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Estate Planning, Financial Planning, Succession Planning

New body to focus on skills before size

SAPEPAA skills size

A new representative body will retain its boutique status for some time after its launch as it focuses on specialisation ahead of scale.

The founders of a new association pitched at advisers working in asset protection and succession planning have stated that while it is aimed at a wide range of advice practitioners, it will remain a boutique body promoting the specific skill sets of its members.

Succession, Asset Protection and Estate Planning Advisers Association (SAPEPAA) director Grant Abbott said the current development plans for the fledgling body were focused on the need to promote and build specialised skills rather than on the size of its membership.

“Is it going to be a huge membership over time, with thousands of members like the accountants? Absolutely not, as this is a highly specialised, strategic area. You can’t build a bloodline trust or succession plans without that encompassing knowledge,” Abbott said.

“I see this as a boutique, but a strong boutique. With anywhere between $3 trillion to $10 trillion changing hands in the next 20 to 30 years, it is an area for us to work into, as SMSFs will only represent 5 to 10 per cent of this total equation that we are looking at.”

SAPEPAA director Michael Jeffriess told selfmanagedsuper the fledgling body would be seeking accountants, financial planners and advisers, lawyers and other professionals with relevant experience as members.

“The expectation for membership numbers are initially up to 1000. As the working groups work through further discovery, we will have a much better idea of targeted expectations,” Jeffriess said.

“The member numbers will be driven by ensuring we have high standards of education and competence. This may limit numbers to a boutique level simply due to the need to meet the entry level requirements.

“We want to ensure the SAPEPAA designation is held in high regard, but certainly if more people meet those standards, we would take more members.”

He added that criteria for membership would include a degree qualification and members must currently be working in financial services in an advisory capacity and have an ongoing commitment to continuing professional development in the field in which they work.

The association had yet to open its doors to members as it was still in the process of setting up working groups to further develop its own education standards and build the framework for its administration and operation, he said.

“We have more than 50 individuals who have shown interest in being a part of working groups for the formation of the association. These working groups are dealing with areas such as the standards, branding/marketing, finances, education and membership,” he said.

During a recent online update, Abbott said SAPEPAA, which was unveiled in December 2020, was currently finalising foundation memberships, with a formal launch set to take place in March.

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