Sources within AMP’s Genesys network have revealed tensions within the dealer group, with a number of authorised reps demanding greater product flexibility and threatening to exit.
Numerous practice principals within the Genesys Wealth Advisers group have confirmed to ifa they are currently in negotiations with parent company AMP to seek a number of conditions that, if not met, may cause some practices to seek alternative licensing arrangements.
One Genesys principal – speaking to ifa on condition of anonymity – said the tension largely stems from disagreements about the approved product list process, and perceived restrictions on technology and financial product choice.
A “fairly large chunk” of the Genesys network at the practice director level is involved in the discussions, the principal added.
“The issue here is the advice we can provide to clients; we want to provide independently-minded advice and want access to numerous platforms,” the principal said. “We want to make sure we can fulfil our best interests duty.”
The authorised rep said that while there has been ongoing discussion since the acquisition of Genesys by AXA in 2008 and the subsequent merger with AMP in 2011, recent developments regarding the proposed adviser register and ASIC’s proposal of a “restricted advice” label had created additional “cause for concern”.
Another authorised representative told ifa that “AMP has been reasonably flexible” in terms of product recommendation and technology choice, but lamented the cancellation of an upcoming Genesys conference planned to be held in Geneva, Switzerland, which he said was not going ahead due to the conflict.
A separate source close to Genesys said that there has been a lot of recent talk about “people agitating their dissatisfaction with the way [Genesys] is operating” and that the cancellation of the “leaders’ conference” is “not a good look”.
The source also suggested that the tension is not specific to Genesys, but that “other institutionally-owned groups are probably also struggling to maintain unity” in the current climate.
However, an AMP spokesperson said the decision to "postpone the offshore conference" was due to a strategic decision to “focus on bedding down changes” brought by legislative reform and a recent strategic review of the Genesys dealer group.
The spokesperson said that the onshore conference for all Genesys authorised representatives slated for January will still be going ahead.
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