Finalists announced in 2016 Licensee of the Year

on 11 May 2016
Created: 11 May 2016

This year, for the first time, awards will be made in three licensee categories: institutionally branded, institutionally affiliated, and independently owned. An overall winner will be named from the three categories. (See table.)

The winners will be announced at the 2016 Professional Planner Dealer Group Summit in the Blue Mountains, on June 6 and 7.

The awards are based on CoreData research drawing on responses from more than 1500 financial planners. The finalists have all shown an ability to articulate and deliver clear value propositions and to effectively support advisers to create efficient businesses.

But the research underpinning the awards shows that licensees continue to struggle to deliver consistent client experiences across all of their advice practices.

The founder and principal of CoreData, Andrew Inwood, says the finalists have done the best job of “manufacturing an environment where people can succeed”.

“This concept of belonging is really important too,” Inwood says.

“People really belong to it. They’ve bought the zeitgeist or the story that the licensee is selling. That’s the big shift you can see – you can see they really buy in. It’s the vision and ambition. It’s the ambition of the licensee that they are really signing up for.”


Articulate value proposition and deliver on it

 The director of Australian financial services for CoreData, Sean Allen, says that for independent licensees, success comes down to “a combination of two things: thought leadership and flexibility”.

“Without doubt they are able to articulate a value proposition, and not only articulate it, but deliver on it – deliver to it,” Allen says.

“It enables an adviser to run a productive and efficient business, and in turn, you’d have an expectation that it manifests itself in a better-quality experience for the client.

“Clients that have a high-quality experience are more likely to make referrals, which underpins business growth. But CoreData’s research says clients still report widely variable experiences, even among firms operating under the same licensee.

“Inside some licensees you get businesses that are at all extremes,” Allen says.

“Even though you have engaged advisers that love [the licensee], it doesn’t necessarily mean the experience they are providing to clients is better than the practice down the road, that thinks its licensee is on the nose, but still gives a great experience to clients.

“It doesn’t automatically guarantee clients are winning out of this.”

Allen says that the technical quality of advice provided is now uniformly sound across the industry.

“But what we have not addressed is the ability to provide the same experience for all clients,” he says.

Allen says clients cannot typically tell if they have received “good” or “bad” advice, but they know whether they have had a good or a bad experience.

“Given that the advice is done properly, how do we get clients to advocate for the industry because the experience was top-notch?”


Best businesses focus on value, not cost

Inwood says “the interesting part about this for me, in financial planning, is that those are the elements that are absolutely in your control. What happened when I picked up the phone?”

“Some of those businesses that we have helped personally…where we help people grow their businesses and set up the practices and the processes, they make a lot of money, but also they outsource everything,” Inwood says.

“The manual bit they do is to on-board the clients.”

Inwood says different clients have different definitions of “value”, but “for most people it is: have you taken this problem away from me?”

“I have this monkey on my back, what do I do?” he says.

“When someone comes along and they take it on and explain it to them…the person goes, ‘that’s all right’.

“The very good [businesses] make their money by charging for their time: ‘I’m $250 an hour because it’s taken me 20 years to get this good’. And provided the client experience is good, they will pay for that time.”

Allen adds that the best businesses focus on value, not cost.

“It’s not around how much do I charge for an hour, it’s how much do you value you me taking these issues away from you?” he says.

CoreData will present an analysis of its 2016 research at the Dealer Group Summit, along with insights from its latest shadow-shopping research. The Dealer Group Summit is open to the heads and senior management of Australian financial services licensees, and registrations remain open for the 2016 event.

Focused on the theme of opportunities and challenges in a disrupted market, the summit consists of a range of presentations, panel sessions and small-group discussion breakouts. It offers an unparalleled opportunity for the leaders and senior management of licensees and dealer groups to meet to discuss the issues and the trends that will shape financial planning businesses in years to come.

2016 Licensee of the Year finalists

(All finalists listed alphabetically)

Institutionally branded

  • AMP Financial Planning
  • ANZ Financial Planning
  • Commonwealth Financial Plannin

Institutionally affiliated

  • Financial Services Partners
  • Financial Wisdom
  • Securitor

Independently owned

  • Dover Financial Advisers
  • Fortnum Financial Advisers
  • GPS Wealth

Source: CoreData



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