Licensees recommencing to be a ‘common theme’ in 2024

12 February 2024
| By Jasmine Siljic |
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Wealth Data founder Colin Williams expects financial advice licensees recommencing to be a common trend throughout this year, as nine licensees have restarted over the past four weeks.

In the week ending 8 February, the research house discovered that five new licensees began operations. These included three licensees that recommenced, which it said is set to become a regular occurrence in 2024.

Last week saw four licensees recommence operations, none the week prior, and two recommencing the week before that.

“Licensees recommencing have been a common theme in 2024,” Williams observed.

“When a licensee goes down to zero advisers, I state that it has ceased, as the licence is only valid if an adviser is authorised under the licence (AFSL). When an adviser joins the licence (authorised), then I show it as ‘new’ for the quarter, but effectively it is an old licence that has been restarted,” he told Money Management.

“We have seen such licences ‘sold’ to advisers who want to start their own licence but not go through the paperwork of starting a brand-new licence. However, the current crop seems to be firms who have reappointed an adviser. Some don’t appear to be full-service financial advice firms, but need an adviser to do some of their work.”

This week saw a “quiet” net rise of two financial advisers, with the current number of advisers standing at 15,648.

Last week, the adviser gains in the week prior (+18) were “wiped out” as another 18 advisers departed the industry.

Over 100 advisers were active this week with appointments or resignations, while a strong 11 new entrants joined the advice profession.

Examining the weekly growth, 36 licensee owners had net gains of 52 advisers. This was led by a new licensee, a former practice of Hillross (AMP), Wealth Data shared, which commenced operations with five advisers.

Three licensees were up by net three each, including Sequoia Financial, Sambe Investments and Philborne Pty Ltd (Dirigere Advisory).

Six licensee owners increased by two advisers each, such as AdviceIQ Partners, LifeStyle Asset Management and a new licensee.

A tail of 26 licensees rose by net one adviser each, including Centrepoint, Shaw and Partners, and Steinhardt Holding (Infocus).

Looking at the declines over the week, 36 licensee owners had net losses of 44 advisers in total.

AMP Group saw the highest losses with a net decline of four advisers, after losing six and gaining two one being a new entrant. Insignia Financial was down by three after losing four and welcoming one.

Ferdinand FFP (Escala) lost three advisers, Fitzpatricks bid farewell to two advisers, and a long tail of 32 licensee owners declined by one each, such as Count, Diverger, UniSuper and WT Financial Group.

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