Financial advisers are not interacting with their peers like they used to, transforming the once close-knit community into a lonely profession, says one dealer group chair.
Futuro Financial Services executive chairman Dennis Bashford said he believes technology has played a role in diminishing face-to-face interaction within the financial advice sector.
“We once knew a significant number of our industry colleagues and their areas of expertise and often would go to them when looking for a professional opinion," he said.
“Being able to call on mentors with expertise in other areas was something that was highly valued.
“Today, there is much less face-to-face industry interaction with such things as monthly industry association functions and fund managers’ presentations being replaced with webinars, Go-To meetings and video conferencing – all of which largely denies us the opportunity to mix with and get to know our colleagues on a more personal basis.”
Mr Bashford said while some licensees attempt getting their advisers to mingle at such events as PD days, many attendees often leave early.
“Not making the effort to get face-to-face time with your peers denies you the opportunity of developing good professional relationships with others and stifles serious discussion,” he said.
In addition to developing relationships, Mr Bashford believes face-to-face interaction can lead to the sharing of ideas that creates innovation and leads to better client outcomes.
This also prompts other advisers to “do the right thing”, he said.
“It builds a close-knit group where people respect each other. This has a positive effect on the overall culture of the network as people tend to mirror the behaviour of their peers,” Mr Bashford said.
“When people do the right things, then their colleagues are inclined to reciprocate. It creates a sense of community and companionship, something that our industry has largely lost over the past-so-very-difficult 10 years.”
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