An AMP executive has dismissed calls for the government to introduce more explicit ownership disclaimers on advisers, saying there is “almost too much disclosure” already.
In an exclusive interview with ifa, Dave Akers, the director of channel strategy and services across AMP’s various advice businesses, opened up about the approved product list and research process at Australia’s largest financial adviser.
Mr Akers said the key to an appropriate APL was ensuring “both quality and choice” and striking a balance between due diligence, risk mitigation and a wide range of investment options.
“The choice can’t be excessively wide that is slows down an adviser to efficiently find a solution to their clients’ problem,” Mr Akers said. “This is an efficiency objective we have when setting an APL.”
Asked to comment on the recent white paper arguing for greater disclosure requirements for institutionally-aligned advisers – which the AIOFP and consultancy Smart Compliance co-authored – Mr Akers revealed AMP has conducted its own research on the topic.
In the lead-up to the launch of the new AMP Advice subsidiary, the company conducted consumer research on the issues of “independence and brand”, Mr Akers said.
“What this research showed is that as long as you are clear [about ownership ties] from the get-go – which is what our Hillross and Charter advisers will do – then the consumer is happy,” he said.
“It is less about the logo on the door and more about the conversations between adviser and client. There is almost too much disclosure already in the various documents relating to ownership. It is pretty clear to me who the client is dealing with.”
Mr Akers said the idea of vertical integration leading to cross-selling was “not a licensee proposition” and that the manufacturer of a financial product is not a major factor in an adviser’s recommendation patterns.
The comments follow a panel session at the 17th annual Wraps, Platforms and Masterfunds conference in the Hunter Valley last month, in which a number of licensee executives, including AMP Advice managing director Eric Gibson, weighed in on the topic of APL construction.
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