Advisers flock to independents for choice

Hub24's Andrew Alcock predicts the non-aligned sector will continue to grow


By Sarah Kendell

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Advisers would increasingly turn to privately owned dealer groups for flexibility and choice in the coming year, forcing institutional advice networks to up their game by opening up approved product lists (APL) to outside providers, according to Hub24.

The platform provider’s managing director, Andrew Alcock, said as advisers found themselves increasingly constrained under an aligned advice model, the major institutions were responding by either divesting from advice completely or providing more investment choices to their salaried financial planners.

“We’re seeing the transformation of the existing wealth management advice model – advice arms of institutions are having to come to terms with their obligations under the best interest test and that’s putting tension on the traditional way they’ve operated,” Alcock said.

“This is challenging the status quo and forcing them to think about their models.”

Following the recent decision of BT Financial Group to add external life insurers to the APL of its salaried planners, he said it would only be a matter of time before more institutions followed suit and gave their advisers more investment choices.

He pointed out the number of advisers joining privately owned licensees in the year to March 2017 was five times higher than the number of advisers joining institutional licensees over the same period, according to Rainmaker data.

Advisers were joining those groups at a faster rate due to their ability to take advantage of new technology and provide better client service, he said.

He added that looking ahead to 2018, advisers would increasingly focus on “connectivity, value, openness and choice”.

“Non-insto aligned advisers, brokers and accountants are increasingly leveraging new technology to improve client engagement, increase efficiency and reduce costs,” he said.

“They seek to integrate data and reporting functions for improved user experience and back-office efficiency.

“Helping them connect data enables them to better advise their clients, create greater value and grow their business.”

Hub24’s recent partnership with financial management software myprosperity was an example of how advisers using independent platforms could tap into client data to improve their service proposition, he said.

“[The partnership] enables advisers and accountants to take a consolidated approach and transform the way they service customers by providing real-time, bespoke information to clients on their personal financial position,” he said.

“By minimising time spent on administrative tasks and providing their clients a bespoke wealth portal powered by live data feeds, advisers can grow their digital brand and increase their revenues.”

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