What makes a successful advice practice?

WT Financial Group WT Financial Keith Cullen

5 March 2024
| By Laura Dew |
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WT Financial’s Keith Cullen has shared the top characteristics that he looks for in creating a successful advice practice. 

Over the past three years, WT Financial has completed several M&A deals as it acquired Millennium3 in December 2023, Synchron in March 2022 and Perth-based Sentry Group in June 2021.

When it came to integrating these businesses into the WT Financial stable, he said there are several factors that he looks for to ensure they will be successful going forward.

“Many advisers are short-selling themselves, they need to make sure they are efficient and are in front of their clients, not stuck in the back office. 

“They need to make sure they are charging an appropriate fee for the risks they bear. They have to manage those and price that into their fee. We find there are more than enough clients who are willing to pay a higher fee. 

“Those advisers that have embraced modernisation, who are charging an appropriate fee, aren’t scared of technology, have a referral network and are engaging with their clients are the ones that will do well.

“We are in a good space and the next few years should be positive for practices.”

He highlighted multi-disciplinary practices are becoming more prevalent as high-net-worth clients seek more value-add services such as accountancy and tax planning from their adviser but said it is not necessarily the right model for all firms. 

Research by HUB24 last year found personalised offerings and service quality are the most important criteria for high-net-worth investors when it comes to working with a financial adviser. 

Its report stated: “While investment management is undoubtedly a core service required by HNW clients, it is likely to be simply one of many utilised in solving their problems. Centering the benefits around investment management to HNW investors is likely to dilute rather than strengthen the advice proposition in the eyes of these clients.”

Cullen said: “We have found in our retail business that we have one advice proposition and then other sub-sets such as mortgages and estate planning. And the clients of those are the ones who were coming to get advice but were time-poor. It is like a body, everything is connected in that when you move one part then it affects everything else. 

“I don’t expect all practices to become multi-disciplinary but they should have a referral network to make sure the client is being serviced and you are meeting their needs.”

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Submitted by Jack on Tue, 2024-03-05 09:38

Ugh so the advice is purely charge more and then when your clients are struggling to make ends meet charge some more? Thats for that wonderful wisdom...

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