Despite the current focus on fintech, financial planning firms should be focusing their energies on brand, marketing and service innovation, says Netwealth.
Speaking ahead of the Adviser Innovation 2015 event in Melbourne and Sydney in July, Netwealth joint managing director Matt Heine said financial planners need to innovate in "more ways than just technology".
"At the end of the day innovation is really around customer-centricity," Mr Heine said.
Netwealth is the major partner of Adviser Innovation 2015, which is aimed at financial planners who want to build the sustainable advice practices of the future.
"Those that understand the customer really well or are able to uncover deep insights about their customer are the ones that have the true ability to go out and solve a problem," Mr Heine said.
"Unless you really understand what it is you’re trying to do or why you’re trying to innovate, you’re going to miss the mark," he said.
While there is a "huge amount" of fintech activity targeting advice, there is no standout financial planning brand in Australia, he said.
"We’re not seeing anyone that’s known for outstanding innovation within [customer] service," Mr Heine said.
Financial planning firms should be examining their marketing, service, brand and pricing, he said.
"As an industry we’ve become very attached to traditional models and now it’s time start to break those open.
"We need to look at how we might repackage what we do in far more interesting ways that better serve the customer," he said.
When it comes to branding, the financial planning industry is suffering from a lot of "bad press" and needs to reinvent itself, he said.
"The traditional model is largely broken and will continue to be broken by regulatory overlay," Mr Heine added.