MLC's adviser expansion drive

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National Australia Bank (NAB) owned dealer group MLC is building a team of 10 staff to recruit new advisers to its network.

MLC general manager, business development, Peter Greenaway, said the group has currently recruited five business growth managers (BGMs) across the east coast, with the intention of recruiting a further five.

The group said the employees are “completely independent” of the group’s business development managers, who deal with advisers regarding MLC products and services.

Greenaway said there are “Chinese walls between the two teams and there will be no cross referrals”.

“While the BDMs support advisers using MLC’s products and services, the BGMs will promote the benefits of joining an MLC dealer group,” Greenaway said.

MLC chief executive Steve Tucker has made it clear the result of current industry reviews, in particular the Cooper Review of superannuation, will result in advantages for scaled players in the Australian market.

NAB is looking to substantially increase its adviser footprint through an acquisition of AXA Asia Pacific, which would see NAB’s network of aligned advisers double. NAB estimates that if the deal is successful, its advisory force would account for 20 per cent of all Australian financial planners — with the second-largest group sitting under rival bidder AMP at 10 per cent.

NAB currently has more than 1,300 advisers across its NAB Financial Planning, GWM Adviser Services, Godfrey Pembroke and Apogee dealer groups.

Greenaway said the transition to fee-for-service, as encouraged by both industry bodies and the recent parliamentary joint committee, would present challenges for some advisory practices. He said as the industry moves away from commissions it would be logical for advisers to want to join a dealer group that is experienced in transitioning its advisers to a fee-for-service model.

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