Scenario, strategic advice takes centre stage


By Daniel Paperny

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Midwinter Financial Services has introduced a new educational program suite in a bid to provide advisers with comprehensive training on strategy and scenario financial modelling in the wake of the Future of Financial Advice (FOFA) legislation.

Known as The Midwinter Academy, the initiative will draw on the company’s AdviceOS financial planning software and allow advisers and their support staff to undertake training specific to their solution through a digital portal that will track progress across both online and mobile channels.

Midwinter chief of technology and executive director Andrew McClelland said in the past 10 years there had been a “rapid increase” in demand among advisers for digital training opportunities that had better end-user experiences.

McClelland noted Midwinter’s offering was targeted towards helping both licensees and large advice practices in particular, which were in a period of transition away from legacy systems and were faced with the challenge of training staff on the implementation of new software solutions.

“The Midwinter Academy was created as a result of identifying this issue, ensuring that software training undertaken during a transition is done with minimal disturbance to advice businesses,” he said.

“With the introduction of FOFA, advisers have moved from a ‘reasonable basis’ world to a ‘safe harbour’ world where they must act in the best interests of the client.

“With advisers having a formal obligation to act in their client’s best interest, the importance of strategy and scenario modelling has now taken centre stage.”

Midwinter Academy users will have access to a range of courses on major aspects of the AdviceOS financial planning software, including client relationship management and administration, product analysis and insurance advice.

The training modules will be facilitated via webinars, online courses, video tutorials, paperless training manuals and software updates, with users receiving rewards and incentives for each course they complete.

McClelland said the company had sought to pave a “digital pathway” in the realm of financial planning by helping to raise the educational standards of advisers.

“Staff training can be a burden for principals, but – at the same time – completely necessary, because the better your staff know the software they are using, the more efficiently they can perform their role,” he said.

“With [the] increased complexity of strategies, advisers are turning to their software providers for assistance in modelling those strategies. This is where The Midwinter Academy will provide additional value add for advice practitioners as it will ensure easy access to even complex modelling training.”

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