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Licensee chequebook ‘bedazzles’ advisers

Financial advice practice principals are often tempted by recruitment incentives offered by dealer groups, but many are seeking to return home, according to a non-aligned licensee.

Futuro Financial Services lost three of its authorised representatives to rival dealer groups offering attractive recruitment payments, but “each of them has asked to come back”, the non-aligned licensee’s chief executive Dennis Bashford has revealed in an upcoming article for ifa magazine.

“One succeeded, but only after he repaid his six-figure sign-on payment; the other two spent that money and now are stuck with a dealer that they don’t want to be with,” Mr Bashford writes.

With the federal government promising clarity around FOFA’s grandfathering provisions, many planners are “again seriously considering their dealer options”, Mr Bashford says, but added they often fail to apply a rigorous methodology to the process.

“All too often, the money sitting on the table bedazzles what should be a businesslike decision,” Mr Bashford writes. “Perhaps that’s understandable, but much more than dollars are involved for a move to be a success.”

One authorised representative of a different non-aligned licensee, speaking to ifa on condition of anonymity, said he recently was offered a sum for his business by a major financial institution, large enough to have allowed him to pay off his mortgage instantly. 

Meanwhile, at a press briefing hosted by State Street in November, Treysta head of wealth management Mark Nagle also suggested some advisers who have recently moved into institutional licensing arrangements may now be regretting the decision and seeking alternatives.

“Prior to FOFA, AFSL applications dropped off as some planners moved into institutions, [but now] AFSL applications have returned to normal levels as those who stood on the sidelines have discovered they can compete with larger players,” Mr Nagle said.

The promised clarity on grandfathering is one of a number of amendments to FOFA recently announced by the government and warmly welcomed by the financial services industry.

Do you have stories of exorbitant sign-on and/or exit fees? [email protected]