AMP’s Lawler calls for truce between advisers and super funds

4 December 2023
| By Laura Dew |
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AMP’s Matt Lawler believes financial advisers should be working together with super funds to improve the advice landscape as well as ways to boost the numbers of new entrants.

Speaking at the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA) annual conference in Adelaide, Lawler, who is the group executive for advice at AMP, discussed proposals from Minister for Financial Services Stephen Jones to have super funds provide advice to their members. 

While some advisers have been vocally against this idea as they feel it will compromise quality, Lawler said more will be achieved by the two groups of retail advisers and industry super funds working collectively. 

“We are getting together to work out how to do a better job at getting people advice, and if we do that collectively, and we aren’t fighting about it, that gives us the best chance to make real progress.

“Now is the time to step back, have a look at what Australians are thinking and acting, and work our way back in, and see what we need to do to help people with the issues they are trying to solve.

“What regulatory reform do we need in order to meet what Australians are looking for? This isn’t something we should be embarrassed about; we should join together and use our strength to work out how do we organise ourselves to deliver that.”

He also discussed the pathway for boosting adviser numbers in light of comments from Jones last week about an education pathway for super fund advisers to progress to providing financial advice.

Lawler said: “Australia has enough room for 25,000–30,000 advisers, but that’s going to take us a long time to get back to, so there are some tweaks we can make particularly to the Professional Year. It’s one of the tougher Professional Years, even with accountants and lawyers, so can we make that a bit smoother?

“Ten years ago people would do a weekend course and become an adviser, now it’s a full financial planning degree. Can we get those people into earning revenue – with a partner signing off on it – quicker? If we can, then the pathway will see a lot more graduates coming into the sector.”
 

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