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No APLs means better advisers, says Custom Wealth

Operating an advice model without an approved product list (APL) where advisers are forced to do more of their own research serves to boost advice quality, one dealer group has claimed.

The chief executive and founder of non-aligned dealer group Custom Wealth Solutions, Chris Appleyard, says his group does not run an APL, but provides additional resources to advisers to help them with the advice process if they want it.

“It inherently improves the behaviours of advisers, they are forced to do qualitative research around that asset and portfolio construction,” Mr Appleyard said.

It has the desired affect because rather than the APL becoming an instrument for writing product, the adviser ensures the products they recommend are best for the client, he said.

Whereas an adviser in a bank structure will get told not to write products that aren’t on the APL, partly because of professional indemnity insurance (PI) reasons, Custom Wealth representatives are individually insured, he said.

“An adviser on a bank AFSL will get told ‘no, it’s not on the APL, we don’t get a click from it', or, 'the PI doesn’t cover it’. But we have a greater level of flexibility,” he said.

“Informally we have received feedback that our systems and structures are sound, the way we govern and supervise our representatives is quite stringent.”


Custom Wealth also sets specific minimum standards for its advisers that they must complete within joining – such as completing an advanced diploma of financial planning, which the dealer group subsidises.

Despite the high standards expected, the group has a number of advisers who have applied to come on board, Mr Appleyard said.