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Advisers shun acquisition for organic growth

Advisers have slammed the brakes on acquisition strategies in favour of growing their client books organically, new research has found.

Released yesterday, the SLICE2 survey - conducted by Peter Dawson of The Dawson Partnership and Susan Rochester of Balance at Work – found that 65 per cent of surveyed advisers will focus on organic growth in 2014.

None of the respondents plan to grow their business through buying a book of clients or through acquiring or merging with another practice.

The survey found that 21 per cent of advisers plan to grow their income from existing clients, while 10 per cent plan to employ another adviser.

The dominant growth strategy for those planning to grow their client base is referrals from clients (81 per cent) and centres of influence (71 per cent), while prospecting for new clients outside of referrals accounted for 23 per cent.

Almost half (48 per cent) intend to attract more clients through networking.

Other ways in which respondents plan to grow their client base are through social media, seminars, publishing and corporate services.


“We are not planning to hire; however, we would accept nothing less than a degree qualification, or worst case, working towards a degree,” one anonymous respondent said.

Another said that in order to grow substantially they need to build capacity by employing an adviser and additional staff.

“In regional areas, the level of skills / knowledge of potential recruits is below the level I need for my business,” they said.

“These potential recruits also believe they are at a level that will attract a remuneration that exceeds their capability to bring in the necessary income.

“Recruitment of suitably qualified staff is an issue in the regional areas.”

The SLICE2 survey revealed that financial planners’ core focus is on building sustainable growth in their practices derived predominantly from referral business from existing clients.

“This is not good news for business brokers, as none of the respondents said that they were looking to acquire client books and or buy or merge with other practices,” the survey said.