Aussie advisers most affected by regulation

Australian advisers find their professional environment most challenging compared to their global counterparts, due to regulation and ensuing compliance, according to Vanguard.

Vanguard's 2016 Global Adviser Trends Survey found only one in six Australian advisers reported that their professional environment had improved, while the rest said it had become more difficult.

They cited the Future of Financial Advice (FOFA) reforms as particularly difficult, with 61 per cent of advisers saying it had a negative effect on their businesses.

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While keeping pace with regulation was the main concern for Australian advisers and featured as one of the top three concerns for advisers globally, Australian advisers also cited gaining new clients and greater fiduciary responsibilities as some of their greatest challenges.

However, Vanguard Australia national sales manager — adviser, Matt Willis, said the research also pointed to growing opportunities as the advice environment changed.

"When we talk to advisers, there is an acute difference between those who have successfully transitioned to a business model based on broad financial planning services, and those who primarily base their value on selecting investments for their clients," Willis said.

"The report clearly shows that where advisers had moved to fee-for-service models, they saw their clients better understand what value proposition they presented. In this context, it's positive to see increased transparency helping advisers showcase the full breadth and depth of their value to clients."

The survey also revealed 83 per cent of Australian advisers expected the amount of advised assets to rise, while 68 per cent expected the number of their clients to increase. Meanwhile, 77 per cent of Hong Kong advisers expected to grow the number of their clients, while 92 per cent of both UK and US advisers expected to grow their amount of advised assets.

Australian advisers said 31 per cent of their book of business would include new clients in the coming year, compared to 21 per cent in Canada, 26 per cent in the UK and the US, and 37 per cent in Hong Kong.

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