SMSFs want adviser collaboration

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Adviser collaboration is the most effective way to disrupt SMSF businesses.

The most effective way to disrupt SMSF advice businesses for increased efficiency is not through technology, but through collaboration between different types of financial advisers.

That was the message from CommSec Adviser Services head of advised distribution Andrew Stewart, who told the SMSF Association National Conference 2018 in Sydney last week that SMSF investors wanted advisers to work collaboratively.

Stewart pointed to research that referred to sources of advice and the need for collaboration between advisers.

Commonwealth Bank of Australia’s “The SMSF Report”, compiled in association with the SMSF Association and released in 2017, showed that while 63 per cent of advised SMSFs used one adviser, 25 per cent used two advisers and 4 per cent used five advisers or more.

On average, SMSF investors have 1.4 advisers, with 37 per cent of advised SMSF members seeking advice from more than one source.

“Why is collaboration so important? There are some stats on that,” Stewart told conference delegates.

He noted 49 per cent of all investors said they consulted their financial adviser or more than one financial adviser to compare opinions and confirm the advice they had already received.

“But at least 20 per cent of them said that they’d like to see their advisers or their primary source of advice work more collaboratively with other industry participants,” he said.

“So the question to you is what are you doing in that regard, and perhaps I’m preaching to the choir here; the fact that you are here and dealing with a range of different SMSF providers and advice givers says that you’re actually already embracing this.”

The report, based on an online survey of 1375 Australians conducted by ACA Research, also showed 29 per cent of SMSFs sought multiple advisers for their different areas of speciality, while 12 per cent sought multiple advisers to get the best result and make the best decision.

When it came to recommendations, accountants were the second most powerful influence on adviser selection after family and friends for advised SMSFs.

“For financial planners seeking to expand their SMSF clientele, that underscores the value of strong referral partnerships with like-minded accounting firms,” the report said.

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