Creating new and adaptive business models is key to surviving upheaval in the advice profession, according to an advice business coach and consultant.
Speaking to ifa, Elixir Consulting founder Sue Viskovic said advisers are increasingly adopting distinctive business models that open up sections of the market that might have been missing out due to the higher costs brought on by compliance and administration.
“I am seeing those who are focusing on younger segments or wealth creators, people with less financial complexity – and they are creating models that are utilising technology and digital engagement much better,” Ms Viskovic told ifa.
“Whilst it might be now more expensive for someone on a low income to access the traditional full financial advice model, there are more models coming to the fore where there's a combination of digital technology – not necessarily robo-advice as such – but utilising digital tools better to deliver an offering that is more suited to people at that last stage.”
And while the cost of advice is rising for consumers, Ms Viskovic believes that there’s been a corresponding increase in its overall quality.
“I agree with those who say that the cost of advice is rising for consumers, but I also think that I'm not quite so bearish about that because [what] I also see coming with it is an increase in the quality of engagement, not just the quality of advice,” Ms Viskovic said.
“I think most advisers, certainly the ones that we deal with, have been giving quality advice, but it's the quality of the full engagement and experience that's being delivered increasing along with that. Advisers are expanding on their engagement techniques and broadening their discussion to incorporate lifestyle and behavioural factors that will improve the outcomes that their clients enjoy, and have access to more resources that can improve the efficiency of the data gathering process to enable these deeper conversations.”
Ms Viskovic established Elixir Consulting to provide business coaching services in the financial planning market over twelve years ago. Since that time, Elixir has seen the industry go through waves of change.
"For as long as I can remember, it's always felt like this industry has been undergoing change, but the sheer volume of factors impacting adviser businesses in the current environment is unprecedented," Ms Viskovic said.
"We work closely with all our clients to plan their businesses, and to constantly evolve to keep one step ahead of changes being forced upon them. Having a team of four coaches around the country means that our clients benefit from the combined depth of knowledge that comes with helping advice businesses day in, day out. For some, that means keeping them accountable to the strategy planning we've helped with, and for others it's helping them plan a strategic approach to how they'll renovate their businesses for the future."
"At the moment, a big part of what we do is help cut through the noise and help advisers juggle the sheer volume of things that require their attention."
Ms Viskovic also touched on the impact that the new FASEA standards have had on the industry, saying that they’ve either been welcomed or have “negatively impacted advisers”.
“There's not a lot of middle ground there,” Ms Viskovic said.
“But the majority of the people we speak with tend to be of the mindset of 'let's get on with it'. With greater clarity on the practical implications of how to comply with both the ethical standards and the education requirements, advisers can plan their way forward and get back to doing what they love to do.”
Ms Viskovic will be the MC of the 2020 ifa Business Strategy Day. To book a ticket, click here.
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