Kardash signals room for non-aligned growth


By Julie May

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Newly appointed ClearView Financial Advice and Matrix Planning Solutions chief executive Todd Kardash has said there is room for non-aligned licensees to enter the market, highlighting he would like to see the overweight 80:20 ratio of institutionally and non-institutionally aligned advisers decrease.

The recent merger between ClearView and Matrix increased ClearView’s network from around 135 to just over 200 advisers, but Kardash said it definitely was not a numbers game for the group, pointing to a better culture being a result of that approach.

“One of the reasons we stand out as a group is we have an emotional connection with our advisers,” Kardash told financialobserver, adding that was a much harder task for institutions, particularly those that oversaw thousands of authorised representatives.

“When you’re a group of that size, it’s all about process and regulation. It’s about all new advisers following the same bouncing ball and one that’s the same size and the same colour for everyone.

“I’d love to see the 80:20 ratio come down and see more ClearView and Matrix-type dealer groups coming to market.”

Kardash referenced a recent NMG Consulting report that showed ClearView was the fifth largest group for risk writing, and fourth considering the licensee in second place was owned by the same parent company as the licence in first place.

“If you consider that we have only been around for three years and achieved this with around 100-odd advisers [being our number before the merger with Matrix], that is pretty amazing,” he said, putting the achievement down to recruiting the right type of adviser.

“I think there is a lot of opportunity for non-institutional groups to establish something in the current environment and I think those that keep culture at the forefront of what they do will do well.”

He said he believed too many advisers and aggressive recruitment targets did not make for an efficient dealer group.

“You need to create the right culture and one that stems from a good management team,” he said.

“You can’t recruit for recruitment sake because if you do that, you drive bad practice development.”

He said ClearView would knock back as many firms as it would put on, adding a lot of the big groups had lost their emotional engagement with advisers as they simply had too many reps to be able to create a solid connection.

“We don’t care if they’re multi-million-dollar firms. At the end of the day our main consideration is what the people are like,” he said of the group’s recruitment strategy.

“There is definitely a lot of movement and dissatisfaction across the market right now and a lot of it is coming from the institutional space.

“And I’m not bagging the institutions, but there is a lack of connection there because they are simply too big. It’s become impersonal and we believe if you don’t connect with your advisers, you’ll lose them.

“People don’t want to feel alone in the playground and regulation has definitely had a role to play. For a lot of advisers they’re getting the one-size-fits-all, cookie-cutter approach and a lot of them want something more.”

Further, he said the synergies between ClearView and Matrix were clear and the cultures resonated extremely well.

“This is one of the most exciting opportunities I’ve been given and I’m really looking forward to what we do in the next two, three years and going forward,” he said of his new appointment.

“We’re happy with the newly established executive team so we’re not looking to add to that, but we will be appointing an experienced practice development manager in Perth in the near future.”

In September, figures from both CoreData and Investment Trends signalled there was a clear increase in advisers looking to switch licensees in comparison to previous years.

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