Former MLC boss predicts independent resurgence

Former MLC chief executive Steve Tucker has publicly stated he anticipates the consumer will increasingly demand independent financial advice.

Mr Tucker, who yesterday announced to the ASX that he had taken up a new role with one of Euroz’s funds management businesses, told the Australian Financial Review that the trajectory of consumer demand is switching to the non-aligned sector.

“I think that regardless of the implementation detail of the FOFA changes that have been discussed at length, they are signalling a change in the way the market and consumers are expecting to receive advice,” Mr Tucker said.

“The theme of independence is emerging very strongly.”

Mr Tucker suggested that the increasingly competitive nature of financial product distribution has made advice a more necessary and valuable service, adding that the current climate “lends itself [more] to independent advice.”

Yesterday’s ASX statement revealed that Mr Tucker will take a 20 per cent stake in the newly-formed Westoz Investment Management, anticipating that listed investment companies (LICs) are likely to become increasingly popular in the post-FOFA environment.

“Westoz has built an impressive base of performance over a number of years now and I believe there is great scope to broaden its appeal to the wider investment market in the future,” Mr Tucker said.

“The LIC sector is in great demand at present, with significant amounts of capital raised over the last 18 months.

“I expect the LIC sector will continue to go from strength to strength as FOFA reforms have significantly increased the attractiveness of LIC structures.”

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