Trustee profile not static: report

The profile of SMSF trustees is not fixed and is likely to move into one or two other categories over time, the latest industry report has revealed.

The joint study by Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) and the SMSF Association, “CommBank SMSF Report 2017”, released this week, found four distinct SMSF profiles: outsourcers at 13 per cent, coach seekers at 22 per cent, self-directed investors at 30 per cent and controllers at 35 per cent.

“This research shows a likely propensity of migration for SMSFs to move through to a different group or two,” SMSF Association chief executive Andrea Slattery told a media briefing in Sydney this week.

CBA head of SMSF customers Marcus Evans said the movement between SMSF trustee profiles was an important outcome to consider, particularly for financial advisers.

“One of the things that came out of this report is that there’s no hard [state] of a trustee and they’re not all going to fit into one of those categories,” Evans said.

“For coach seekers, as they age and the life stages of their fund progresses, then they tend to migrate into the controller [category] and potentially though to becoming self-directed.

“So not all profiles are static.

“Advisers need to be flexible and they need to understand what profile their SMSF clients fit in best and work to deliver an advice proposition that most closely aligns with that because there has been a tendency across the industry to provide services that are more cookie-cutter.”

However, he also highlighted a distinct, opposite trend for the outsourcer cohort.

“They don’t seem to migrate across categories,” he said.

“I guess if you’re an outsourcer, you’ve got that mindset of wanting someone to deal with the mundane stuff and they will stick to making high-level decisions.”

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