financial advice

Qualified advisers could grow specialist pool

Stockbrokers and Investment Advisers Association Financial advice UniSuper Andrew Gregory Euroz Hartleys Amanda Bryce

The introduction of the qualified adviser into the industry could be the catalyst for increasing specialised practitioners in the future.

The establishment of the qualified adviser practitioner class could act as a growth trigger for the provision of more specialised financial advice to Australians in future years, a senior superannuation executive has suggested.

Speaking on a panel at the Stockbrokers and Investment Advisers Association 2024 Conference UniSuper head of advice and education Andrew Gregory told delegates: “The [advice] sector is not growing and if we look at our best estimates the [numbers of] professional advisers in this market over the next five years will be flat if not falling. So where is our pipeline of talent coming from, and secondly, who is employing that talent?”

“So what this qualified adviser [category] provides is an option for businesses like mine to invest [in the future]. I can grow teams, I can build technology, I can build things that give people employment opportunities, career paths, [and] give them a transition from [being] a qualified adviser to [becoming] professional adviser.

“Without that I really worry [about] what’s going to happen to the financial services sector longer term.”

Fellow panellist Euroz Hartleys head of advice Amanda Bryce echoed these sentiments describing the initiative as a good move for the sector.

“If we can just broaden out the net and the pool, and [given] the challenges of representation we have in our industry as well with diversity, it will only differ if we broaden the net,” Bryce said.

“So if we have various pathways for people to become advisers we’ll have deeper, richer people in our community.

“So I see it as a very positive change that could come from this.”

Panel moderator JB Were head of advice Andrew Bird concurred the measure will potentially address some of the flaws presented by existing adviser recruitment practices where a reliance on back office operations progression is common.

“Having this channel actually gives us the ability to curate a whole new group of people through a system [where we can] make sure they’re properly educated around advice, markets, [and] investments [etcetera] and give them a career path,” Bird said.

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