Advice market competition to fire up

The legislative uncertainty and restricted movements seen in 2014 will give way to a more fluid, competitive and profitable advice market in the year ahead, two business brokers have predicted.

Forte Asset Solutions managing director Steve Prendeville told ifa that greater certainty on issues such as grandfathering as well as growing demand for non-aligned advice will lead to a proliferation of new entrants and a more dynamic business environment.

“There is great optimism for 2015; the shackles of poor investment markets and legislative uncertainty have been discarded and we will see a market that is open to innovation, mergers and growth,” Mr Prendeville said.

“FOFA and especially grandfathering certainty and the underlying implication to revenue now known, we should see a significant number of businesses come to market.”

Mr Prendeville said he expects the “supply and demand equilibrium” to return to more normal levels – having seen a surplus of sellers in recent years – with an influx of foreign money and private equity interest in Australian financial planning businesses.

“With legislative uncertainty and suppressed growth stagnating the market for the last four years we are now seeing the return of confidence and capital,” he said.

Fellow M&A consultant Paul Tynan of Connect Financial Services Brokers has also anticipated a good year for competition in the market and consumer demand for financial planning services.

“The sector can look forward to a positive 12 months as the building blocks are in place for growth,” said Mr Tynan in a statement.

“Australia’s ageing population will require advice in many areas and in doing so provide planning firms numerous opportunities to expand their operations and service offerings.”

Gaining competitive advantage and adapting to change will be key themes of the ifa Business Strategy Day, to find out more visit http://www.businessstrategyday.com.au/

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