A “cultural revolution” is occurring in the dealer group space that is seeing more licensees share information about advisers and increase their due diligence, says Elders Financial Planning general manager, Tony Beaven.
Speaking to ifa yesterday, Mr Beaven said changes in regulation have placed more responsibility on dealer groups to ensure their advisers are compliant.
“Regulation for dealer groups has changed so much that we all share compliance and audit information before we take on somebody now so we know that we’ve taken on compliant and professional people,” he said.
“If they’ve got adverse results in their audits, we don’t want them. We ask some of the big companies for audit reports. We do audit checks, compliance checks, reference checks – this is what you have to do now.
“I’d rather turn somebody away than take somebody on," he said. "This is what a lot of dealer groups and some banks are starting to do these days. That’s a major change in the industry.”
Mr Beaven added that those dealer groups which do not ramp up their due diligence process will not survive.
“Everyone is starting to do this but there are a few businesses at the moment that don’t do audit checks or compliance checks. They won’t last much longer,” he said.
Increased due diligence is also part of a recent transformation at Elders Financial Planning, which began about six months ago in an effort to align the business with the current and future needs of advisers, Mr Beaven said.
“As part of this transformation, we have up-skilled our head office support team, created a support, supervision and induction framework that stands head and shoulders above most organisations in the industry, and put in place a digital solution program in order to better support the current and future needs of our advisers,” he said.
“Advisers understandably want to see value for money in their dealer group so we have undertaken a program of aligning advisers to other businesses within the wider Elders group, thus creating opportunities for them to forge referral relationships across businesses such as Elders General Insurance, Elders Banking and Elders Home Loans in their local area.
“One could say challenging, but these are exciting times for dealer groups,” Mr Beaven said.
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