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Workplaces may become battlegrounds for advisers

Workplaces may be the key to engaging future generations of financial advice clients.

Tuesday, January 26th 2016, 6:00AM

by Susan Edmunds

Growing numbers of advice firms and product providers are providing workshops and seminars to workplaces as a way to get people who otherwise would not seek advice to start engaging.

Providers such as NZ Funds, Super Advice Services and Wealth Works are some using the tactic.

Richard James, of NZ Funds, said his firm was working with about 150 companies running workshops and would deal with about 5000 employees a year, offering its MyWealth platform.

He said it was done partly as a marketing strategy for the firm and partly as a type of pro bono work.  "We think it's a good thing to be doing."

NZ Funds would monitor the number of clients it picked up through the workshops, he said, but it was product neutral and did not promote any KiwiSaver scheme.

He said it was designed to get people thinking about their financial situations and how they could accumulate wealth. "Once they do, we hope they choose to do it with us."

He said employers had a strongly growing role in helping people switch on to products such as KiwiSaver, and New Zealand's experience would probably mirror that of other countries. "It's part of a wider programme... built around an idea that workplaces are the battlegrounds of the future."

James said he had been surprised at how open and welcoming employers had been. 

Wealth Works is an advice firm offering workplace seminars. It offers investment, mortgage, KiwiSaver via multiple providers, business and property investment advice.

Amy Wilkes, managing director, said workplace seminars were something that the company's advisers liked doing.  "People take the information on board. Whether they do anything about it is another story."

She said any time it was possible to get in front of people and talk about the issues, whether that was through a workplace or another outlet such as a sports organisation, was a good opportunity.

Allan Rickerby, of Super Advice Services, said workplace schemes were a cost-effective way to deliver advice to a large number of people.

Tags: financial advisers

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