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FOFA to increase adviser efficiency

Financial advisers are using the upcoming Future of Financial Advice reforms as a platform to improve the way their business operates, a survey commissioned by Zurich Australia has revealed.

The survey of more than 200 financial advisers, conducted by Beaton Research, found that 40 per cent of respondents believed that the most likely outcome of the FOFA reforms would be an increased focus on efficiency, largely due to technology.

Zurich general manager of life and investments Philip Kewin said that while there was a clearly demonstrated gap between the cost of providing quality advice and what consumers are prepared to pay, increased efficiency would add value.

“Enhancing the efficiency with which advice can be delivered is not just about cost containment it’s about value; the value advisers offer to their clients and the value they are able to capture for their business,” he said.

The survey found that advisers believed utilising technology would be the most important tool in improving efficiency, rather than a range of other initiatives such as outsourcing and client segmentation.

Almost 55 per cent of respondents said they believed making more use of technology was “important”, or “very important”, in improving efficiency, the survey results showed.

Mr Kewin said there was strong evidence to suggest advisers were acting on such sentiments, with the rising number of advisers owning tablets.


“We are already seeing strong evidence that advisers are acting on this sentiment, with a 2011 survey finding that 34 per cent of advisers owned a tablet, up from just nine per cent in 2010,” Mr Kewin said.

“And of those with tablets, 21 per cent used them with clients in 2010. By December 2012 that figure was up to 31.9 per cent.

“We think this number will grow over time, in line with increased consumer ownership of these devices and ongoing development of apps tailored to the specific needs of advisers.”