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Suncorp advisers short on time to relocate, says Prendeville

Suncorp advisers have been left with an "extremely tight" timeframe in which to apply for their own AFSL or even to find the appropriate dealer group for their business, says Forte Asset Solutions' Steve Prendeville.

Announcing its decision to "simplify" its distribution arm and transition out of its self-employed and aligned adviser networks, Guardian Advice and Suncorp Financial Planning, Suncorp said it will give its advisers six months to find a new home.

However, Mr Prendeville – who also owns dealer group consultancy Forte Dealer Solutions – said six months is not an adequate amount of time for Suncorp-aligned advisers to make an appropriate judgement about where they should relocate.

"They have an extremely tight timeline [to find a new home], plus they will also have to manage their business on a day-to-day basis," he said.

"To really plan a successful position and to ensure you go to the right home normally takes a period of somewhere between three to six months.

"[Also], to go for your own licence, it takes a significant amount of time to do the application, go through ASIC to be approved and then get in all the other third parties that you are required to operate your own licence," he said.

Given that December is generally a slow period for the financial services industry, Mr Prendeville said this will also present difficulties for Suncorp advisers trying to put in an AFSL application.


He added that due to the licensing conditions that were imposed on Guardian Advice by ASIC, dealer groups looking to take on advisers from this licensee will have to undertake thorough compliance checks to ensure they do not let in a "Trojan horse".

"It could be that the dealer group will require them to put in their own compliance to get a level of comfort. There is an element of hyper compliance awareness, and the only way that they will be able to get that comfort is if the dealer group goes into a business and conduct their own audit," he said.

Following Suncorp's decision to no longer manage its Guardian and Suncorp Financial Planning licensees, the bank has partnered with non-aligned groups Bombora Advice, Centrepoint Alliance and Infocus Wealth Management to help relocate its displaced advisers.