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Advice sector 'cage fight' outdated

Representatives from the industry fund, bank and non-aligned advice sectors have agreed it is time to move on from the bloody battle between the various financial advice sectors.

Appearing jointly on a panel at the Financial Services Council annual conference in Brisbane, ANZ managing director, global advice and distribution, Paul Barrett joked he had expected a "cage fight" when he saw the panel line up, which also included Rod Bristow, the head of non-aligned dealer group Infocus, as well as Industry Fund Services chief executive Bill Danaher.

"But a fight is about yesterday, not tomorrow," said Mr Barrett, who compared such a fight to trench warfare, or "taking a bayonet to a drone fight".

He conceded "there will be some cannibalisation" but said there is no reason the different models can't coexist, and even leverage off each other.

Mr Bristow said the primary goal of each of the advice sectors should be to try and grow the profit pool by getting more consumers to take up advice, rather than trying to steal business from each other.

But asked by the audience if the groups wouldn't end up going after the same clients, Mr Danaher conceded "we are all fishing in the same pool".

He said to a degree industry super funds are in competition among themselves for members but he preferred to call it "co-opetition" with a healthy degree of competition also engendering cooperation on big issues.


Industry funds also experience competition from outside but warned new competitive threats could emerge from left field, and said the best approach for each advice sector would be to stay engaged with their members and clients.