Adviser sentiment, revenue plummets

A new survey from Zurich reveals adviser confidence is at the lowest level in more than two years, with the insurer urging advisers to “accentuate the positives”.

Zurich Financial Services Australia’s Risk Adviser Sentiment Index – compiled off the back of a survey of “202 advisers active in the life risk market” and conducted by Beaton Research and Consulting – found “plunging adviser confidence” across a range of key measures.

Confidence about the regulatory environment is down 14 per cent, alongside more negative appraisals of the “long-term viability of advice practices” (down 11.6 per cent) and a less positive “short-term sales outlook” (down 10.1 per cent).

In addition, one in ten respondents drew a direct link between practice profits and “reputational damage” endured over the past year, with a number pointing to 10 per cent slides in revenue.

However, Zurich general manager, retail life and investments, Philip Kewin reminded advisers that client engagement and satisfaction figures remain high, despite the fact that “negative perceptions are still dominant in the overall community”.

“In the rush to focus on the implications for adviser remuneration, most people have overlooked the fact that the ASIC report was in fact very pro-advice and very supportive of the role advisers play in delivering outcomes for their customers and the community overall,” Mr Kewin said.

“Zurich’s response therefore is to accentuate the positives, and focus on the ways we can partner with advisers to improve the quality and accessibility of advice.”

Driving profitability and a conflict-free client experience will be key themes of the upcoming ifa Business Strategy Day. For more information visit http://www.businessstrategyday.com.au/

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