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Advisers in race against time

Time management pressure is the biggest single challenge facing financial advisers post-FOFA, according to the developer of planning software XPLAN.

Speaking on a panel at the 13th annual Wraps, Platforms & Masterfunds conference in the Hunter Valley last week, Michael Kinens, senior business development executive at IRESS – the company behind XPLAN – said advisers are challenged by time constraints in the current regulatory environment.

“Time is the biggest challenge – which means they can’t focus on making their businesses more efficient, they can’t focus on identifying what [their] value proposition is – they are being stretched overall in terms of their capacity to address the many issues being thrown at them,” Mr Kinens said.

“They are so stretched for time and ultimately it comes down to simplicity – but it’s not simple, it’s not a challenge that can be easily addressed.”

Mr Kinens’ comments follow statements from fellow panel member Chris Appleyard, chief executive of non-bank dealer group Custom Wealth Solutions, that “identity” that developing a sustainable value proposition is the biggest challenge facing advisers.

“It’s challenging right now across the financial services industry but for advisers it’s really getting the value proposition down and how to differentiate yourself in the marketplace, especially given the move away from a ‘sales’ mentality,” said Mr Appleyard, who also heads SMSF software company CleverSuper.

Meanwhile, Association of Financial Advisers board member and Integra Financial Services director Deborah Kent said that “efficiency” is the number one challenge.

“It is quite an expensive exercise to run a financial advice firm for those that are thinking about doing it – and it has just become a lot more expensive,” Ms Kent said. “FOFA has added an additional layer of administration through a lot of practices – and some are still struggling – some don’t even know what their requirements are.”

What is the biggest single challenge facing advisers right now? Have your say below.