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Complexity 'helps advisers'

Increases in the complexity of the financial landscape could help New Zealand advisers, says Plan B Wealth Management’s new owner, IOOF Holdings.

Wednesday, February 20th 2013, 6:00AM

by Niko Kloeten

ASX-listed IOOF completed its purchase of Plan B, which has offices throughout Australia and in six locations in New Zealand, for A60c a share in October last year.

IOOF chief executive Chris Kelaher said the purchase was “fundamentally a domestic initiative” but gaining access to New Zealand’s financial adviser market was a secondary benefit to the company.

“The success of the KiwiSaver regime has heightened interest with respect to quality advice,” he said.

Kelaher said besides KiwiSaver, another factor that could boost the financial planning industry in New Zealand is increased Government attention.

“One of the things it’s fair to say is in Australia in particular, the more government interaction in the industry the higher the complexity and the greater the importance of quality advice,”  he said.

“The amount of government regulation has increased markedly in Australia to the point it’s a bit like tax returns; the man on the street is probably incapable of filling in a tax return and it’s the same with financial planning.”

Kelaher said IOOF was looking to increase its number of advisers in New Zealand using a “quasi-franchise” model: “we provide the licencing and underlying services but the adviser runs the business.”

But he said IOOF wasn’t planning to expand geographically beyond the major centres where Plan B already had a presence.

“If you looked to run an outpost in every town in New Zealand or Australia you would spend a lot of money with not a lot of outcomes.”

Niko Kloeten can be contacted at niko@goodreturns.co.nz

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