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Industry funds an advice ‘sleeping giant’

Off the back of a referral deal with First Super, Infocus Wealth Management boss Rod Bristow has said industry super funds are likely to play a pivotal role in the financial advice industry’s future.

In a blog published on the Infocus website, Mr Bristow predicted that industry funds will become a more dominant player in the financial advice market and that advisers should alter their traditional scepticism of this significant potential client pool.

“Industry Super Funds are undoubtedly the ‘sleeping giant’ in the advice world,” Mr Bristow wrote.

“From an advice perspective, forget the ‘compare the pair’ ads and the positioning around no commissions – the advice industry is moving in this direction anyway with the FOFA reforms and the Trowbridge Report recommendations. 

“Industry super funds will be a major participant in the advice component of the industry in future with client bases that rival the size of the Big 4 banks that may be seeking financial advice over time.”

Mr Bristow also listed mortgage and accounting firms as potential new entrants to the advice space, which he expects will increasingly become the “subject of intense competition”.

The comments come as Infocus pens a major referral deal with timber industry super fund, First Super, to provide comprehensive advice services to South Australian First Super members in their private homes.


Following the announcement of the deal, Mr Bristow said mutual understanding and “respect” lay behind Infocus’s ability to win the competitive tender, as well as First Super’s attraction to the dealer group’s independently-owned structure.

Former Local Super CEO Nick Szuster told the AIOFP conference in Shanghai last week that the two sectors are on the verge of greater co-operation and that industry fund executives are particularly warm towards independent and non-aligned financial advice providers. 

The FPA also has a referral program in place with industry fund Cbus.