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Suncorp to cut advice businesses loose

From mid-next year, Suncorp will no longer manage its Guardian Advice and Suncorp Financial Planning licensees, leaving the roles of hundreds of advisers in doubt.

After media speculation today, Suncorp Life has confirmed it will begin a six-month transition out of its self-employed, aligned adviser networks, Guardian Advice and Suncorp Financial Planning, in order to "simplify its distribution model".

According to ASIC's adviser register, this move may affect more than 200 planners.

Acting Suncorp Life chief executive Jeremy Robson said the decision came after much consideration but ultimately supported the business' direction.

"We have made the decision to simplify our distribution model in line with our strategic priorities and in the interests of advisers and customers. We're focused on working with our independent adviser and direct distribution businesses to support the evolving needs of customers," he said.

"Over the next six months we will be working closely with both the Guardian Advice and Suncorp Financial Planning advisers to explore options such as transitioning them to other licensees in the market if they choose."

Mr Robson added that the immediate priority was the smooth transition for self-employed, aligned advisers.


"Our immediate goal is to work closely with advisers to identify their options and make the transition as easy as possible," he said.

Guardian Advice was placed under licensing conditions by the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) in December 2014.

This included the appointment of independent expert, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), to complete a review of some of Guardian Advice processes and procedures.

According to Guardian Advice it completed recommended business improvements specifically in regards to compliance procedures.

Suncorp Life will continue to work with ASIC's requirements during the transition from the self-employed, aligned adviser network, Guardian Advice and Suncorp Financial Planning, over the next six months.