Following an extensive review, MLC Wealth has confirmed it will create a simpler and more sustainable advice business as part of ongoing work to modernise.
Part of that plan will see the group exit from the self-employed franchise models of MLC Advice stores and NAB financial planning.
Three different brands, Garvan, Apogee and Meritum will be combined to form a new consolidated business while Godfrey Pembroke will focus on high-net-worth clients.
The MLC Advice brand will itself shift to more focused and segmented offers, with new offices in fewer locations and new advice experience centres to be created.
Chief executive Geoff Lloyd told Investor Daily that the changes came after extensive consultation with advisers, with their clients being crucial to all MLC’s strategy.
“What was important to us was to work very closely with financial planners, whether that be employed, or self-employed, in our strategy blueprint. We have very deliberately set a scene about transformation, identified our strategic intent and gone about it in an open and transparent way,” said Mr Lloyd.
Included in that was the introduction of a new pricing model which Mr Lloyd said was recognised by advisers as allowing them more customisation.
“There’s a recognition that unbundling of advice from product and the higher level of professionalism means a core offer,” he said.
“That core offer allows us to invest strongly in education and focus on professionalism while unbundling our fees so they can pick and choose what services they want in addition to that core offer.”
Those fees had increased as they moved to a more core offering and there was now greater alignment in the model, which may mean some losses said Mr Lloyd.
“Those fees have increased, it’s a different form of offer invested in the core services by bringing our advice services together and we think that is now a greater alignment for a sustainable advice model going forward. Those fees have increased and yes, I do think our planner footprint should and will reduce,” he said.
But despite the reduction in footprint, MLC was there for its advisers, regardless of what model they operated.
“We are here to support all of advice, regardless of if they are employed, self-employed or self-employed under an independent licence,” said Mr Lloyd.
Part of that support came in the form of technology said Mr Lloyd but for now the group was focused on what they already delivered.
“We do believe digital and technology solutions will have a better delivery of advice but today we are focused on what we have,” he said.