IFAs need to differentiate from their peers

Independent advisers will need to focus on technology offerings, education and their knowledge base in order to differentiate themselves from their peers amid a changing regulatory environment, according to KnowIT Group.

Speaking at the launch of a new joint venture with registered training organisation Monarch, KnowIT Group chief executive Wayne Wilson said Australian advice practices are increasingly starting down the independent path and need to find new ways to offer value to clients.

“There has been a relatively strong swing away from practices wanting to be within aligned dealer groups in the country and moving to independent AFSLs, and in that process what we’re seeing is that there’s a rush to quality and content, if you like, as a separating factor between those small or bespoke independent practices to be able to have that as part of their value proposition,” he said.

Mr Wilson said the shift to “being out in an independent world where you have to have a value proposition that compels people to come to you”, coupled with the recent changes to adviser education standards, means advisers will need to “ramp up” their technology capabilities, education standard and knowledge base in order to compete.

“For years, advice systems have tried to reduce the time it takes to write an SOA or the like, I actually think the focus will be on the opposite now,” Mr Wilson said.

“People are going to be less concerned about a system that gets something out in six and a half hours, and more concerned about getting a bespoke outcome that’s not quite what the planner down the road or around the corner is offering.”

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