Financial planner exits continue amid education changes

Financial planning groups owned by the major institutional players such as the Big Four and AMP saw a combined loss of 600 financial planners this year, according to Money Management’s TOP 100 Financial Planning Groups Survey.

Amongst the backdrop of several challenges within the industry, overall planner numbers across the largest financial planning groups saw a slight drop since the last survey.

The ongoing push towards further improvement of educational requirements for existing and new planners resulted in a lower number of companies reporting that they hired new advisers.

Related News:

Of all the surveyed companies, less than 40 per cent reported a growth in their overall planner numbers, however the aligned groups represented only 15 per cent in this set.

Although the make-up of the top 10 largest groups by planner size had been fairly stable over the past few years, this year saw an addition of another non-aligned group, Dover Financial Advisers. For the second year in a row the firm posted the single biggest increase, in absolute terms, with the addition of 72 new advisers.

Synchron, which increased its headcount this year by five per cent to 445 planners, was the only other non-aligned group in this set and managed to retain its position for the third year as the largest non-aligned group.

Westpac-owned Securitor Financial Group, which saw a departure of five per cent of its planners, has been pushed down the ranking and outside the top 10 list.

Money Management’s TOP 100 Financial Planning Groups Survey will be available in the next magazine edition of Money Management out 28 September. 

Recommended for you




If some groups are growing then I query whether it is not the education system.. However it does make me smile. Since the largest supporters of the higher education standard was the big companies.

I would suggest the exodus from the big four and AMP has absolutely nothing to do with educational requirements.

Clearly the long term strategy of Labor, ISA and the Unions that they started back in 2009/10 with the Rudd/Gilard Gov is working: divide, weaken and conquer.

Our current largely incompetent and uncaring Liberal Gov has seen the political advantage in continuing to kick that particular populist ball, so no relief will come from that quarter.

With all the infighting in our profession, between the varying self interest narrow minded groups, FSC, FPA, AFA, AAIOFP, and screaming zealots like IFAAA, not to mention the Mentor and Kaplans who stand to profit on this mandated education drive, that there is no common ground even sought between.

So intent are they in scoring points off each other (and the rest of us, the actual planner population) and in-fighting, that they never once really look outside to address the greater threat represented to all of us by the unholy trinity of Labor, ISA & Unions.

And before you pre-pubescent purists cheer that the 'dinosaurs' are becoming extinct or scream about 'professionalism' equating to 'education', (your common furphy), answer me this one simple question;
Why, if Labor managed to get ASIC and legislation to give such a generous carve out of FOFA for ISA rep's, couldn't our profession simply get varying clearly delineated and easily explained designations of advice capabilities?

A lot of old lifey's who have no intention of giving FP advice forced to study a Masters? Ludicrous. Why not simply allow them the common sense approach of being designated "Adviser - Risk Specialist' (sorry about the unfortunate acronym!) Their exit does not equate to people receiving 'better' advice; it simply means less people will have access to real or even affordable advice.

For a practitioner and not at the desired Masters degree level but providing basic insurance, investment and super advice, a simple designation of "General Planner" similar to the GP's iin the medical profession would make sense.

For those fully qualified (yes, like I am) something like "Comprehensive Financial Planner" would be eminently appropriate - especially if it causes consternation to a certain self interest group over losing their cash cow if that acronym became more widely used.

Aside from the moronic detrimental infighting, the point that these groups appeared to not pursue as a joint initiative (correct me if I am wrong, but even the Rantall 'enshrinement' nonsense didn't approach it this way) is that we are not nor want to be one homogeneous group.

The zealots of the IFAAA surely give vastly different advice to very different clients than the old lifey living in inland rural communities. I do not see that as a problem, especially if it is clear to both clients and the adviser on what they can and can't advise on.

It works for all other professions. The only difference is, they do not have an vicious unscrupulous competitor that has tens of millions of dollars in revenue at stake, with a political party firmly entrenched in their pockets.

Difference being a general practitioner still needs to do a bucket load of study to be in the medical field.... Financial planners currently do not.

SD, and? Taxation don't, in fact their courses can still be a weekend for a tax agent or nil for a book keeper. If you're incapable of grasping the message in the comment without being literal, I would suggest that you're exactly part of the idiotic problem described.

It's a wee bit too late to try and suggest alternatives, other solutions or work arounds my friend. Best to move onto the next big conflicts of interest in the advice world in order to prevent further over regulation. These areas include revisiting the entire dealer group model, conflicted payments to dealer groups, and payments to the FPA from product manufacturers. We advisers should get on the front foot for once.

You have summarised nicely just about all the madness present in our profession John M.
After many years in the industry I cannot say I would be pleased or proud to be a member of any of these aptly described 'self interest narrow minded' groups.
Some big ego's too in this profession, with many planners thinking they are superior to the ones who lack certain laughable initials next to their name..That needs to change; more respect needs to be given to the long term stayers regardless of initials.
Shaking up this stupid homogeneous path, freely allowing designations by not involving any schools or the fools on the hill is a good idea.

The author has overlooked the significant growth in the Unrestricted adviser category. What most call institutional owned space. Whilst to use the UK term ""restricted advisers"" numbers have decreased due a significant number of advisers leaving outdated dinosaur dealer groups, the flood gates have opened up in the Unrestricted category with AFSL applications at all time highs.

These planners are leaving the large institutions solely because of the senior management of same, have proved to be totally incompetent. Financial planning is a profession that requires the production of an individual design, determined by careful consideration of customer needs. To do this successfully a practitioner requires knowledge, experience, a good moral compass, and empathy. A financial planner, therefore, is a highly skilled and articulate employee. The clowns who managed them, however, have proved, without doubt, to be a group of ill-educated oaf's, who failed to grasp that you just can't apply 1950's sales methods in modern day Australia. Now sadly it is all falling apart, thanks to this group of imbeciles. In a way, planners are, leaving because of education reasons, but certainly not the newly introduced requirements, rather because of the total lack of education of those running the industry.

Add new comment