Mortgage Choice FP sets franchisee target

Mortgage Choice Financial Planning has completed a trial phase of its advice offering and is hoping to have 60 planning franchisees on deck by the end of the 2014/2015 financial year.

General manager for Mortgage Choice Financial Planning, Tania Milnes, told ifa the pilot finished up with 11 franchises. The group would now be looking to gradually increase its marketing efforts to build up its presence with consumers over the next six months, she added.

“We’ve got the 11 franchises and now we’re looking to expand that distribution. We were looking to limit to the eastern seaboard but now we have our first franchise in Perth.”

Ms Milnes said there is “a strong pipeline” of demand from advisers and clients looking to leverage the group’s strong brand. Mortgage Choice Financial Planning is looking to move from 11 franchises currently to around 60 at the end of the 2014/15 financial year, she said.

The group has broking franchisees who have existing relationships with advisers who are keen to come on board but it is also attracting new advisers from both institutional and non-institutional groups, Ms Miles said.

All advisers who come on board need to have a relationship with a broking franchisee, and the trial phase has seen that happen via joint ventures, in which the financial planning franchise sits alongside the broking franchise, via partnerships, and also where a broking franchise has employed an adviser.

“So we’ve had just about every version of the business model, which is good,” Ms Milnes said. “We’ve got to test them all.”

Ms Milnes also did not anticipate encountering any problems in complying with the current regulatory reforms.

“Because we’ve built [the financial planning offer] from scratch, we’ve been able to build it with [Future of Financial Advice changes] in mind and over the last 18 months as new regulations have been released, we haven’t had to change much at all because we’ve been able to build it with an eye on the post-FOFA world.

“We haven’t had to change any legacy systems at all,” she said.

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