Independence 'just a ticket to the game', says consultant

The managing director of an advice education group has said that becoming an independent adviser is not the answer to industry issues, but a step in the right direction.

In his 'Secrets of Professional Advice' webinar last week, managing director of Certainty Advice Group Jim Stackpool said the professional development of the advice sector is reliant on the adoption of the ‘principal adviser’ model by advice businesses. Becoming independent is “just a ticket to [this] game”, he said.

“The aim is to play as a principal adviser, and offer the principal adviser proposition to clients," Mr Stackpool said.

“There are tax specialists, trusts and estates lawyers, management accountants, financial planners, banking and finance specialists, charitable giving specialists, investment advisers, underwriters, risk specialists, SME business specialists, stock and equity brokers, valuation specialists etc.


"As a principal adviser, all of those areas should come under the umbrella of your firm.

“Independence by itself is just a step in this direction, it’s not the differentiator. [An adviser] can be independent but still be clouded by areas they might specialise in [investment, risk],” he said.

A poll of the around 150 people attending the webinar was held and of those who voted, 34 per cent said they provided principal adviser treatment to more than 66 per cent of their clients;  24 per cent of those who responded said fewer than 33 per cent of clients received principal advice; and just 5 per cent of voters said 100 per cent of their clients received principal adviser treatment.

Mr Stackpool also weighed in on the recent move by big institutions towards goals-based advice.

Commenting on NAB’s 'More than Money' campaign, he said: “The folks at NAB don’t make a cent from the provision of advice; they make a lot of money from the provision of products and services around advice.

“Our mates at AMP are not much different – because AMP, like NAB, do not have consistent, methodical business processes, the thinking or even the capability to professionally deliver upon goals," he said.

“The aim is to become a firm that can consistently, specifically and methodically connect with clients on what they are trying to achieve in their lives – not to sell them, but to particularly connect."

Independence 'just a ticket to the game', says consultant
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