ifa reflects on a year of dramatic change for financial advice.
Perhaps more than any other year since Australian financial advisers began doing business, 2013 was one of upheaval and change.
With some changes self-imposed, others enforced by politicians and their public servants, the past 12 months have centred around fundamental shifts, not only in remuneration and disclosure requirements, but in the way advisers approach the very core of what they do.
The best interests duty and move to a fee-for-service mentality have been deeply ingrained, coupled with rising educational standards led by the industry associations.
It is rare to hear financial advisers still making the case for product commissions; rather, a majority have embraced the new world order.
In everyday conversations with financial advisers and those who represent the industry or provide services to it, ifa has found the overwhelming sentiment since ‘FOFA Day’ (1 July 2013) to be one that supports a ‘heads down, bums up’ implementation of new systems and processes – a work ethic of which the industry can be proud.
In this reflective analysis of the year that was, ifa looks in depth at changes on three fronts: legislative, the enforcement of those regulatory changes, and the changing dynamics of corporate strategy at the licensee/product level.
Viewing the year through these three prisms reminds us that 2013 has not been easy but also tells a story of amazing resilience in the face of a challenging business environment, and of an industry coming of age as it takes shape daily as a respectable, modern profession.
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