The Financial Adviser Magazine | Vol 28. Issue 3.

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Official magazine for members of the AFA

Vol 28 | Issue Three | September 2022

A magical line-up awaits…

PROPOSED MERGER A united voice for the profession

AWARD FINALISTS ANNOUNCED Championing excellence in advice

IT’S TIME TO THRIVE Full Conference program inside


Key dates for 2022 Make sure you pencil in the below dates and keep an eye out for more information coming soon! 21-23 September: AFA Thrive Conference at RACV Royal Pines QLD

SEPTEMBER 30 September: Final exam deadline for advisers who are eligible for the extension

3 November: Financial Adviser Exam – Sitting 19

NOVEMBER Mid-November: AFA AGM

DECEMBER

16 December: Review of the QAR report to be provided to Government

For upcoming AFA events and webinars visit afa.asn.au. If you have any suggestions please email events@afa.asn.au

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The Financial Adviser | September 2022


Contents Candice Spence

Professionalism

Advice Strategy

AFA General Manager, Marketing

9

AFA Awards 2022 – championing excellence in advice

15

The income we earn is a valuable economic resource that is limited in supply

10

AFA President’s report

17

Bridging the ESG advice gap

13

CEO’s update

19

20

Policy and Advocacy

Helping customers improve their overall health and wellbeing

25

Policy cancellation and client value: can they co-exist in a value proposition?

26

Golden Age of Advice comes at a cost

27

The increasing value of financial advice in times of uncertainty

31

The four major problems facing financial advisers – time, cost, quality & trust

33

Arlanda Express – one of Australian Retirement Trust’s super-smart investments

36

Distribution rates continue to rise

37

Financial advice reforms must make advice more affordable and accessible for Australian households

Dear Members, This edition showcases our complete Conference program as well important messages on the proposed AFA and FPA merger from our AFA President and CEO. As the Conference could very well mark the end of an era for the AFA in its current form, it will be a great chance to celebrate the past achievements and the numerous people who have contributed to the AFA’s long and successful history. The recent passing of the Queen left many of us feeling sad, yet it also gives us the opportunity to reflect on the amazing dedication and contribution the Queen made for over 70 years to people across the world and celebrate her incredible legacy. We’ll take a moment on Thursday (public holiday) of the Conference to acknowledge this incredible lady. It also reminds us of all our family members, friends and colleagues who work hard every day to support others both professionally and personally, and it’s important to take a moment to appreciate and thank them – they too are heroes. Ok, so up to Conference we head – for a bit of magic, Michelle (Levy), and a possible merger. Look forward to seeing you next week. Best wishes, Candice

Communities of Practice

Community & Marketplace

34

Sustainable investing – the ethical dilemma

40

Big cheques deliver big smiles!

35

AFA Mentoring update

43

38

Preparing for extended parental leave

A bright future for pro bono financial advice

39

Building a strong community

Events 4

AFA Thrive Conference Program

42

Advocating for Advice

Innovation 29

Navigating the next era of advice: technology innovation for the modern adviser

The Financial Adviser | September 2022

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Program Wednesday 21 September Time

Session & Speaker/s

12.00pm

First Timers Welcome

Sue Viskovic Elixir Consulting

Mike Nowak Former President, AFA

1.00pm

Thrive Welcome and Opening

1.10pm

Caught in the Crossfire

Dave Slovenic Foundation Chair, AFA

Major Matina Jewell (Retired) Military Trailblazer & Peacekeeper | Advisor & Ambassador | Change Champion AFA President & Conference Chair address

1.55pm

Sam Perera National President, AFA 2.15pm

Patricia Garcia QLD Director & Conference Chair, AFA

Minister for Financial Services, Hon Stephen Jones MP The Hon. Stephen Jones MP Assistant Treasurer and Minister for Financial Services, Australian Government

2.45pm

AFA Foundation Dave Slovinec Foundation Chair, AFA

2.55pm

Afternoon tea

3.25pm

Changing times emerging trends Mark McCrindle Social Researcher, Demographer & Trends Analyst, McCrindle Research

4.10pm

An explorer’s guide to being limitless Tim Jarvis Explorer, Scientist and Leader The future of the financial advice profession

4.55pm

Sam Perera National President, AFA

David Sharpe CFP® Chair, FPA

5.40pm

Day 1 Close

7.00 - 10.00pm

Welcome Reception | Venue: Tennis Courts, RACV Royal Pines Resort | Dress Code: Havana Nights

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The Financial Adviser | September 2022

AFA Thrive Gold Coast Conference 2022 | 21 -23 September | www.afaconference.com.au

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Program Thursday 22 September Time

Session & Speaker/s

6.30am

AFA Bootcamp | Venue: Cypress 2

8.30am

Welcome back

8.35am

Heartache & Birdsong Samantha Bloom Two-Time Para Surfing Champion & Best Selling Author

9.20am

Advocating for Advice Phil Anderson Chief Executive Officer, AFA

9.45am

Education in the Advice Profession Brian Knight Chief Executive Officer, Kaplan Professional

10.05am

Morning tea

10.30am

How will the Quality of Advice Review change advice?

Michelle Levy Partner, Allens

11.15am

Sarah Abood Chief Executive Officer, FPA

John Maroney Chief Executive Officer, SMSF Association

Phil Anderson Chief Executive Officer, AFA

Tackling the key challenges facing the financial advice industry Anne-Marie Esler Joint Managing Director, Padua Solutions

12.00pm

Breakout Sessions #1 Stream 1: Practice Management Benowa Ballroom

Stream 2: Technology Norfolk Hall

Stream 3: Advice Strategy Poinciana

Thriving in the new landscape of advice doesn’t have to be a chore

Becoming an adviser of tomorrow: Utilising tech innovation to shape the ultimate value proposition

Getting the most out of the Professional Year

Sue Viskovic Managing Director, Elixir Consulting

Jason Bamford Advice Education Leader, TAL

Jacqui Henderson Chief Executive Officer, Advice Intelligence Ashley Mahadeea Head of Client Partnerships, Advice Intelligence

12.45pm

Lunch The Financial Adviser | September 2022

AFA Thrive Gold Coast Conference 2022 | 21 -23 September | www.afaconference.com.au

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Program Thursday 22 September (continued) Time

Session & Speaker/s

1.45pm

Breakout Sessions #2 Stream 1: Practice Management Benowa Ballroom

Stream 2: Technology Norfolk Hall

Stream 3: Advice Strategy Poinciana

The 2022 Advisable Australian Research Report - Understanding Australian Investors better

Power Up your referrals, retention and revenue by using technology that heroes non-financial clients

Digital Advice; Fool’s Gold or Hidden Treasure

Andrew Braun General Manager - Marketing, Netwealth

Santiago Burridge Global CEO and Co-founder, Lumiant

Stacey Cowan Head of Advice Sales, Midwinter Steve Davison Chief Commercial Officer, Midwinter

Confronting the big ethical challenges in financial advice

2.35pm

Dr Katherine Hunt Head of Education, Elderock 3.20pm

Afternoon Tea

3.45pm

ProBono Financial Advice Network

Michael Miller Director and Financial planner, Capital Advisory

Cheyenne Walker Managing Director, Australian Independent Compliance Solutions

Nicola Beswick Chair, Pro Bono Financial Advice Network Understanding and fixing regulatory uncertainty and licensee caution

3.50pm

Shail Singh Acting Lead Ombudsman, Investments & Advice, AFCA

Paul Forbes Chief Executive Officer, Australian Advice Network

Nathan Jacobsen Managing Director, Diverger

Phil Anderson Chief Executive Officer, AFA

Leah Sciacca Senior Executive Leader, Financial Advisers, ASIC

The Granularity of Growth

4.35pm

Andrew Inwood Founder and Principal, CoreData 5.20pm

Day 2 Close

10.00pm - late

Hydrate with the AFA Community | Venue: Hydrate Bar, RACV Royal Pines Resort

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The Financial Adviser | September 2022

AFA Thrive Gold Coast Conference 2022 | 21 -23 September | www.afaconference.com.au

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Program Friday 23 September Time

Session & Speaker/s

6.30am

AFA Bootcamp | Venue: Cypress 2

8.30am

Welcome back

8.35am

Engaging your clients in a values based ESG conversation

Nathan Fradley Director, Ethos ESG Australia 9.15am

Steve Monnier Sustainability Strategist, BlackRock

Designing comprehensive retirement income portfolios for your clients Grant Hackett OAM Chief Executive Officer, Generation Life

9.55am

Morning tea

10.25am

The outlook for Australia and the global economy Diana Mousina Senior Economist, AMP

11.10am

Breakout Sessions #3 Stream 1: Practice Management Benowa Ballroom

Stream 2: Technology Norfolk Hall

Stream 3: Advice Strategy Poinciana

Attracting and retaining great employees with safe, inclusive spaces to THRIVE in

The future of risk advice for the industry and our clients

Buying/selling a business or client list

Katherine Hayes Director and Principal Adviser, Hayes & Co

Adrian Lynch Managing Partner, Nicholas O’Donohue & Co.

Brett Wright Risk Specialist Adviser, LifeBid

Con Voultsios National Partnership Director, Judo Bank

Dawn Thomas Senior Financial Adviser, The Wealth Designers John Cachia Founder, AFA Group Wealth Bianca Hartge-Hazelman CEO, Financy Ashley Mahadeea Head of Client Partnerships, Advice Intelligence 12.00pm

Allison Dummett General Manager Licensee, Centrepoint Alliance Kieran Forde Chief Distribution Officer, Zurich Financial Services Australia

Lunch

The Financial Adviser | September 2022

AFA Thrive Gold Coast Conference 2022 | 21 -23 September | www.afaconference.com.au

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Program Friday 23 September (continued) Time

Session & Speaker/s

12.50pm

Breakout Sessions #4 Stream 1: Practice Management Benowa Ballroom

Stream 2: Technology Norfolk Hall

Stream 3: Advice Strategy Poinciana

Ethical Dilemmas when recommending life insurance products to clients

The practical steps to protecting your clients’ data

Structures to die for

Matt Venus National Strategic Accounts Manager, Metlife

Keat Chew Head of Technical Services, Netwealth

Fraser Jack Founder, The Cyber Collective

Dr Jeffrey Scott Head of Advice Strategy, MetLife Peter Stathis National Specialist Insurance Solutions, Insignia 1.40pm

Meet the Professionals & Meet the Innovators

2.40pm

Afternoon Tea

3.05pm

Confronting the big issues in Life Insurance Advice

Brett Clark Group Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, TAL

Justin Delaney Chief Executive Officer, Life & Investments, Zurich

Damien Mu Chief Executive Officer & Managing Director, AIA Australia

Katherine Hayes Director and Principal Adviser, Hayes & Co

Kent Griffin Chief Financial Officer, MLC Life Insurance

Thinking Differently

3.45pm

Vinh Giang CEO and Entrepreneur 4.45pm

MC Conference Close

7.00pm

Pre-dinner drinks

7.30pm - 12.00am

Gala Dinner & AFA Awards | Venue: Ballroom, RACV Royal Pines Resort

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The Financial Adviser | September 2022

AFA Thrive Gold Coast Conference 2022 | 21 -23 September | www.afaconference.com.au*Timing subject to change. 5


Professionalism

AFA Awards 2022 – championing excellence in advice The AFA has announced the finalists in the Female Excellence in Advice (FEIA) and the Adviser of the Year (AOTY) Awards for 2022. The winners will be announced at the AFA Thrive Conference on 23 September 2022 at the RACV Royal Pines on the Gold Coast.

AFA and TAL Female Excellence in Advice Award 2022 finalists Celebrating its tenth year, the FEIA is a joint initiative by the AFA and TAL, that recognises women in financial advice who are making a significant contribution to their profession, their community and their clients. TAL General Manager, Retail Distribution, Niall McConville, said “Now in its tenth year, the Female Excellence in Advice Award continues to recognise outstanding female advisers. We hope in celebrating the achievements and unique perspectives of each of today’s finalists we can encourage more women to become financial advisers and in turn encourage more Australians to engage with their finances.” The AFA FEIA Award 2022 finalists are:

Amie Baker Rekab Advice

Kathy Havers Viridian Advisory

Morgan Hayward Yield Financial Advisory

Madeline Jacovides Mazi Wealth

Kathryn McDonald Boutique Advisers

Cara Williams Sufficient Funds

AFA and Zurich Adviser of the Year Award 2022 finalists The advisers who nominated for the AFA Adviser of the Year Award were measured on a number of factors including their leadership qualities, innovation, customer focus and professional excellence. Chief Distribution Officer, of Zurich’s Life & Investments, Kieran Forde, said “As an ongoing partner of this prestigious award, we are pleased to provide a platform that recognises and celebrates these talented individuals who drive positive change through their leadership, innovation, customer-centricity and commitment to professional excellence and financial literacy. It has been great to be part of the judging panel this year, these individuals make us proud to be a part of an industry that does so much good for individuals and the broader community. The AFA AOTY 2022 Award finalists are:

Charles Badenach Main Street Financial Solutions

Felicity Cooper Cooper Wealth Management

Joseph Hoe Wealthwise

The Financial Adviser | September 2022

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Professionalism

AFA President’s report Sam Perera AFA National President

There has been no shortage of exciting news within the financial services industry over the last few weeks. Some very welcome changes have been announced. Welcoming the QAR Consultation Paper In the first instance, I reference the radical and wideranging proposals announced by Michelle Levy in the most recent QAR proposal paper. For a long time, our profession has been crying out for significant reform, and the need for principle based regulation. We need to move beyond our current prescriptive sets of laws and regulations. I welcome Michelle Levy’s proposed changes, and I believe they will help to bring us closer to much-needed industrywide reform. Whilst the transitions proposed will be uncomfortable to some, it is a necessary move. I agree wholeheartedly with the points that Michelle Levy made in her proposal paper; in particular her comments on the fact that the measures our industry needs are beyond what some have proposed, in shortening Statements of Advice, or broadening the use of Records of Advice. Moves such as these would simply be transitory and fall short of affecting the widespread change our industry requires. For several reasons that I have set out in past reports, the reform required is radical and involves us looking at the very way we provide advice. If we simply continue to revise our existing disclosure documents, then the sector will continue obstructing its own progress by lengthening these documents. This will result in us ending up right back where we started. Frankly, and as I personally remarked to Michelle some weeks ago, now is the time for our profession to make some fundamental changes. Let us swim, not sink.

A principle based regulatory regime will lay strong foundations for the future of our profession. Like other industries, we need to encourage high education standards and stronger levels of accountability amongst our peers.

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The Financial Adviser | September 2022

Structural changes are an inevitable outcome of the proposed changes. My frank assessment is that our profession will be far better off over the longer term for these changes; providing of course, that we have experienced and trusted financial advisers providing Australians with quality, affordable financial advice. A principle based regulatory regime will lay strong foundations for the future of our profession. Like other industries, we need to encourage high education standards and stronger levels of accountability amongst our peers. We have to continue to hold ourselves to a high standard or risk a reversion to prescriptive regulation.

AFA & FPA proposed merger In addition to the QAR announcement, on 1 September 2022, the AFA announced its intention to explore a merger with the FPA. This is a significant move. It marks our recognition that our Association requires focus on the best strategy to achieve our key objective: the advocacy of policy settings that enable financial advisers and their practices to thrive. There are numerous downstream benefits of achieving this objective, one of which being that more Australians should be able to access affordable, quality financial advice. In arriving at this juncture, and formally entering the merger discussions with the FPA, the Board of the AFA wishes to ensure that we position the AFA for its next 76 years of success. We will be working hard to honour our heritage, whilst championing our communities and safeguarding the diverse member base we represent as part of any merger discussions. Pleasingly, discussions to date with the FPA have been constructive and amenable. The FPA has amply demonstrated its willingness to work with the AFA Board and Leadership Team to ensure the best outcomes are achieved for the profession.

Why merge now? The AFA and FPA have never worked together more closely than in recent times. Accordingly, many in our profession have been calling for the AFA and FPA to formally merge, and present one voice to Government and regulators. Increasingly collaborative in our work, significant work has also been done by many members and the head office teams of both organisations, including the hosting of many successful joint events and policy forums.


Professionalism

In addition, a confluence of issues, including the introduction of the new professional standards regime has led to the well reported and significant decline in practising Financial Advisers in Australia. Unfortunately, the AFA expects this trend to continue up to the education deadline on 31 December 2025. This reduction in member numbers impacts both the AFA and FPA and has prompted the AFA to take a closer look at the duplication of resources and costs across the profession. It is simply the next logical next step to combine our resources with a party that most closely resembles the AFA and our objectives, to ensure we have a united and stronger voice for the profession.

Education – Designations It is proposed that the CFP will be the primary designation of the merged entity going forward. The FChFP and the ChLP designations, which have previously been offered by the AFA will continue to be recognised and supported, although (as is currently the case) not offered to new applicants. The FPA has also indicated a willingness to review the experience and related qualifications pathways to the CFP, which will hopefully assist FChFP and ChLP members who may wish to enrol into the CFP course.

Closer alignment on policy positions Whilst the AFA and FPA have had differing views on policy issues facing the profession in the past, the organisations and our Boards have worked far more closely together over the last few years on crucial advocacy positions for the benefit of the profession. The FPA strongly supports the retention of life insurance commissions and is supportive of a pragmatic solution to the education standards consultation. Resolving the education standard is critical to many in the profession, including those that deserve fairer treatment of prior learning and experience. The issue is one of significant contention as getting a fairer deal also needs to balance the integrity of the profession well into the future.

Leadership and governance of the proposed new entity If successful, the merger will be a fresh start for both organisations. The entity will have a new name, a new logo, and a new set of foundation documents including a constitution. It is vitally important that the AFA continues to have strong representation, the most robust being on the Board of Directors of the merged entity. It has been agreed that the AFA will furnish the merged Board with the Deputy Chair as well as three other AFA named Directors (four of twelve). This reflects the relative scale of each organisation. David Sharpe will be the Chair of the new Board. This composition has been derived in fairness given the contribution of member numbers to the merged entity. It is proposed that a ‘Transition Board’ will be appointed until November 2025 and in addition, both FPA and AFA eligible members will be able to stand for election in all future election cycles after the merger. It is proposed that Sarah Abood (current FPA CEO) will be the CEO of the merged entity whilst Phil Anderson will become the General Manager, Transition – overseeing the transition of the merger and the transformation of the businesses. The planned effective date for the merger is 1st January 2023, subject to member approval. The proposed merger is likely to be the most significant decision in AFA’s long history. If successful, the merger will have a tremendous impact on the future of the financial advice profession. As such, I encourage as many of you, my friends and colleagues, to engage in the consultation process. Machiavelli wrote that “There is nothing more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things.” But we here at the AFA are certain that with a clear strategy, and planning that considers the needs and feedback of yourselves, our most important stakeholder, we can be successful in positioning the AFA for its next 76 years. Given it may be the last of its kind, I hope to see as many of you as possible at our upcoming AFA Conference on the Gold Coast. It will be a fantastic occasion to mark the closing of this chapter in our industry. Thank you for your ongoing support of the AFA.

The Financial Adviser | September 2022

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The Financial Adviser | September 2022


Professionalism

CEO’s update Phil Anderson AFA CEO

It is hard to believe that we are already two-thirds of the way through 2022. It has been an interesting year so far with an election, a change of Government, a new Minister, good progress with the Quality of Advice Review and now a big announcement on the future of the AFA. Whilst members are still coming to terms with some of the regulatory changes that have been implemented in recent years, and particularly Annual Renewal and client consent forms, the one positive is that we have not yet had any further legislative change passed this year. It is important to acknowledge that adviser numbers have continued to decline and those who were unable to pass the Financial Adviser Exam have had their last chance in late July/early August and will now need to exit the profession at the end of September. Overall, whilst some advisers are still doing it tough, for others they can now start to see a way forward. The public discourse is now very much on the challenges posed by a reduction in adviser numbers, the loss of access to financial advice and the increasing cost of financial advice. This message has certainly now got through to the mainstream media who ask about it when I have the chance to talk to them. Many of us are now very focused on the Quality of Advice Review, where they have issued a proposal paper that includes a number of quite revolutionary proposals. Whilst they are only proposals at this stage, we continue to expect that the end result will go a long way to fixing the regulatory and structural mess that financial advice has been placed into. The other key development has been the announcement of the intention to put a proposal for a merger with the FPA to members before the end of the year. We are looking forward to consulting with members on this and expecting to have some vibrant sessions on it at the National Conference on the Gold Coast later this month. The President has addressed this in more detail in his report.

The Financial Adviser Exam In early April, in response to a Question on Notice from Senate Estimates, ASIC confirmed that there were 882 advisers on the FAR who had qualified for the extension to 30 September 2022, in order to pass the exam. The results that we have seen from the three exams this year in February, May and July/August, suggest that possibly around 380 existing advisers have passed the exam this year, leaving as much as 500 who will be forced to exit the profession at the end of September. This is a large number, so it is important to understand that these advisers are not on their own. We also wish to make the point that often the challenge has been with mindset and exam technique, rather than knowledge. We have run two well attended webinars this year to assist members in their preparation for the exam with a focus on mindset and exam technique. We congratulate those who have passed and wish those who have not been able to pass the best for the future.

New Government, new Minister and initial action In the first three months of the new Government, we have heard from the Minister a number of times, including statements with respect to his support for the Quality of Advice Review. On 10 August 2022, he issued a media release on the issues of the Education Standard, the Code of Ethics and the exam. In this, he committed to consult shortly on changes to the Education Standard, consultation on the Code of Ethics in 2023 and also with respect to the Exam, but not until after the whole exercise has concluded for existing advisers. Shortly afterwards, on 24 August 2022, the Government released a consultation paper on potential changes to the Education Standard, including the possible introduction of an experience pathway.

AFA Conference – Gold Coast After many months of design and preparation, we are particularly excited to be holding a face-to-face National Conference for the first time in three years. The conference will be held at the RACV Royal Pines on the Gold Coast from 21 to 23 September 2022. We are very pleased with the program that we have built and the quality of the speakers we have selected. It will be great to get back to a face-to-face environment at a venue that is so well known by the AFA Community. I look forward to catching up with as many of you as possible at the Conference.

Moving forward – the remainder of 2022 As we look forward to the remainder of 2022, we remain committed to advocating for better outcomes for the financial advice profession. The Quality of Advice Review will be a priority for us. This is a great opportunity to argue for fundamental changes to improve access and affordability of financial advice. We are also looking for solutions to make it more efficient to run a financial advice practice and to reduce the excessive level of compliance complexity. Resolving the Education Standard will also be an important priority for the AFA in 2022.

The Financial Adviser | September 2022

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The Financial Adviser | September 2022


Advice Strategy

Benjamin Martin Senior Technical Manager AIA Australia

The income we earn is a valuable economic resource that is limited in supply

A decision taken to spend money means something generally must give elsewhere. There is an opportunity cost to each decision we make when deciding where our income is allocated. With cost-of-living pressures mounting, there is a risk that current or prospective income protection policies (IP) will be sacrificed. The following looks at how to minimise the risk of this occurring.

IP advice – status quo When structuring an IP policy, the default position is to opt for an IP benefit period through to age 65 (TA65). It provides long term peace of mind to clients and advisers and consequently becomes the sole option presented to the client. But the long-term peace of mind that a TA65 IP policy affords, comes at a cost. Clients pay a substantially higher annual premium when compared with say a shorter 5-year benefit period. By only offering a TA65 policy, we may be assuming that this fits the client’s preferences, and that cost may not be of concern. However, this may be negatively impacting the family budget.

Investment advice without a risk profile? As advisers, we know on first principles that if a client has a long-term investment time horizon, they will generally benefit with a higher weighting towards equity growth investment assets. But we don’t automatically place this cohort of clients into model portfolios that have a higher tilt towards growth assets without first undertaking a client investment risk profile. A recommendation is then provided based on the outcomes of this risk profile and their underlying preferences towards investment markets that have emerged.

A recommendation for IP should arguably follow the same principle and include a robust discussion with the client about the two primary ways of structuring IP, together with their respective costs, benefits, and risks, and how these interplay with the client’s underlying needs, goals and circumstances. Indeed, this is what Standard 5 of the Code of Ethics fundamentally requires.

More affordable premium, but what’s the catch? One of the obvious risks for a 5-year benefit period is that the client might still be on claim at the end of 5 years. To control for this risk, many advocate for total and permanent disability (TPD) cover, alongside IP, as protection for illnesses that evolve into more enduring and permanent ailments. Regardless, there is still a risk. Based on our historical IP claims experience and ongoing back testing of the retail IP book, at AIA Australia (AIAA) we have quantified this risk at a 3.6% chance of occurring. If the 3.6% risk can be tolerated by a client, the upside is that it could free up cash flow and create extra disposable income that can be used to reduce mortgage debt or, for those with limited debt, as contributions to super. Those extra mortgage repayments, or contributions to super, are the opportunity cost of a TA65 policy.

What are the options? We advocate for clients to be presented with the two benefit period options when contemplating IP cover; short and long term. That way clients are making an informed decision based on their needs, goals, objectives and preferences on where to allocate annual income – an invaluable economic resource limited in supply. At AIAA, we’ve developed a one-page product agnostic matrix outlining the pros and cons of long and short benefit periods that can provide a framework for client discussions and simultaneously transition to the file note for record keeping purposes. Additionally, we’ve built net present value calculators and SOA text outlining the benefits, costs and risks to support recommendations for both long and short benefit periods, just search AIA TECE in Google to find out more. There is no right or wrong answer.

At AIAA, we’ve developed a one-page product agnostic matrix outlining the pros and cons of long and short benefit periods that can provide a framework for client discussions and simultaneously transition to the file note for record keeping purposes.

Copyright © 2022 AIA Australia Limited (ABN 79 004 837 861 AFSL 230043). This is general information only, without taking into account factors like the objectives, financial situation, needs or personal circumstances of any individual and is not intended to be financial, legal, tax, medical, nutritional, health, fitness or other advice. AIA Australia has prepared a Target Market Determination which describes the class of consumers that comprise the target market for this product. The Target Market Determination can be sourced at aia.com.au/tmds

The Financial Adviser | September 2022

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The Financial Adviser | September 2022


Advice Strategy

Bridging the ESG advice gap Matt Olsen Head of Research and Retirement Income Insignia Financial

How can we empower advisers to understand and efficiently achieve their clients’ ESG goals? As the world evolves and people make more sustainable choices, investors are increasingly conscious of the impacts of their investments1, focusing on ethical and responsible investing. Gone are the days that the notion of investing responsibly correlates to lower returns. If anything, environmental, social and governance (ESG) engagement can enhance and create value for a portfolio2.

We are also committed to supporting advisers by equipping them with the necessary tools and knowledge to have conversations on ESG investing principles with their clients.

Responsible Investment Association Australasia (RIAA) found that in Australia approximately 40 per cent ($1.28 trillion) of professionally managed assets were managed in 2020 by managers with responsible investing principles3. Globally this trend is even stronger, with sustainable fund assets now around $4 trillion4. In fact, there is approximately $44 billion invested in sustainable funds across Australia and New Zealand5, highlighting the importance for financial advisers to know how to help clients engage with their ESG goals.

Clients want engaged advisers who understand their values and can determine how best to translate them into an investment portfolio. Around 64 per cent of Australians surveyed at the start of 2022 said they expect their financial advisers to know about responsible and ethical investment options, and 50 per cent expect their adviser considers their values when devising investment options6.

As one of Australia’s largest groups in the financial services industry, Insignia Financial is committed to leading by example and acknowledges that maintaining strong ESG practices embedded in its business strategy enables the group to manage risks and realise long-term value for all stakeholders. A recent example of this is Insignia Financial achieving carbon neutrality across its business operations through the offsetting of scope one, two, and three emissions in June 2022. The group is also in the process of becoming a Climate Active certified organisation.

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What does ESG investing look like in practice?

Many investors think advisers are already investing their money responsibly and aren’t asking specifically for ESG labelled products, meaning there is a much greater need for transparency. Value-based investing is nothing new to the financial advice space, but it’s clear advisers need more education and support around how to find the best ESG investments to meet their client’s goals.

Empowering advisers to realise the benefits of ESG investing Insignia Financial’s research team provides advisers with a range of research and tools to support them in better understanding ESG investing. The research helps advisers understand their clients and the ‘advice dividend’, which shows the social/wellbeing impact/ benefits of advice in addition to financial benefits. The team also maintains ESG model portfolios to cater to advice clients wishing to invest with ESG focused fund managers. Other tools provided include research papers, articles and sector reviews, as well as tools to provide transparency on the various ESG approaches available such as ESG integration, impact investing, and negative and positive screening. ESG investments may provide benefits such as improving risk management, positively contributing to the broader society, and most importantly, potentially enhancing long-term financial performance7. As the financial advice sector turns its attention more to ESG considerations, we will continue to empower financial advisers with the tools and accessibility to successfully deliver on their clients’ long-term goals, without the sacrifice of performance returns.

The Impact Investor, 8 Reasons Why ESG Investing is Important, 24 April 2022 https://www.unpri.org/research/how-esg-engagement-creates-value-for-investors-and-companies/3054.article IOOF Update, Does ESG investing deliver Alpha? May 2022, Andrew Ash, Senior Manager, Insignia Research IOOF Update, Does ESG investing deliver Alpha? May 2022, Andrew Ash, Senior Manager, Insignia Research Morningstar, Investing Trends, “Sustainable Investing Landscape for Australian Fund Investors – Q1 2022”, 26 May 2022 https://responsibleinvestment.org/aus-consumer-research/ https://www.wealthprofessional.ca/news/industry-news/what-are-responsible-investments-benefits-and-why-do-they-matter/359003

The Financial Adviser | September 2022

17


Care your clients will feel from day one Help your MLC Life Insurance clients return to health and work sooner by introducing them to Vivo – a new health, wellness and recovery program. Available at no additional cost, clients can access tailored support from fitness, recovery and medical experts throughout the life of their policy.

Visit mlcinsurance.com.au/vivo-advisers or contact your Distribution Representative today

mlcinsurance.com.au 18

The Financial Adviser | September 2022


Advice Strategy

Michael Downey General Manager Retail Distribution Partnerships MLC Life Insurance

Helping customers improve their overall health and wellbeing For the millions of Australians with a life insurance policy, the chances of ever needing to make a claim are relatively low. And that is a good thing. Making a claim comes at a time in someone’s life when things have not gone to plan, such as an unexpected illness or injury that prevents them from going to work and being able to provide for their family. Despite this, we know that thousands of people each year are not so fortunate and having that protection in place is critical. It is why we pay more than $1 billion in claims each year to customers and their families in their time of need.

Our preventative health challenge While a great claims experience is fundamental to our business, we see a lot of opportunity and value in reaching customers much earlier to improve their overall health and wellbeing, therefore reducing the need to ever make a claim. Our data shows us that most of the conditions we pay claims for relate to non-communicable diseases (NCDs) or chronic diseases of lifestyle including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, respiratory disease and cancer. The causes of these diseases are largely driven by four lifestyle factors including insufficient physical activity, unhealthy diet, tobacco use and the harmful use of alcohol. In other words, things we can do less of or outright stop with the right help.

1 2

Staggeringly in Australia today, we note that: 1 in 7 adults smoke daily 2 in 3 adults are overweight or obese

However, for those who do claim, our team of recovery and medical experts can provide targeted support services specific to their circumstances. This is particularly helpful for people experiencing cancer, mental ill-health, and pain. The evidence shows this support can help people return to work, which is an important part of overall health and wellbeing and helps reduce psychological distress. Indeed, the longer you have off work, the longer it takes to return to work2. Over the last 12 months of those customers who accessed our support services, 64% were able to return to work in some capacity, while 34% were able to return to full hours.

More than half of adults don’t meet the physical activity guidelines; and Most people don’t eat enough fruit and vegetables and eat too much discretionary food.1

Improving the everyday health of customers and investing in their recovery

Extending the role of life insurance

So, what can we do to help people live a healthier lifestyle? At MLC Life Insurance we have recently launched Vivo, a health, wellness and recovery program, designed to help customers improve their health and wellbeing throughout all their life stages, regardless of if they make a claim. It is fully accessible online and offered at no additional cost. While most customers will never claim there will be moments in their lives where they’ll need additional health and wellbeing support. From fitness and nutrition consultations that improve exercise and diet, through to a second opinion on a medical condition, we can help people change health behaviours now, rather than at the time of claim.

The role of life insurers, with the support of financial advisers, is to protect customers financially. However, we also have a bigger role to play in improving their health and wellbeing through the services we provide. We know we can make a tangible difference. Our experience shows that giving customers the support to invest in their health and wellbeing today will help them achieve more optimal health tomorrow. And for those that do claim, the quicker we can provide targeted interventions to improve their health, the faster they can return to work.

Australian Bureau of Statistics and Australian Institute of Health and Welfare research IPAR – The Health Benefits of Good Work

The Financial Adviser | September 2022

19


Professionalism

Policy and Advocacy Policy and Advocacy summary Phil Anderson AFA CEO

The first couple of months after the Federal Election in May were relatively quiet on the regulatory change front as the new Government settled in. Early June saw a big policy focus upon responding to the Quality of Advice Review Issues Paper, and later in the month we had the opportunity to meet with the new Minister, something we marked with a photo that was used for the cover of the June 2022 magazine. After this point there was a gap, where much of the advocacy work was directed at working with the other associations and putting our case forward to the Quality of Advice Review. The other important thing that we have continued to focus on in 2022 is the number of financial advisers recorded on the Financial Adviser Register (FAR) which fell away in the first half of the year but then recovered slightly during July and early August. At this stage it is down to around 16,300, however, we expect it to fall to around 15,800 after all the advisers who have been unable to pass the exam leave the FAR. Over the last month, the pace of regulatory activity has increased with the announcement of a review of the ASIC Funding Levy, the release of a consultation paper on changes to the Education Standard and then the release of a Proposal Paper by the Quality of Advice Review. The consultation on the Education Standard is in addition to the consultation that the former Government did earlier this year, however, then did not choose to enact any changes. We remain hopeful that a solution can be reached on this important issue and then we can all move forward with certainty.

Financial adviser numbers As the year has progressed, and the financial adviser exam results have been released, we have been particularly conscious of the probability of a material drop in adviser numbers at the end of the extension period (30 September 2022). ASIC confirmed to Senate Estimates earlier this year that there were 882 existing advisers on the FAR who qualified for the extension. Across the February, May and July/August exams, 648 candidates passed the exam, however, we understand that at least 270 of them were new entrants, meaning that only around 380 were existing advisers. This number would have been much lower in the absence of the July/August exam, where the largest number of candidates attempted the exam, and the pass rate exceeded 52%. As an outcome, 500 of those who qualified for the extension, have ultimately not been able to pass and will need to exit the FAR by the end of September 2022. We have been concerned that this would be a high number and have done what we could to support these advisers, including publicly calling for support for them and holding two webinars to provide assistance in preparing for the exam and guidance on the mindset required for the exam and exam technique. We know that this next month or so will be very difficult for a number of advisers and we call on their colleagues to do whatever they can to assist and support these advisers.

The other important thing that we have continued to focus on in 2022 is the number of financial advisers recorded on the Financial Adviser Register (FAR) which fell away in the first half of the year but then recovered slightly during July and early August. 20

The Financial Adviser | September 2022


Professionalism

Government proposal on the Education Standard The new Government issued a consultation paper on changes to the financial adviser education standard on 24 August 2022, that addressed three key areas, being an experienced adviser pathway, an increase in the flexibility for new entrants and proposed changes to the Professional Year. The experienced adviser pathway proposal involves an exemption from any further study for existing financial advisers who had 10 years full time experience and a clean record. The 10 years full time experience was to be assessed over the 15-year period from 1 January 2004 to 1 January 2019, which pleasingly provides more flexibility for those who have taken career breaks (i.e. maternity leave) and/or who have worked part time. When initially announcing his plan in December 2021, the Minister did not state when the 10 years would be assessed from. The former Government’s consultation paper issued in December 2021 suggested that they would assess 10 years full time experience over a 12year period to 1 January 2026, which is a full seven years later. Many felt that this was overly generous. The requirement for a clean record means that an adviser could not have any disciplinary action against them that was recorded on the Financial Adviser Register. Noting that only the most serious of matters were recorded on the FAR before the new Single Disciplinary Body regime commenced on 1 January 2022, the consultation paper suggested that other matters should be considered, including complaints and disciplinary action taken by a licensee. We are quite concerned by this and will advocate for a reasonable and practical approach. In terms of new entrants, the proposal is that the number of core knowledge areas would be reduced from 11 to five, significantly increasing the flexibility and likely opening up more courses for potential future financial advisers to complete. It will be interesting

to see if this flexibility is extended to the study that existing advisers are required to do. The proposals with respect to the Professional Year related to being able to do the exam before commencing the professional year and being able to weave professional year activity into education programs, both of which are readily supportable. The AFA supports a significantly increased recognition of prior learning and experience and we will continue to advocate strongly for a speedy resolution of this matter, so that advisers know what they need to do and can go ahead and do it.

Quality of Advice Review After signalling an intention to issue a proposal paper back in late July, Michelle Levy and the Quality of Advice Review Treasury team published the proposal paper on 29 August 2022. The thinking in the Proposal Paper is wide ranging and quite revolutionary. It includes a broad range of potential changes including: • Redefining personal advice and removing the need for a licence to provide general advice. • Replacing the best interest duty with a good advice obligation. • Enabling personal advice to be provided by people other than relevant providers. • Broadening the scope of advice provided by super funds and removing the collective charging restrictions that apply to intra-fund advice. • Repeal Fee Disclosure Statements and rationalise renewal and client consent obligations. • Remove the requirement to provide Statements of Advice and Records of Advice unless requested by a client (however, records would still need to be kept). • Rationalising the DDO obligations that apply to financial advisers.

The Financial Adviser | September 2022

21


Professionalism

Policy update continued There is much for us to be excited about in this proposal paper. It is important to appreciate that the review is looking at the issue of access and affordability of financial advice in a context that is broader than just financial advisers and is considering how to ensure that more advice can be provided by product providers and digitally. The QAR team are expecting to get the results of the ASIC LIF file review at the end of September 2022, and therefore has not addressed the issue of life insurance commissions in the proposal paper. This will be addressed at a later point. Submissions in response to the QAR proposal paper are due by 23 September 2022, with a final report expected to be handed to the Government by 16 December 2022. This is a most important review, and the proposal paper gives us real hope that material changes will eventuate.

Compensation Scheme of Last Resort The new Government introduced their Compensation Scheme of Last Resort legislation on 8 September 2022. The legislation tabled by the ALP Government is very similar to the version that was tabled by the previous Government with a primary focus on Financial Advice and without the inclusion of Managed Investment Schemes (MISs). The cost of unpaid determinations from the commencement of AFCA to the start of the CSLR will be paid for by the 10 largest financial institutions, whilst the costs of the first year of the scheme will be picked up by the Government. Financial Advisers can expect to start picking up a share of these costs from 1 July 2024, however we will need to wait and see how much this might be.

AFA Member discounts from Education providers

Discounts apply to all current AFA members but maybe subject to change.

Provider

RRP per subject

Discounted price per subject

Deakin $3,525 per subject (when completing a full qualification) $3,937 per subject (for single subject enrolments) $2,996.25 (full qualification) $3,346.45 (single subject)

UNE

$3,338

$2,670.40

Postgraduate courses and single subject enrolments (including Intensive Study Option for the FASEA Bridging Course subjects) offered within the Faculty of Business and Law

Graduate Diploma in Financial Planning (including single unit enrolments and the FASEA Bridging Course subjects)

All

All

Existing Students

Yes

Yes

New Students

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

To enrol, contact Deakin at financial-planning@deakin.edu.au 03 9251 7969

To enrol, contact Cynthia Shannon cshanno5@une.edu.au

Eligible courses for discount (FASEA approved courses) Eligible AFA membership categories (Membership must be current)

Discount can be applied to:

Students using FEE HELP (NB: FEE Help only applies to enrolments in a full qualification, not single subject enrolments)

Contact and enrolment details

22

The Financial Adviser | September 2022


Professionalism

ASIC Funding Levy inquiry

Room for some optimism

Nearly a year after the former Treasurer announced relief for financial advisers with the ASIC Funding Levy and the intention to undertake an inquiry into the industry funding model, the new Government has now announced the establishment of an inquiry and has released the Terms of Reference. We are pleased with the Terms of Reference, which addresses many of the issues that we have complained about over recent years, including the huge impact of enforcement costs, the implications when participants who drove that enforcement activity then left the sector, with those left behind picking up the cost and then the approach that ASIC has taken in the past with matters that cross over more than one sector and how they allocate the costs to those sectors. The August 2021 announcement by the former Treasurer only provided relief for the 2020/21 and 2021/22 financial years, so this new financial year is one where we are exposed to much higher costs and all at a time when adviser numbers are progressively declining. It is also likely to be complicated by the introduction of the Single Disciplinary Body. We will be calling for quick progress with this review, in the hope that a solution can be found to address the likely impact in this current financial year.

Our priorities for the remainder of the year will be finding a solution for the education standard, continuing to advocate strongly for fundamental and decisive change as part of the Quality of Advice Review and working closely with the other Associations to achieve these important outcomes. In 2023 we will also continue to advocate for fixes to other important FASEA issues such as the Code of Ethics (particularly Standards 3 and 6), and the CPD requirements. We have reached this point in the year feeling much more confident that some of the key issues with financial advice will now be addressed and we can also envisage a solution on the education standard to ensure that we are able to retain as many of the quality experienced advisers who are still deciding whether to stay or go.

As always, we welcome your feedback and input on policy matters by emailing us at policy@afa.asn.au.

TAFE NSW

Kaplan Professional

Queensland University of Technology

$2,200

$2,500

N/A

$1,980

$1,800

$1,700

Graduate Diploma in Financial Planning (including single unit enrolments and the FASEA Bridging Course subjects)

Master of Financial Planning; Graduate Certificate in Financial Planning; Graduate Diploma in Financial Planning (including single unit enrolments and the FASEA Bridging Course subjects)

Ethics and Professional Relationships’ bridging course

All

All

All

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

To enrol, contact campusafa@afa.asn.au for the discount code. Kaplan Course Advisers studentadvice@kaplan.edu.au

To enrol contact: Theresa Waye. Phone 07 3138 1089 Email gsz458enq@qut.edu.au

No (NB: When using FEE Help, discount does not apply)

To enrol, contact Diana Bugarcic (Course Coordinator) DianaBugarcic1@tafensw.edu.au 02 9598 6280

The Financial Adviser | September 2022

23


Life

changes... …and when it does, your client might decide to cancel or reduce their Life insurance cover. At that point, iExtend may offer to co-own qualified policies with your client so they can continue to retain ownership of a portion of their original policy without paying further premiums.

Visit i-extend.com.au to learn more.

iExtend Holdings Company Pty Ltd ABN 88 651 044 503

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The Financial Adviser | September 2022


Advice Strategy

David Sarkis CEO, iExtend

Policy cancellation and client value: can they co-exist in a value proposition? In a recent speech to Parliament, Federal Treasurer Jim Chalmers painted a dire outlook for the economy, highlighting the ‘narrow path’ Australia must follow to achieve a soft economic landing.

Cancellations in practice

All too often, especially in these financially pressured times, one of the worst days for the financial adviser is the day when they receive the final notice that their client’s policy has lapsed for non-payment of premiums. No matter the reason for the non-payment, the adviser knows that the originally identified protection needs are no longer covered by life insurance. While some advisers would typically view the time and effort that goes into helping their client cancel or reduce their policy as an ‘opportunity cost’, truly demonstrating a positive outcome at a time when the client is managing changes in their life can also be viewed simply as an ‘opportunity’. An opportunity for a grateful client to return for repeat business when they are at a different life stage and an opportunity for business referrals. The financial adviser’s frustration is the lack of a viable alternative to the lapsing of a life policy. It was in this context that iExtend and the co-ownership arrangement were born.

In a recent webinar with the AFA, iExtend reviewed a number of real-life policy cancellation stories to see how advisers are considering this issue. Enter iExtend, a new life insurance “offer” in the market. The point of cancellation is where iExtend sits; this is the starting point for an adviser and their client to consider viable alternatives. The goal of iExtend is to acquire and hold part interests in an eligible policyholder’s yearly renewal Term Life Policy, accept the ongoing financial risk on the coowned portion of the policy, and eventually share claim benefits with the beneficiaries of the original policyholder. This eliminates premium payments on the co-owned portion for the policyholder on the life cover they have chosen to retain with iExtend rather than cancel. Given this proposition, iExtend is extending the life of a life policy and challenging our notions of cancellations and value. So how does this play out in practice?

Real Case Story 1

Real Case Story 2

Peter, 64 years, has a current policy sum insured of $1.3 million with a Life & TPD rider on stepped premium rates. In recent years Peter has developed diabetes and mild heart disease. He is 1.65 metres tall and weighs 100kgs and is still working part-time.

Mary, 65 years wanted to reduce her $800,000 Life policy cover significantly as she could only afford to retain $100,000. Knowing this, her adviser checked if Mary could get a better premium by switching Insurer. Still, due to changed health, the policy would have had an additional 200% underwriting loading making it significantly more expensive than her current policy.

Peter called his adviser of 20 years to cancel his policy due to the recent renewal going up by 24%. The adviser emailed iExtend for a complementary eligibility pre-assessment. Over the next few weeks, the adviser took Peter through the education process on the offer. Peter reviewed the Co-ownership deed and discussed it with his life partner but ultimately decided to keep his policy. The adviser clearly demonstrated he had done everything in his client’s best interest to try to find an alternative to cancellation and felt supported in the experience.

In 2018, Mary experienced Stage 4 Breast cancer requiring a mastectomy and chemotherapy. She has been in remission for almost 2 years and takes medication to control her blood pressure. After reviewing her health records and policy information, Mary met the iExtend’s co-ownership criteria under ‘changed health’, retained a portion of her cover, and agreed to co-own the remainder with iExtend.

Client outcomes matter The outcomes of these real case stories illustrate that the adviser can continue demonstrating value even when their client is otherwise cancelling or reducing their Life insurance policy. By providing the client with the viable alternate offering of a co-ownership arrangement with iExtend, the adviser has helped the client focus on financial risk and life insurance as a means to address this.

The Financial Adviser | September 2022

25


Advice Strategy

Paul Kelly Managing Director Futuro Financial Services Pty Ltd

Golden Age of Advice comes at a cost The demand for advice has never been stronger. Baby Boomers are retiring and are reaching out to the diminished number of advisers to assist them. Advice firms are busier and more profitable. Over the last 12 months in our networks, the average firm increased its revenue by 36% and the underlying advisers by 31%. Advisers are working at capacity with clients willing to pay more for advice. Suddenly, both sides of politics are wanting to determine how to provide the Australian community with more affordable and better access to advice. Let’s be clear, after years of both sides of politics providing policies that would see advisers leave the industry in droves and the ability to provide cheaper and greater access to advice has well and truly sailed. Consequently, we have entered a Golden Age of Advice, but it has come at a cost to the community. The writing has been on the wall for some time and politicians were warned. We are not saying reform was not needed, it was, but some of the learnings from elsewhere were ignored. The Retail Distribution Review in the UK launched in 2006 and implemented in 2012

saw the same outcomes we now see, advice costs up, less insurance being implemented which flows on to more pressure on the health care and NDIS systems over time, less consumers able to afford advice which leads to poor retirement outcomes for a large part of the community and increased pressure on the public purse. Repairing this will be a generational task. Attracting new talent to the industry will require incentives. Vocations such as Nursing and trade apprenticeships have seen education costs heavily subsidized. The same incentives need to be offered to the advice sector of which most are small business operators. The current cost of employing a person entering their Professional Year is a significant financial burden for many of these firms. To ensure a vibrant future we need to make it attractive for people to want to become advisers. The advice Gap is real and if the politicians are truly serious, they need to provide incentives for both the employees and the employer that will drive students to Financial Planning over other professions.

Grow your business Build a better future for your clients, with better support for you.

Partner with Aware Super www.aware.com.au/adviser 26

AWA3802_AFA_A4_half_advert_1.2•.indd 1

The Financial Adviser | September 2022

16/8/22 10:40 am


Advice Strategy

Warwick Gribble National Manager, Advice Relationships Aware Super

The increasing value of financial advice in times of uncertainty With the COVID pandemic, rising inflation, the conflict in Ukraine and increased economic uncertainty on a global scale, advisers have an important role to play in giving clients confidence in this changing environment. The hardest, most challenging parts of the pandemic may be behind us, but that doesn’t mean we’ve returned to normal. In its wake, the COVID crisis has left its mark on the economy, compounded by rising inflation and an employment market that has irrevocably changed. Add the pressures of the Russia-Ukraine conflict and a change of government, and it’s clear the past few years (and months to come) have been characterised by uncertainty. For financial advisers, this evolving environment creates a unique opportunity. Advisers can add significant value to a client through everything from bespoke investment advice to structural tax strategies, based on a close understanding of their client’s needs. To convey the value of your advice to existing and potential clients, it’s important to recognise that:

People are craving a clear way forward

People are empowered to be decisive

There’s a reason why the phrase “uncertain times” landed in Dictionary.com’s list of 8 pandemic terms we never want to hear again. Both personally and professionally, we’ve never collectively lived through a period more volatile and less stable, and with current market events, clients are still wanting to feel confident they have a clear way forward. You’ve shepherded countless clients through difficult decisions and uncertain outcomes over the past two years. Consider contacting them for testimonials or referrals based on your support, which you can use to demonstrate value in helping others navigate this ongoing period of uncertainty.

After an extended period of having many decisions taken out of their hands, due to lockdowns, forced business closures and vaccination rules, people are ready to take decisive action despite the uncertainty. Many feel empowered to start moving towards their goals and desires again. This makes it an ideal time to connect with existing clients and potentially reach new clients. Reach out to your database and ask how you can assist or add value as they work through these decisions. An email as simple as “I’m here to help” could procure a dozen or more responses.

A top performing Australian superannuation fund, Aware Super is committed to helping advisers build a better future for their clients. To do this we support advisers in multiple ways to grow their businesses. Learn more about the benefits for you and your clients.

People want guidance and peace of mind Quality, personalised financial advice can offer clients a greater retirement lifestyle, better cash flow in the immediate term and the peace of mind of avoiding bad investments. As financial advisers, the data is on your side to quantify this value: according to the Russell Investments 2020 Value of an Adviser Report, an adviser charging an advice fee of $3,250 to a client with a $250,000 balance can potentially deliver $13,250 of value. That’s $10,000 extra value to the client. One of the most interesting findings was the ability an adviser has when it comes to assessing behavioural decisions. Advisers have the ability to help investors avoid behavioural mistakes, the report found, such as chasing profits based on short-term market volatility, or trying to replicate past performance in an environment that has changed. This is because the key value advisers can provide in periods of uncertainty ranges from the macro (being a trusted source of wider market information and broad strokes trends and updates) to the micro (providing strategic, bespoke advice suited to the individual). Both roles are extremely valuable, and as we face a period of ongoing volatility and economic uncertainty, advisers will continue to demonstrate significant value.

The Financial Adviser | September 2022

27


WHAT’S YOUR PATH? Choosing whether to join a licensee or to self-license in the new age of advice DOWNLOAD THE WHITEPAPER Visit www.centrepointalliance.com.au/afa/navigate

Want to be on the forefront of advice and embrace a new era? Download our white paper now

MetLife Protect, a smart solution for your clients. www.metlife.com.au

Hydrate with the AFA Community Join the AFA Community at Conference on the evening of Thursday 22 September for a social gathering from 10pm!

28

The Financial Adviser | September 2022


Innovation

Jacqui Henderson Advice Intelligence Founder & CEO

Navigating the next era of advice: technology innovation for the modern adviser Financial advisers are constantly met with challenges that require transformation - Royal Commission, FoFA, Fee for Service, and education standards. And yet, technological adoption has not matched this dynamic rate of industry change, with EY highlighting1 61% of advisers state they have inaccurate technology tools. Licensees have, and continue to, rely on inefficient tools like spreadsheets and out-ofdate paraplanning technology. There is industry-wide underinvestment in innovative planning technology, with licensees latching onto a legacy technology landscape, yet expecting different outcomes. All this is taking place within the context of ever-changing regulation and economic volatility.

To adapt and grow, advisers must access tools that can help them provide clients with more scalable, personalised, and profitable advice aligning with ever-increasing consumer demands.

Within the Australian market, the opportunity for advisers lies amongst the mass-affluent demographic. The mass-affluent, sized at around 3.3 million, currently holds between $500,000-$2m+ in superannuation assets, though less than 2-in-5 have a financial adviser. With a further 1-in-5 wishing to seek advice, the opportunity to tap into this market is great, despite a historical struggle for advisers to service this group due to high servicing costs.

Technology innovation is the key to optimising the current antiquated financial advice process, enabling businesses to remain relevant and competitive. Tech advances are transforming advice practice into a digital process, delivering an interactive customer experience that clients can better understand, participate in, and engage with, encouraging clients to take more responsibility for any outcomes in accordance with managing their finances, and achieving their life goals. Partnering the smart consumer with the technically well-equipped adviser will result in greater profitability, stronger client loyalty, and increased business efficiency.

Why AdviceTech is the ultimate solution for the modern adviser: Gathering data through fact-find automation Core Data research shows 40% of consumers drop out of the fact-find step of the advice process, deterred by boring paper-based forms, prior to meeting an adviser. With the gathering of client information being the first stage of any advice, it is paramount to remove barriers and minimise friction for potential clients. By implementing a digital, visual, discovery process that is accessible anytime and anywhere, prospective clients can input their financial goals with comfort and ease. This streamlining encourages willingness from prospective clients to complete this important step, whilst providing the adviser with a digital audit trail of data, from one true source simplifying compliance.

Digitise SoAs, and automate your paraplanning Traditional paper-based SoA production has proven to be a great expense of time and labour due to the arduous, manual production process. Paraplanners or paraplanning service providers are bestowed with the repetitive task of data entry and transferring client information to wordbased coded SoA templates. This time-consuming process means SoA production can result in lengthy delivery to prospective clients, thus broadening the window to research other advice options. By automating SoA production, advice practices can increase their operational efficiency, simultaneously reducing the cost of advice. Advisers can also increase their client engagement and acceptance rate by providing a digital financial plan that is automatically built behind a client-facing modelling experience. Digital dynamism also allows advisers to link their goals to cash flow, investment portfolios, and advice strategies. Whilst entering a new decade of more agile financial planning software, AdviceTech is an essential tool for financial advisers. Advisers are meeting the shift from the current advice model, as driven by the triangulation of regulatory changes, technological advancements, and consumer demand, by leveraging the opportunity to empower consumers to interact more seamlessly and flexibly with their business, encouraging greater collaboration. AdviceTech enables you to take advantage of technology innovation, enhance your business model, and deliver a greater capacity for your business to respond effectively and efficiently in a demanding consumer marketplace.

1 https://www.ey.com/en_us/consulting/how-digital-technology-is-transforming-financial-planning-and-analysis

The Financial Adviser | September 2022

29


We’re here to help Australians get better advice.

10% of Australians pay for advice, while 41% want it. The difference is affordability. That’s why we’re helping bridge the accessibility gap by reducing the time and cost of generating advice.

paduasolutions.com 30

The Financial Adviser | September 2022


Advice Strategy

Matt Esler Co-Founder, Padua

The four major problems facing financial advisers – time, cost, quality & trust

In this article, Matt Esler focuses on the final two of the four major problems facing the financial advice market – Quality of Advice & Trust. There are four major challenges facing financial advisers and the financial advice industry: 1 Time taken to produce advice 2 Cost of producing advice 3 Quality of advice; and 4 Trusted or engaged advice. In this 2nd part we are highlighting the Quality of Advice and Trusted or Engaged advice.

Quality of Advice In 2003, ASIC released the “The financial planning shadow shopping project” which included the first line: “As you know, overall, the quality was disappointing. Too many plans were poor on core elements of advice. It wasn’t just a ‘few rotten apples’. The end product reflected the skill levels, the company processes and the remuneration drivers within the industry.” Nearly a decade later, in 2012, ASIC released Report 279 - Shadow shopping study of retirement advice. In this report, only 3 per cent of advice was rated good quality by ASIC. Interestingly, ASIC outlined the difference between good, adequate, and poor advice quality. We’re now another decade down the track, and not much has changed. The Quality of Advice Review (QAR) is expected to be released by 16th December 2022. While there has been conjecture around what changes may ensue, the initial recommendations of the QAR confirm that in order to provide high quality (or good) advice, certain elements are unavoidable. At Padua, high quality of advice means the following key elements need to be satisfied: • Compliance – The first step is ensuring that the best interest and safe harbour (or good advice) rules have been satisfied and these are well documented. • Optimising the qualitative outcome – the second part is ensuring that the advice aligns with the needs, objectives, and specific and relevant

circumstances of the client. This should be covered in the compliance step, but it’s so important it renders further reinforcement. • Optimising the quantitative outcome – The final step is not covered in the Compliance or Qualitative steps but is just important. At Padua, we are making this part easy for financial advisers, as outlined below: – Padua Discover – client-facing and adviser-to-client facing digital fact find are completed. – Virtual Technical Manager (VTM) – once digital fact find is complete, VTM will show the adviser each strategy the client is eligible for - leveraging 520 advice strategies. Think about what this does for advisers. Firstly, it makes ALL advisers, whether they are an industry stalwart of 30+ years or a young gun in their Professional Year, into technical geniuses. – Strategic outcome optimisation – once client eligibility is determined we remove the strategies that aren’t relevant to them. Padua then runs an optimisation algorithm to rank each eligible strategy by the quantitative strategic outcome. The adviser can highlight the actual benefit for each strategy for their clients.

Figure A: Australia is lagging when it comes to investors trusting the advice industry

Source: CFA

To understand the client experience you need to look no further than the advice process – and the role the client plays in it (which is extremely limited). The client and adviser meet for the fact find and then the client is not generally re-engaged again until the SOA presentation meeting. This means the client has had no input into the trade-offs at a product or strategy level. How can they be expected to trust the advice? To enhance trust, we need to enhance the experience and client engagement.

Figure B: The current advice process excludes the client

This last step is part of Padua’s approach giving advisers the tools necessary for Value Creating Advice (VCA). Benefit minus Cost equals Value. The adviser has now provided VCA to their clients.

Client Experience = Client Engagement = Trusted Advice The better the experience, the greater the engagement, and the more likely the advice will be trusted. In 2020 the CFA released a survey which showed that in Australia, less than a quarter of retail investors (24 per cent) trust the financial advice industry. This is compared to the global average of 47 per cent (see Figure A).

While actions such as the Quality of Advice review may help advisers grapple with many of the issues facing them, including the regulatory burden, the role of technology will continue to grow. It provides the key to resolving the four major issues facing advisers today – the time taken to produce advice, the cost of producing that advice, maintaining the quality of advice, and ensuring clients trust the advice and are engaged with it. The Financial Adviser | September 2022

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It’s more super for you and your clients Australian Retirement Trust is the new name for Sunsuper and QSuper. A fund that’s more super for you and your clients. With 2 million members and over $200 billion under management, we have more access to super-smart investments – at home and abroad. Our strong network of global investment managers are dedicated to finding opportunities that others might miss — like investing in Swedish trains. We’re committed to working with over 4000 advisers and delivering a world of investment opportunities to help your clients live the retirement they want.

It’s more super

ART.com.au Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance. Products issued by Australian Retirement Trust Pty Ltd (ABN 88 010 720 840, AFSL No. 228975) as trustee for Australian Retirement Trust (ABN 60 905 115 063). Consider the Super Savings PDS before deciding and the TMD at art.com.au/pds Member numbers and FUM include Super Savings and QSuper members as at June 2022.

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The Financial Adviser | September 2022


Advice Strategy

Andrew Robinson Senior Portfolio Manager Global Real Assets Australian Retirement Trust

Arlanda Express – one of Australian Retirement Trust’s super-smart investments Australian Retirement Trust (ART) has a team of investment experts dedicated to finding opportunities at home and abroad – like the Arlanda Express, a high-speed rail link in Sweden. ART owns a 25% stake in A-train AB (A-Train), the owner and operator of Arlanda Express. This investment means our members are helping more than 3.2 million people get to the airport on time annually. Moving at a speed of 200km/h, the Arlanda Express is 25 minutes faster than the commuter train.

Why is this a good investment? As one of Australia’s largest super funds, we use our size and scale to create diverse portfolios for longterm performance. With size comes opportunity and we have access to assets that are not available to individuals, self-managed super funds (SMSFs), and even other super funds. Investing in A-Train offers1: • A stable, mature, transportation asset operating in a strong economic and stable political environment • An attractive risk-adjusted return that is highly correlated to Swedish GDP and inflation • Strong earnings visibility with a history of predictable cash flow growth • Passenger demand showing resilience to economic conditions.

Powered by green electricity

Future focus

As at 30 June 2021, Arlanda Express sourced 100 per cent of its electricity used for the operation of trains from renewable energy sources such as hydropower, wind power and biofuels, and offsetting the remaining emissions. Through energy efficiency and green-energy initiatives, the company had reduced its carbon emissions to approximately 100 tonne CO2 equivalent, which it then seeks to offset through Certified Emissions Reductions from the UN Clean Development Mechanism.

Strong, long-term returns As retirement savings are built over a lifetime, not a single year, it is important to keep a long-term perspective amongst other things and balance both investment risk with investment returns. The onset of COVID-19 had a material impact on the operations and overall profitability of A-train over the short term. However, European aviation has recovered significantly since the onset of travel restrictions. Despite COVID-19, the overall returns for A-train since 2014 have been broadly in-line with the original investment case1.

High-performing super funds should focus on long-term results because super is a long-term investment. Since mid-2021, passenger numbers have begun to recover as a result of high vaccination levels, easing of travel restrictions, pent up travel demand and airline developments at Arlanda Airport. Passenger levels are expected to recover to pre COVID-19 levels, approximately 3.2 million annually, by 2024. Furthermore, Arlanda Express is implementing a new strategy based on redefining transit as a category - taking something historically considered the least important part of the total journey and transforming it into peace of mind through the actions and products delivered. Going forward, the business plans to focus on optimising operating and capital expenditure whilst also recommencing marketing initiatives which were paused as a result of COVID-19. Over the medium to longer term, various airline developments at Arlanda Airport, along with promising growth in market share levels for Arlanda Express, provides a robust outlook for A-train over an extended investment horizon.

We’re here to help To learn more about our investments or dedicated adviser services, visit australianretirementtrust.com.au/ adviser or call 13 11 84.

1 Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance. Super Savings products issued by Australian Retirement Trust Pty Ltd (ABN 88 010 720 840, AFSL No. 228975) as trustee for Australian Retirement Trust (ABN 60 905 115 063). Consider the PDS before deciding and TMD at art.com.au/pds ART adopted same products, services and investments as Sunsuper from 28 February 2022.

The Financial Adviser | September 2022

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Communities of Practice

Ashley Mahadeea AFA Gen Next National Chair

Sustainable investing – the ethical dilemma Humanity exists in an interconnected, interdependent, and interrelated world. This is evident from both a social and business standpoint, but even more so when recognising humanity as an integral part of our natural environment. We are dependent on nature for the things we need to keep us alive. This article is not a push towards an ideological agenda or a call to action but rather an acknowledgement that a new breed of investors has emerged with a different set of ideologies and values. Financial advisers need to be adequately prepared to have a conversation on the three pillars of ESG (environmental, social and governance) with their clients.

Environmental factors

Social factors

Governance factors

A company’s impact on the environment, such as its carbon footprint, greenhouse gases, water consumption, waste management, and energy use.

A company’s social and labour policies and its history of complying with these. These include employee diversity, health, and wellbeing, how the company interacts with communities, supply chain standards, and customer relationships.

A company’s governance practices, the rules, structures, procedures, and performance measures are designed for governing its environmental and social factors. They designate a company’s responsibilities amongst its board of directors, managers, shareholders, and stakeholders.

While today’s investors are seeking to diversify their portfolios with more sustainable and ethical-based investments, the financial advice industry is slowly evolving and making changes to support financial advisers apply an ESG lens over investment recommendations. An ESG footprint within the financial ecosystem is no longer a ‘nice to have’, it is a ‘non-negotiable’ across the various stakeholders in financial advice- Advisers, licensees, professional bodies, regulators, product providers and investment research houses. A recent report from the Responsible Investment Association Australasia shows that 86% of Australians expect their super or other investments to be invested responsibly and ethically1. Three quarters of Australians would consider moving their banking, super or other investments to another provider if they found out their current provider was investing in companies engaged in activities not consistent with their values. On top of this, 50% of Australians say that they would be motivated to save more money and invest if they were certain that the money invested would make a positive impact in the world such as less poverty, quality education for all, clean water for all or reduced inequalities.

An application of ESG measures deepens the understanding of a firm’s business strategies, though this further analysis and insight have only been made possible through ESG data points. Investment managers rely on strong foresight of a company’s true intentions and future performance, and they can price risk more effectively. A 2021 Fidelity Sustainable Investing report highlighted that there is a strong correlation between ESG and dividend growth2. Those companies with a high rating on sustainability, have the highest dividend growth over the last 5 years, this growth has been over 5%. For nonESG companies with a weaker ESG rating, the report showed they had the lowest dividend growth over the same period. Paying attention to ESG does not compromise returns but adds additional value to consumers. People feel empowered to influence the world around them via their investment decisions. Australians believe that investment decisions can influence societal issues like climate change, health & wellbeing, food security and safeguarding natural resources.

Financial advisers have an important role to play in helping Australians understand and explore the benefits of sustainable investment options. A 2020 From Values to Riches report showcased that 9 Australians out of 10 want their advisers to invest responsibly and ethically3. Financial advisers are also expected to be knowledgeable about responsible investment options and to kick off conversations with their clients about values-based investing at an early stage of the financial planning process. Values-based investing is an investment philosophy and methodology that helps advisers build an investment strategy that evaluates assets on factors outside of simple returns and risk but on their own personal core values. It also strengthens the adviser-client relationship as it deepens the level of understanding of the client. Gen Next will continue to develop the adviser of the future - through forward thinking and bravery, we harness the power of education and technological innovation to create meaningful change. Join me in a tech-driven community of advice professionals to create a sustainable new world of advice.

1. Michaux, F, Lee, A, and Jain, A, 2020, Benchmarking Impact: Australian Impact Investor Insights, Activity and Performance Report 2020, Responsible Investment Association Australasia, Sydney 2. Time to step up, Sustainable Investing Report 2021, Fidelity International, July 2021 3. From Values to Riches 2020: Charting consumer expectations and demand for responsible investing in Australia. Responsible Investment Association Australasia

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The Financial Adviser | September 2022


Communities of Practice

AFA Mentoring update Nicole Ott AFA Mentoring Program Contact – QLD and NT

For those that have not yet heard about it, the AFA Mentoring Program matches new and aspiring advisers (Aspirants) with experienced AFA practitioners (Mentors). It is a program that is offered to AFA members to foster a friendly and constructive environment for peer-to-peer sharing and to leverage the knowledge and experience of some of our profession’s strongest advocates. Together, we hope to guide the next generation of financial planning professionals and give them a healthy head start on their careers. Prior to the pandemic, the AFA Mentoring Program was run separately in each state with a preference for in-person meetings between the Mentor and their Aspirant, usually over a coffee once a month for an hour or so. This regular interaction supports a goals-based journey where the Mentor provides the benefit of their experience to help the Aspirant realise their personal development goals. There have always been pros and cons with this ‘face-to-face’ model – networking and building a relationship with someone is arguably more meaningful if it can be done in person however, there is so much diversity within our profession, that the true value in the program was always going to be capped. Even the most resistant will have to concede that virtual meetings are now an acceptable (and sometimes preferred) way for people to meet and stay connected. This wider acceptance of virtual meeting technology has allowed us to expand the AFA Mentoring Program across state borders so that an Aspirant with a specific need can be matched with a Mentor with the relevant knowledge to impart.

This recent evolution has led to an increase in the number of participants in the AFA Mentoring Program and it continues to receive positive feedback. In our recent check-in with Aspirants, when asked what value they were getting from this year’s program, some of the comments we received were as follows: “Good to get a different perspective from an external business.” “It has been really useful to pick the brains of someone who runs a larger efficient business (something I am aspiring to).” “I feel like I’ve learned a lot.” “Having someone to bounce ideas off who is external to my organisation. It is awesome to draw on their knowledge and I am finding their input extremely helpful.” Below are a couple of examples of what our Aspirants said when asked for an example of how they’ve implemented an idea that their Mentor shared with them: “I was thinking of hiring an adviser because a suitable candidate came up, but not sure if the business was ready. My Mentor gave good advice that I should not hire for a person, hire for the business.”

Despite the convenience and efficiency of virtual meeting technology, when we asked for some constructive criticism, most Aspirants found it hard to fault the program. When pressed, the most common response was a desire for more face-to-face interaction. Even though it is great to see that the program can still work virtually, we will always endeavour to try to match Mentors and Aspirants in the same state. Where possible, we will also encourage participants to attend local AFA events to meet other AFA members and expand their network of Mentors. I know I speak on behalf of each state coordinator when I say that we get a kick from the value that the AFA Mentoring Program creates for Mentors and Aspirants. Mentors learn from the program too and we are honoured that so many experienced professionals are happy to give back to the profession. We hope to see many more financial advisers join the program next year! For more information about the AFA Mentoring Program, please visit: https://www.afa.asn.au/ membership/afa-mentoring

My Mentor helped me break down my goals into mini achievable goals. She also gave me tips on how to approach my employer in relation to transitioning from employee to potential business owner.

The Financial Adviser | September 2022

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Advice Strategy

Nicole Ott National Adviser Services Manager, Trilogy Funds Management Limited

Distribution rates continue to rise The Trilogy Monthly Income Trust (Trust), is an income-focused pooled mortgage trust, designed to deliver a competitive monthly income and portfolio diversity. The Trust, which earns income primarily from loans secured by registered first mortgages over Australian property, has delivered regular distributions to investors since its launch in 2007. While past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance, we consider that the returns delivered over that time demonstrate the value of our experience applied to guiding this Trust through a constantly changing economic environment. We are proud to say that as at 31 July 2022, the Trust had achieved four consecutive months of distribution rate increases. Now lending Australia wide, the Trilogy Monthly Income Trust has active loans in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, and Tasmania and, as at 31 July 2022, the Trust was financing 160 projects across a diverse range of loan and project types, including residential, commercial, industrial and retail sectors. This diversity helps us to minimise risk by ensuring the portfolio is not concentrated on one borrower or group of borrowers, or in one type of property or location. Looking forward, we are taking advantage of the increase in the Official Cash Rate to charge higher rates on new projects, and similarly, we are reviewing rates on loans that are extended. We are also taking this opportunity to review our mortgage documentation to allow us to take advantage of further rate increases, as and when they occur. We believe the increased rates we can charge borrowers will flow through to investors in the coming months. For clients seeking an income-focused solution, providing yield and portfolio diversity, the Trilogy Monthly Income Trust, may be a suitable option to consider. Issued by Trilogy Funds Management Limited ABN 59 080 383 679 AFSL 261425. Visit trilogyfunds.com.au for the Trilogy Monthly Income Trust ARSN 121 846 722 PDS, TMD and risks. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance.

For clients seeking income. Discover the Trilogy Monthly Income Trust.

5.30% PA*

DISCOVER MORE

*July 2022 variable rate. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance.

Issued by Trilogy Funds Management Limited ABN 59 080 383 679 AFSL 261425. Click ‘Discover More’ for the PDS and TMD for Trilogy Monthly Income Trust ARSN 121 846 722 including further information and risks such as loss of part or all of your capital or diminished returns.

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The Financial Adviser | September 2022


Advice Strategy

Matt Brown Executive General Manager Advice Australian Unity

Financial advice reforms must make advice more affordable and accessible for Australian households The Treasury’s Quality of Advice Review, led by Michelle Levy, will be delivered to government in December 2022. The reform it proposes will be important, not just for advisers but for all Australian households seeking financial advice. In a market where simple, affordable financial advice is hard to come by, the advice model is in urgent need of reform. Such reform must not only strike a balance between affordability for consumers and consumer protections but also respect advisers’ time and mental wellbeing. Finally, such reforms must also create an environment that attracts and invests in graduates and emerging talent. The industry’s calls for change are made clear in the impressive 134 submissions made from licensees, fund managers, industry groups and law firms, to the Quality of Advice Review’s Issues Paper. It is pleasing to see that among the submissions is a comprehensive response from the AFA as a leading association, with ten key recommendations on behalf of its members. As a provider committed to supporting the wellbeing of all Australians, Australian Unity Advice is proud of our contribution to the Quality of Advice Review.

Our joint submission, made as part of a group of eight licensees, gave recommendations to the Review that included a call for greater consumer control in accessing advice, replacing the Statement of Advice with a more concise and flexible document, introducing exemptions to the stringent education requirements for advisers, removal of the ambiguous “catch all” provision in the Best Interest Safe Harbour Provision, as well as actions to reduce regulatory overlap and improve the affordability of advice. From December 2022, all eyes will be on the new Albanese Government as it receives the findings of the Review. In its response, the Government must act in the best interests of consumers and recognise the value high quality financial advice plays in supporting financial wellbeing. At Australian Unity we are optimistic that this review may just reduce some complexity and cost for financial advisers and clients.

Looking for a licensee focused on Real Wellbeing? Australian Unity is proud to be a mutual organisation, helping our members thrive since 1840. As a full service licensee, this means we do things differently. Find out how we put the wellbeing of our clients, advisers and community first.

Find out what sets us apart: (03) 8682 6348 | emichelmore@australianunity.com.au This is issued by Australian Unity Personal Financial Services Ltd (‘AUPFS’) ABN 26 098 725 145, AFSL 234459. AUPFS is a wholly owned subsidiary of Australian Unity Limited.

The Financial Adviser | September 2022

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Communities of Practice

Dawn Thomas AFA Inspire National Chair

Preparing for extended parental leave

Cara Graham, Principal Wealth Adviser at The Wealth Designers, and former WA Inspire State Chair, is embarking on 12 months of parental leave. She shares her learnings and experience with Dawn Thomas and explains why she felt safe enough to speak to the CEO of The Wealth Designers, Troy MacMillan, about planning for her replacement, even before she got pregnant. Dawn: Why did you decide to take extended parental leave at this point in your career?

Dawn: Why did you feel safe enough to raise this so early?

Cara: The experience of my wife giving birth to our first daughter, changed our perception of work and family. To date, I have dedicated myself to my career. My priorities shifted, where I want to be more active as a parent. I don’t want to give up this opportunity to experience the many memories I will create with my children.

Cara: I have been part of the business since 2011 and I felt that I have a strong relationship with Troy. I was motivated really by my sense of responsibility to the clients and their experience. That is something the whole team has in common, prioritising clients’ needs.

Dawn: How has the experience been different from the first time around? Cara: I really want to give myself the opportunity to take 12 months off. It does not mean I may take the full period, but I want to have this opportunity to prioritise my family and not feel rushed to come back. Also, being the one to carry our second daughter, I feel lucky that my health has been good. Honestly, at this point, I am just pushing through everything to make sure that everything that needs to be done, is done. Dawn: What was the planning process for the business around your decision to take extended parental leave? Cara: First thing I did was raise it with Troy. I wanted to give advance warning that this was on the cards. We started the recruitment process before I was even pregnant. Even with that early planning, we only recruited the right candidate a year after our initial discussions.

Dawn: How have clients responded to your news? Cara: They have been positive and happy for me. Having handover meetings and introducing advisers, has been beautiful, hearing clients express their gratitude. I had clients whom I was nervous to tell because they said “what would I do without you” in previous meetings. Clients rely on their adviser and that is why it was so important to give them a good experience. Dawn: What is your key learning from this experience? Cara: If I went back a few years, I was fearful about leaving the business for an extended amount of time. Perhaps my attitude now, is that it is the opportunity to reset how I want to work in terms of work and family life balance.

Tips for preparing for parental leave

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The Financial Adviser | September 2022

1

A collaborative team culture is everything: When the team collaboratively works together for their client, the departure of one person will not affect the client severely. Having a cohesive team environment can help a client see that their adviser is not leaving because they still have a team of familiar people they trust to help them. If you have an environment where advisers are pitted against each other, you will not be able to achieve this sense of oneness.

2

Assessing your role within your organisation: If you feel raising your parental leave plans will negatively impact your position, then don’t share it early. It would make me question whether this is the right business for me and whether it is the right business for me to return to. If I am not supported before I go on leave, it will mean I won’t be supported when I return.

3

Consider your clients’ experience: Make sure that clients feel they matter and are important. This can be done by consistently looking after clients and giving the attention they deserve from the whole team. This will give them the confidence to transition through any changes in the business.


Communities of Practice

Building a strong community John Cachia AFA Practitioner National Chair

It’s almost September which means the AFA Thrive Conference, being held on the Gold Coast, is coming up. I am really looking forward to this event, after a few years of not being able to do this, it will be nice to be able to come together as a community, share our wins and examine where we are today and where we want to be. After the challenges of the last few years, connection has never been so important for our profession and I am looking forward to being able to connect, learn, share ideas and celebrate together. One of the elements of the Conference that I am looking forward to is the opportunity to collaborate with my fellow advisers. I see great benefit in us practitioners having a tight-knit community, both for helping each other when things get lonely, but also to impactfully change the environment we’re in and around, by banding together and relying on each other for support. Another reason for celebration is the AFA Awards. These awards are a reflection of the great work that advisers do across Australia and symbolise the impact that advisers have in their work across the country. I am looking forward to celebrating your wins with you at the awards during the Conference in September. One of the items that are at the forefront of my mind as we look to build our thriving future as financial advisers are looking for ways to promote our community to more stakeholders and start having more conversations about the valuable work that financial advisers do. The way we do this is changing, and it’s not only about promoting ourselves at scale but also at a grassroots level in the communities in which we work. Our clients are continually evolving and it’s been heartening to see advisers adapt to the changing landscape of how we promote ourselves to the different client cohorts that are emerging in Australia. It can be challenging to adopt new practices to promote ourselves and secure new clients but I am seeing advisers make great in-roads on social media and by utilising other digital platforms, new technologies and automation to make it easier to find new clients and for clients to connect with them.

Collaboration can provide powerful leverage to us as a community of practitioners: the more we can collectively build the visibility and profiles of advisers in our communities, the greater our impact will be. Looking for innovative ways to connect and collaborate can provide valuable opportunities for our profession to grow. I reflect on the adage “a rising tide lifts all ships” and our community is the vehicle that we have to help us all rise. When we get out of our offices and into the community to share our stories, our client wins and our knowledge, we are collectively educating the Australian communities on the impactful work that financial advisers do. Over the last couple of months, I have been working closely with my national practitioner committee members and will commence working with state chairs across Australia to continue the rollout of our practitioner agenda. Our mission is to build a strong community for financial advice practitioners to network, share experiences and discuss industry issues and opportunities. We acknowledge that advisers are faced with many challenges and we want to understand how we can support each other around a broad range of issues.

I am interested in which client connection strategies are working best for you at the moment and I invite you to contact me personally to have a conversation about client attraction and engagement. Sharing our winning strategies and tactics can help improve the adviser and client experience across the entire profession.

The Financial Adviser | September 2022

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Community & Marketplace

Olivia SarahLe Lacheur AFA Foundation National Chair

Big cheques deliver big smiles! In the June issue of Adviser magazine we shared that our 2022 AFA Foundation Grants had been allocated to: NSW

Pink Angels and Westcare Community Service

QLD

Ridewest and DV Phone Safe public fund

SA

Second Chances and Isolated Children’s Parents’ Association

TAS

Print Radio Tasmania

VIC

Friend in Me

WA

The Underground Collaborative and Lionheart Camp for Kids Inc.

In this edition I am pleased to share with you the presentation of big cheques to grant recipients. As you can see, it is hard to tell who is more excited – the charity partner or the nominating adviser!

Lionheart Camp for Kids nominated by Cara Graham

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The Financial Adviser | September 2022


Community & Marketplace

DV Safe Phone nominated by Steve Nielsen

National Conference The AFA Foundation Committee are working hard on preparation for the AFA National Conference in September. Like you, we are super excited that it will be an in-person event – after all, it is much easier to sell raffle tickets and accept donations face-to-face! Please bring cash and credit cards so that you can help us support our national charity partners, Kidney Health Australia and Good Shepherd Australia, and our QLD charity partner, Youngcare. Kidney Health Australia has been selected in recognition of the loss of our much-loved AFA Member Chris Regenass. Many of us were unable to travel to South Australia for his funeral, so a donation to his charity of choice is a wonderful way of recognising what Chris meant to the AFA.

Welcome Dave At AFA Conference Thrive, you will have the chance to welcome your new AFA Foundation National Chair, Dave Slovinec. Dave is well known to all of you from his time on the AFA Board and Executive, where he served as Treasurer and SA State Director. For many years Dave was the Board Liaison for the AFA Foundation and so he is very familiar with our work and goals. Dave is also a fierce raffle ticket seller, so no doubt he will be working the floor at national conference! For me, it is a fitting way to hand over the National Chair, as it was Dave and Brad Fox who invited me to take on the role 8 years ago. I’m extremely grateful that they asked, and I have enjoyed the privilege of serving the AFA and our charity partners in this role. Together we have celebrated 14 years of fundraising over $2m, created the AFA Foundation Grants, welcomed our first Foundation Partners, and raised the profile of the incredible work our charity partners do across the country.

Friend in Me nominated by John Cachia

I’d like to recognise some of the past and present committee members I have worked with over the years: Paula Zoch, Jasmin Loke, Emily Cossignani, Colette Thunig, Robyn Faber, and Steve Salvia. Their ideas, energy and community connections have been the lifeblood of the Foundation and I’ve enjoyed working with them, month in and month out. Thank you also to Brad Fox, Phil Kewin and Phil Anderson for their encouragement and support of the AFA Foundation and of me personally. We could not have achieved what we have without the support of the CEOs, the AFA Board and AFA staff. And of course, thank you to all AFA members who have helped The AFA Foundation to create impactful results.

Farewell Colette As I reflect on my time, I’d like to make a special mention of Colette Thunig’s contribution to the Foundation Committee. Colette has been on the Committee from the start and she has now decided that it is time for her to focus on her growing business and enjoy the travel she is doing for work and family. Thank you, Colette, for your years of service, your community connections and your fundraising contributions.

Anytime is donation time! You can make a donation anytime at https://www.afafoundationdonation.com.au/ Donations of $2 and over are tax deductible. Every dollar makes a life changing impact to the communities we live and work in.

The Financial Adviser | September 2022

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Events

Advocating for Advice Directors hard at work – AFA WA State Director, Stephen Knight joined an Industry panel in August with Small Business Ombudsman Bruce Billson to discuss issues affecting small business financial advisers.

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The Financial Adviser | September 2022


Community & Marketplace

Natalie Kleibert Deputy Chair PFAN

A bright future for pro bono financial advice PFAN’s deputy chair Natalie Kleibert interviews fellow director Paul Harding-Davis on his ten years with the network and what the future holds. Paul, how did you get involved with PFAN?

How would you describe PFAN’s progress over the years?

I was at the Professional Planner Dealer Group Summit in 2012 and attended an inspiring presentation from Steve Helmich, then AMP’s executive director of financial planning, about AMP’s pro bono program with the Cancer Council. At the next summit gathering (three were held within 18 months due to FOFA!), I suggested to the group that a similar network could be set up for a wider range of licensees so they could give back to the community. A great number of people stepped forward and we formed a committee and built from there.

The growth of the network for the first 5-6 years was deliberately cautious. We specifically promised the associations and referral partners that we wouldn’t blow ourselves up by overpromising on the number of clients that could be helped while we built up a solid network. We must acknowledge that being run entirely by volunteers, there have been a couple of times where we weren’t progressing well. Anyone starting a business has had these moments or troughs where we didn’t deliver as much as we wanted to. And then there’s been the avalanche of regulatory impacts over that decade which has made it hard for licensees and advisers to get the head space to get involved in pro bono programs that are important but not urgent.

What were PFAN’s early ambitions? What I put to everyone at the time, was that pro bono work was considered one of the marks of a profession. For example, the law profession aims to contribute 1% of billable hours towards pro bono work. If we equate that with financial advisers, that’s roughly one to two pro bono clients per year. And that multiplied by hundreds of advisers makes a significant difference. Everyone who got involved early was excited about the message it would send about our commitment to growing up as a profession. At the time, the community, regulators and government didn’t really see or understand the value of advice. It’s not a product recommendation, it’s about how you behave with money, understand your goals and what do to in tough times. Picking a product or investment fund barely makes a material difference in the outcome. Getting financial advice is life changing.

How does pro bono help financial advice grow to be a profession? A tremendous number of people are professionals, but that doesn’t mean that we have achieved the full standing of a profession. But it’s closer than we may think. That day will soon come when people walk into an adviser’s office and all the adviser has to say is that they are a financial adviser. Like when you walk into a doctor’s office, you just accept that they are a professional. That day will come when it’s not just the trade press writing about advice, it’s the mainstream consumer press talking about how advisers make a difference. It’s when all politicians and government notice and openly advocate for the value of financial advice.

What does the future hold for PFAN? In the last two to three years we’ve had some new people on board with fresh energy and enthusiasm. We’ve hit a sustainable level of scale, people and process. We have around 100-120 advisers on our books supporting the Multiple Sclerosis partners network across Australia. Our referral process is solid, we have a refreshed brand and a long list of goals we’re ticking off month to month. We have the strong support of longstanding partners such as the AFA and TAL and great support from new partners HUB24. From now it’s about well-managed growth. In five years’ time, I’d like to see that we have 500 advisers signed up; they are all taking one case a year or maybe two and we have evolved to help a broader range of charities who help Australians living with a personal health crisis to improve their financial wellbeing.

So how can licensees and advisers get involved? That’s easy. Our website: probonoadvice.com.au has all the information you need. Or hop onto LinkedIn and join the PFAN community. Financial advisers make such an important difference to someone’s mental state, confidence and ability to go forward in life. They are changing lives.

The Financial Adviser | September 2022

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Who's who at the AFA Our vision

AFA Directors

We empower financial advice professionals to transform the lives of Australians through quality financial advice.

Jawad Ahmad

Patricia Garcia

SA/NT Director

QLD Director

Katherine Hayes

Shaun McDonagh

The Association of Financial Advisers

NSW/ACT Director

Independent Director

National President Sam Perera P (02) 9266 2266

QLD Director Patricia Garcia P (07) 3252 3600

National Vice-President Michelle Veitch P 0438 621 943

NSW/ACT Director Katherine Hayes P (02) 6152 9144

Treasurer Samantha Robinson P (03) 9686 1784

WA Director Stephen Knight P 0411 603 444

SA/NT Director Jawad Ahmad P (08) 8229 2260

Independent Director Shaun McDonagh P (02) 9267 4003

AFA National Office Level 5, 257 Clarence Street Sydney NSW 2000 P (02) 92674003 Members 1800 656 009 afa.asn.au Editor Candice Spence P (02) 8036 8173 E candice.spence@afa.asn.au Advertising (02) 8036 8173 Design, Print and Distribution Agile Print Media P 0413 159 109 E john@agileprintmedia.com.au Distribution The AFA Ltd and the Editor do not necessarily agree with comments and views expressed in this publication, and do not accept responsibility for any personal opinions stated herein. The AFA Ltd and the Editor do not take responsibility for the accuracy of “financial product advice” provided by contributors to the magazine and information in the magazine does not constitute or convey specific or professional advice. Legislation changes may occur quickly. Formal advice should be sought before acting in any of the areas discussed. The magazine is issued as a helpful guide to financial advisers and for their private information. Responsibility is disclaimed for any inaccuracies, errors or omissions. Particular investments are neither invited nor recommended and hence this publication is not “financial product advice” as defined in Section 766B of the above legislation. All expressions of opinion by contributors are published on the basis that they are not to be regarded as expressing the official opinion of any other person or entity unless expressly stated. No responsibility for the accuracy of the opinions or information contained in the contributor’s articles is accepted by any other person or entity.

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The Financial Adviser | September 2022

Stephen Knight WA Director

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Chief Executive Officer

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AFA Head Office Candice Spence

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General Manager, Marketing

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matthew.wallis@afa.asn.au

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