Workplace financial advice a ‘loss leader’
Working with employers to provide workplace financial advice could be lucrative for advisers but they shouldn't expect to make money out of it straight away, experts say.
Wednesday, August 22nd 2012, 8:43AM 2 Comments
by Niko Kloeten
NZ Funds principal David van Schaardenburg and Professional Advisers Association chairman Peter Leitch, who are both Authorised Financial Advisers, discussed the issue at the Workplace Savings NZ conference.
Van Schaardenburg said the workplace is a useful forum for providing advice and improving financial literacy but not many advisory firms are involved in this space.
"It really requires our industry to make the first step because employers aren't going to come rushing to us. We've got to popularise workplace financial education," he said.
"This place should be chock-full of CFOs and HR directors; these are the people the industry needs to be engaged with to show it's a normal thing to run workplace guidance programmes through your business. It appears very few adviser businesses are doing that at the moment."
He described workplace financial advice as a "loss leader", saying it's an investment in a target market that will likely pay off down the track but won't make money for advisory firms straight away.
Leitch said one of the benefits of workplace financial planning is "you're giving advice in an environment where people feel safe."
However, he said the regulatory regime for financial advisers presented some significant obstacles in terms of providing workplace advice, particularly if it is personalised.
"As an AFA to talk to an employer and their staff is an expensive process both time and resource-wise," he said.
"You have to give a primary disclosure statement and a statement of service to each person then a primary risk analysis to each person... and generally you need to give a statement of advice and a secondary disclosure statement. It takes an awful lot of time and resource."
Niko Kloeten can be contacted at email@example.com
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