There are opportunities for financial advisers to grow their client base this year as the regulatory environment will be more stable and most have settled on the chosen advice model for their business, according to BT.
BT chief executive, Matthew Rady, said the last two years had seen introspection across the industry while advisers worked out their new advice model and whether they would continue practicing as advisers.
“Questions on whether advisers will be self-licenced or will be supported by someone else have largely settled for advisers who have committed to stay. Product providers and advisers alike have been inwardly a little bit too focused on our own internal business models and not focused enough on the clients and the people that matter,” he said.
“This year's sense and what I hear from advisers is that this is a foundation year for them in re-pointing their focus now that their business models are settled now that they've made decisions in the way they want to run their business in client experience and client outcome.
“That's a great thing for clients and hopefully we're in a period which I wouldn't expect is going to be stable, but a relatively stable to what it's been in the past.”
Rady said advisers he had spoken to were optimistic on the future given markets had been buoyant over the past 12 months and that there was demand for advice.
“The general feedback is that advice clients are pretty satisfied with the services they're getting from their advisers which is helpful,” he said.
“Secondly, despite fewer advisers in the industry demand for advice has not dampened. So, there are opportunities for advisers and we're seeing advisers genuinely growing. For those that have elected to stay the opportunity to grow their client base is strong and that's what I think they see into 2022.”
Rady noted that in terms of platforms advisers were looking for strong capabilities for managed accounts as it was becoming “the dominant way advisers were investing” and for platform providers to “get reporting right”.
“Financial advisers want us to be a consolidated way of providing advice, providing their clients with the financial information that demonstrates the value they've added. And so, having flexible reporting, and having reliable reporting is something that's absolutely critical to them,” he said.
“Advisers typically have discretion over their client portfolios and they want flexibility to be able to make wholesale changes across their portfolio. Some advisers are looking for more tailoring than others and they want one more flexibility in the way that they can tailor portfolios and still make collective changes.”
For BT, Rady said this year would be a significant journey for the platform provider in identifying a new owner and simplifying its platforms.
“The BT migration to Panorama was a very significant investment and the next 12 months is really important because of that consolidation simplification,” Rady said.
“Simplification work enables BT to focus on much more functional delivery for advisers, and improving the service that we're offering to advisers.
“Our focus this year is on functional enhancements that advisers have been waiting for and we're excited by, for example, some of the reporting changes and transparency work that we're doing to enable advisers to identify where things are at with us and I think that’s super exciting over the next 12 months.”