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Synchron backs AFA, Trapnell among ‘veteran’ advisers

Synchron has backed the AFA's response to the government's draft bill on new adviser standards, rejecting the proposal that experienced advisers should become degree-qualified.

In a statement, Synchron director Don Trapnell said he is concerned about the potential for a mass exodus should the draft bill be legislated as is. He added that he is one of those 'veteran' advisers who should not be required to head back to school.

"Like the AFA, we have serious concerns in relation to the brain drain that could occur if the proposed reforms are allowed to continue forward. There are very senior, very respected advisers within our Synchron group, including myself, who despite their many years of experience and varied qualifications will be forced to undertake a university degree in order to continue practising," Mr Trapnell said.

"I have almost 50 years' experience as a risk adviser and am regarded as an expert in my field. However, I don't have a Diploma of Financial Planning because I am not a financial planner, nor do I have a financial planning university degree.

"Like many other experienced risk advisers, I hold formal life insurance qualifications, including Certified Insurance Professional by ANZIIF. Given my life insurance qualifications, level of experience and expertise, why should I and risk advisers like me have to re-train? There needs to be a more practical pathway established for existing advisers."

Mr Trapnell added there should be streamlined education pathways for different disciplines included in the draft bill.

"In our letter, we reflect our long-held belief that there needs to be a separation of disciplines in the education and training of financial advice practitioners," he said.


"It is presupposed by government that financial planners and risk writers are in the same discipline, but they are not. Our letter draws a parallel between the GP and the dentist; they both have to have a basic knowledge of medicine, but then they need to go into their own areas of expertise.

"You wouldn't employ a GP to perform a root canal, so why should they need to know how to do one?"