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The best in each category

By Reporter
 — 1 minute read
Assurances - MercerCompliance - MLC/GarvanQuality - MLC/GarvanUnderstanding - Financial Services PartnersIntention - MLC/GarvanReaction - Financial Services PartnersEnvironment - MLC/Garvan
Assurances

Winner - Mercer

Highly Commended - WHK Group, Financial Services Partners

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Mercer was the standout provider in this category. A solid discussion and demonstration of planner experience and qualifications combined with relevant incorporation of products and services that met shopper needs were key drivers in its performance in the category.

Mercer also performed well because its adviser interacted with clients in a way that was clear and easy to understand. Also elevating the group was the easy-to-use pre-meeting information sent out to shoppers. 

WHK and Financial Services Partners ranked highly, also primarily for the same reasons as Mercer, but both of these groups were less inclined to collect pre-meeting data.

Differences between both WHK and Mercer, who both were highly commended in the ratings, were that WHK advisers were better at discussing potential products, while FSP representatives were better articulating the benefits would-be clients could reap from taking the planner's advice.

Compliance

Winner - MLC/Garvan

Highly Commended- ipac, AMP

MLC Garvan was the standout provider in this category.  Issuance and explanation of financial services guides in all instances, combined will a full outline of the privacy requirements with respect to the client, resulted in a first place ranking in this category.

However, only in three out of four instances did the discussions warrant shoppers being issued with a product disclosure statement, although in all of these cases the documentation was fully articulated.

AMP and ipac were also strong performers when it came to compliance, however, the general differentiator between them and MLC Garvan was a slightly less robust communication and explanation of the required legalities surrounding the advice process.

Quality

Winner - MLC/Garvan

Highly Commended - RetireInvest, Financial Services Partners

MLC Garvan planners were very strong in their ability to personalise conversations with customers during the meetings, while at the same time being able to respond and answer shopper questions effectively.

The feeling from investors who visited the MLC Garvan planners covered by the study was that they offered a high level of service, however, as with most things in life this comes at a cost and reaction to the likely fees they would be paying were only modest.

However, overall the result was high enough for the group to win the category.

RetireInvest and Financial Services Partners were also strong performers in this category with high ratings in terms of quality. The reason they didn't pip MLC Garvan to win the category was they both had instances where the consultation wasn't deemed personalised enough and both were marginally weaker on the degree of follow-up with would-be clients.

Understanding

Winner - Financial Services Partners

Highly Commended - MLC/Garvan, Mercer

FSP performed well across this category in particular by demonstrating solid adviser listening skills, empathising with would-be clients on their needs and goals, and shoppers coming away feeling they had enough relevant information to make an informed decision.

MLC Garvan advisers also ranked highly and stood out in a few areas, namely being strong in meeting preparation and having good listening skills.

Mercer rated well against many of the variables but shone especially in its adviser's abilities to quickly grasp shopper situations and then provide would-be clients with a comprehensive information set to make a decision.

Intention

Winner - MLC Garvan

Highly Commended - Financial Services Partners, RetireInvest

The three variables that are combined to form the intention category - or customer commitment - are arguably the most important of all covered in this project as they are the ultimate measure of a would-be client's intention to use the services of a given adviser or to speak warmly to other people on their behalf.

MLC Garvan was deemed the winner in this respect with 90 per cent of the 20 events that related to it resulting in shoppers stating they were likely to proceed to a second meeting or adopt the planner they saw as their adviser.

FSP and RetireInvest also stood out in this area.

There are a number of things dealer groups can do to better understand how customers react the way they do, ahead of adopting a range of correlated measures to improve - some at small cost some at large cost depending on the dealer - client acquisition effectiveness.

Reaction

Winner - Financial Services Partners
 
Highly Commended - National Australia Bank Financial Planning, MLC/Garvan

FSP planners were strong in building rapport with shoppers and in all cases were deemed to be honest. Their enthusiasm was also very apparent but not too overbearing and pushing them into the realms of sales people in shoppers' minds and insincerity.

NAB and MLC Garvan planners were both good at demonstrating genuine keenness to service the would-be clients who visited them, and had strong relationship-building skills.

A key aspect of this category is the measure of planner engagement ability. Engagement for the purposes of this study is comprised of four key variables and it was found this measure has the greatest correlation with the ultimate client acquisition performance of planners and subsequently dealer groups.

Environment

Winner - MLC/Garvan

Highly Commended - Western Pacific, Millennium3

The appointment process was quite smooth for shoppers seeking consultations with MLC Garvan advisers, while the office surroundings met or exceeded shopper expectations.

In addition, the physical and social demeanor of planners was rated highly by shoppers.

For Western Pacific, its support staff made it relatively painless for would-be clients to manoeuvre through the logistical pre-meeting stages of the process, while once in front of planners the advisers carried themselves in a professional and friendly manner.

For Millennium3, shoppers reported that planners were easy to talk to and socially comfortable, while the interior and exteriors of their offices met or exceeded their expectations.

The best in each category
Assurances - MercerCompliance - MLC/GarvanQuality - MLC/GarvanUnderstanding - Financial Services PartnersIntention - MLC/GarvanReaction - Financial Services PartnersEnvironment - MLC/Garvan
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