Suncorp looks to IFA sector for solutions

Following its decision to cut loose its Guardian Advice and Suncorp Financial Planning dealer groups, Suncorp has said it will now focus on the non-aligned sector for distribution and to find new homes for displaced advisers.

Yesterday, Suncorp confirmed it will begin a six month transition out of its adviser networks Guardian and Suncorp Financial Planning in order to "simplify" its distribution model – a decision that will affect 170 advisers across both dealer groups.

In making the decision, Suncorp said it will now be looking to the non-aligned advice sector for the future of its distribution.

"It's an opportunity to simplify how we manage our distribution so we can continue to focus on partnerships with our IFA networks, primarily through Asteron Life, and providing products direct to customers through the Group's brands," a spokesperson for Suncorp said.

"This decision has been made following a comprehensive review of these businesses against our strategic priorities."

Suncorp also said it will be working with its advice network to find advisers new homes, and will explore options such as helping them join new dealer groups, establishing their own licence, forming their own dealer group or even retiring from the industry.

ifa understands that Suncorp has partnered with a number of groups to help relocate advisers, one of which includes Infocus Wealth Management.

"We're excited [that] our unblemished compliance record and significant investment in governance, risk management and technology over the last four years has been recognised by Suncorp in choosing Infocus as a future partner for advisers currently licensed through the Suncorp and Guardian dealer groups," Infocus group managing director Rod Bristow said.

"For advisers, our new business recruitment process is great. In addition to meeting all statutory requirements and reviewing adviser history and compliance records, it involves the Infocus group leadership team meeting each adviser business principal before they join the group."

Earlier this year, the corporate regulator imposed conditions on Suncorp's Guardian dealer group after it found a number of "deficiencies" in the group's advice to retail clients.

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