Non-aligned advisers paid better, research shows

New research has found that a number of financial planning companies will increase employee remuneration this year, with those working for non-aligned firms likely to fare better than institutionally aligned advisers.

According to a study by financial services consultancy The Dawson Partnership, 25 per cent of financial planning bosses said they would increase pay this year, up from 23 per cent in the 2015 survey.

Of those, 56 per cent said the increase was mainly for employees who met or exceeded their KPIs, while 31 per cent said the increase was part of a retention strategy. About 44 per cent said they would increase remuneration in line with consumer price index (CPI).

Advisers working for non-aligned businesses were more likely to receive better pay.

"While salaried financial planners employed by institutions received CPI increases or marginally below or above this level, those employed by independent firms fared better, particularly those who contributed to the firm's revenue growth with increases upward of five per cent," the research stated.

On the other hand, more than half of the survey respondents (63 per cent) said they would maintain employee remuneration this year, down from 66 per cent in the previous survey. About six per cent said they would decrease pay, up from five per cent last year.

"The six per cent of respondents looking to decrease employee remuneration stated that this would be achieved by implementing cost-reduction strategies including not replacing employees who leave their businesses and or replacing back-office employees on lower-level remuneration," Dawson Partnership said.

Some of the negative factors cited by respondents as to what influenced their decision include continued investment market volatility, government changes to legislative framework and the impact of negative news related to personal insurance.

Despite this, there is an upward trend in recruitment activity and awareness that in order to retain employees, remuneration must be in line with the market, said The Dawson Partnership principal Peter Dawson.

"It was clearly evident that there is more emphasis being placed on employees having high-level technological skills and experience as financial planning practices refine their client communications strategies," he said.

"Employees and candidates with requisite skills and experience will be the beneficiaries of higher-level remuneration."

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