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BT trumpets 'changing face of advice'

The growth of women in advice, the emergence of accountants and the convergence of roles into 'teams' are combining to change the face of advice in Australia, according to BT.

Speaking to ifa, BT general manager for advice Mark Spiers said 35 per cent of new advisers in BT's bank planning channel are women.

“Over time we’ve had a goal to build that to 50 per cent,” he added.

By comparison, the most recent numbers from the Financial Planning Association indicate there are 16,500 planners in the market with approximately 13,200 male and 3,300 female.

There are two other factors that are “changing the face of advice” in Australia, said Mr Spiers.

“One is the emergence of accountants [and the other] is the converging roles as people ‘team’ in practices (the risk specialists, the accountants, and the financial planners),” he said.

However, when it came to the convergence of mortgage broking and advice, Mr Spiers said it is a trend that is “still there” but is “not strong”.


“It’s almost a bridge too far for a person who is accredited to advise or sell mortgages to move into financial planning,” he said.

But mortgage brokers can still work very well with financial planners and accountants on a referral basis, said Mr Spiers.

“It can be a bridge too far [for mortgage brokers] because of the training requirements to be a financial planner,” he said.

“If you’re an accountant you’re already highly credited and highly authorised – particularly with the [accountants'] exemption [until it is removed on] 1 July [2016],” said Mr Spiers.

When it comes to professionals “clustering around the client”, models including financial planners, accountants and risk specialists continue to prevail, he said.