Planning practices employing tech-heads rather than experienced planners

Financial planning practices are employing ‘technologists’ rather than future financial planners as they battle to use advice software, according to one software provider.

Midwinter Financial Services general manager — strategy and technical services, Matthew Esler, said many planning practices are restricted by what he calls “incumbent and monolithic” financial planning software.

He believes this leads to the inefficient operation of some planning practices, and points to the recruitment of staff as one barometer.

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Esler said the challenges advisers face in using planning software means it isn’t being used by “experienced (and older) financial advisers, but inexperienced (and younger) paraplanners and support staff”.

“Instead of employing future financial planners with the ability to understand the needs and objectives of the client, and the ability to sell that need back to the client, financial advice practices are forced to employ technologists,” Esler said.

He describes such technologists as “tech-savvy paraplanners and support staff with limited traditional financial planning ability”.

“Advisers need to ask themselves are they recruiting staff to build a business based on quality advice and relationships, or are they recruiting to mask inefficient technology,” Esler said.

He believes practices should focus on “recruiting staff with the traditional financial planning and people skills required to expand their business”.

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