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Gen Y advisers to push cultural change

A new lobby group of young financial advisers has formed to drive professionalism across the industry, with AFA CEO Brad Fox encouraging it to fight for cultural change.

The XY Adviser network held its inaugural meeting at Westpac’s Sydney headquarters last week, outlining its manifesto as a “group of progressive thinking and professionally minded young advisers focused on helping Australians achieve better financial outcomes and raising the standards of financial advice”.

“This is not about shaming the past – all of us are grateful for the older advisers and what they have done to build the industry  but the baton has been handed on to us. We are here for the next 20 or 30 years and I want to start turning up to barbecues being proud to tell people I’m a financial adviser,” said XY Adviser co-founder and Hillross adviser Clayton Daniel.

“If health is the top concern of Australians, wealth has to be number two, and we want to become advisers that go far beyond just recommending an investment or insurance product.”

Attendees highlighted a number of challenges that the industry faces, from the pressure of new business KPIs to availability of technology and the enduring focus on technical finance education, as opposed to psychological or soft skills training.

Addressing the event, Mr Fox acknowledged the concerns, calling on the XY Adviser members to not shy away from making their voices heard within their respective licensee networks.

“Licensees trying to comply with the law and make advisers over-compliant is one of the main impediments to advice,” Mr Fox said.

“At this stage, advisers haven’t been given the full responsibility to be a personal professional.

“These are the challenges that advisers face and you guys need to face into them because you are at the cutting edge of being able to change them.

“Are you doing anything to create the change you want to see in your workplaces?”

Mr Fox encouraged the young advisers to make themselves known to their dealer group advisory boards or get involved in internal dealer group politics or with the industry association sub-groups such as GenXT.

“In life you don’t always get to be the decision-maker, but you can influence the influencers,” he said.

The next meeting of XY Adviser will be taking place at TAL’s Sydney headquarters on Wednesday 26 November.