We can probably expect to see that momentum moving the other direction as the pendulum swings back more towards the middle, which will hopefully lead to an environment that is more conducive to the delivery of financial advice and the efficient running of financial advice practices.”
Anderson, who was the association’s former general manager for policy and professionalism, would now have a broader remit focused on operational activity as well as policy and advocacy.
“I'm very much expecting that I'll stay quite actively involved in the policy stuff whether that's the education standard or the quality of advice review as those remain important focuses of the AFA and myself,” he said.
“The vision for the AFA is to continue to play a critical role as a professional association of choice for our members to be actively advocating for what is in the long term best interest of the financial advice profession, but also delivering to the needs of our members.”