Dealing with negative media coverage and making full use of the power of digital technology are among the big opportunities and challenges facing financial advisers today.
This was reinforced by a number of panelists at a recent ifa round table discussion of industry experts, where the most commonly agreed view was that the big challenges facing financial advice could be flipped to be its biggest opportunities.
ANZ Wealth managing director Alexis George says the media, public and politicians are levelling “incredible scrutiny” on financial advice, which is a challenge given the negative media coverage that results.
But this publicity and public discussion in itself also creates opportunity as awareness and understanding of financial advice increases. George says communicating the good work advisers do and embracing digital technology “from an end-to-end perspective in the advice industry”, particularly to reach Millennials, is a challenge and a great opportunity.
It was a view reinforced by Orion Financial Group director Sacha Loutkovsky, who says increasing questions and need for information from clients, particularly in light of public debate on financial advice, creates a great opportunity for advisers.
This opportunity and challenge was picked up by ANZ Wealth insurance managing director Gavin Pearce who says the best response is to communicate to customers what advice offers and why it has value. He explains that using this approach to reach people with an untapped advice need is a big opportunity – making them aware of the need and encouraging them “to come through the front door” was the challenge.
Fortify Financial managing director Glen James clarifies that this untapped need is explicitly obvious in those who approach direct channels for financial solutions, but realise they can’t “do it themselves” and need coaching, creating a very clear need for advisers.
He adds that utilisation of technology is a continuing challenge, particularly linking back-end technology to compliance and regulation needs.