Planners courting non-aligned dealer groups

By Alice Uribe
 — 1 minute read

Financial planners who are interested in switching dealer groups are more open to offers from non-aligned licensees than they were a year ago, according to the latest InvestorDaily Dealer Group of Choice Survey.

While financial planners' satisfaction with their dealer group is up slightly on 2014, planners who intend to move are more likely to cross over to the non-aligned space than to an institution, according to the InvestorDaily Dealer Group of Choice Survey 2015.

Forte Asset Solutions managing director Steve Prendeville unveiled the survey results at the annual ifa Business Strategy Day held in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne this week.


In a significant change from the last survey, more than 73 per cent of financial planners who are considering switching dealer groups indicated they would choose a non-institutionally-aligned outfit.

This represents a large upward swing from 2014, when 54 per cent said they would be likely to move to a non-aligned dealer group.

Commenting on the change, Mr Prendeville said: "Whilst the dominance [of institutions] continues, the preference of advisers moving is to non-aligned and that's been an unparalleled experience in the last seven years.

"However, this is a reversion of the business cycle. During the GFC, what we saw was that many were drawn to the safety, the safe subsidised harbour of the institutions, their brand, their capital support and their low-cost structure. So, it was driven by mainly fiscal requirements. Now that we've come through that storm, many are now looking to move into the non-aligned space and what we're seeing now is a movement of advisers."

The InvestorDaily Dealer Group of Choice Survey 2015, which collated the responses of 695 financial planners, also revealed that overall satisfaction had improved from the previous survey.

In 2014, 18.7 per cent of financial planners were not satisfied with their current dealer, while in 2015 this number had improved slightly, with 16.4 per cent saying their satisfaction level was low.

However, Mr Prendeville cautioned ifa Business Strategy Day attendees about the challenges that come with changing dealer groups.

"You only want to do it once; people underestimate the things that are involved with transitioning," he said. "One of the things people forget is that... you cannot be confident that you are going to get 100 per cent migration of data and there is a significant amount of work."

According to the InvestorDaily Dealer Group of Choice Survey 2015, there are currently 750 dealer groups, 8,000 practices and 18,000 financial planners in Australia, with 70 per cent of financial planners directly or indirectly linked to product manufacturers.

The survey also covers where financial planners might move, why they might move, and which dealer groups had the highest levels of satisfaction.

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