2018 and 2019 have seen significant shifts in the landscape of financial advice in Australia.
The major banks are either in the process of exiting the wealth management market, or have already done so. This is a significant change for the industry and, more importantly, for clients seeking ongoing financial advice.
The adviser team at Lifewealth all worked at major institutions at some stage in the distant past, most notably ANZ and Westpac, with the latter announcing earlier this year its exit from “the provision of personal advice by financial advisers” (Brian Hartzer, Westpac CEO) and the sale of the advice division to a relatively new licensee – Viridian Advisory. The salaried advisers at Westpac | BT need to find a new home by 30th June, 2019 – time is short.
We certainly understand the challenge for clients in moving away from a trusted financial adviser after a long relationship. We also know that many clients have experienced adviser turnover before with the major institutions and it can sometimes feel like ‘once bitten, twice shy’.
What is also clear is that the need for financial advice is as important as ever, notwithstanding the challenge of finding a trusted adviser to be by your side, and working for you, in the years to come.
The hope remains that this reshuffle within the Australian financial advice industry will be a positive for the consumer – the pre-retiree concerned that their hard earned savings will be enough to see out their days comfortably; the parents worried that they have provided for their family should something unforeseen occur; the individual who has money to invest and is fearful of making poor strategic decisions that have long term negative implications.
For the financial advice clients of the major banks, whether it be Westpac, ANZ or any other, this is a time of potential uncertainty depending on their own circumstances and, possibly, that of their current financial adviser.
The client – adviser relationship is one that should deliver peace of mind and happiness through sound strategic advice, borne of a genuine understanding.
Our recommendations if you are starting the search for that trusted adviser for you and your family:
- start now
- seek a referral from someone you trust
- don’t underestimate the importance of feeling comfortable with a professional who listens to you in order to understand what matters most