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Details of Financial Advice NZ yet to be worked out

It is too soon to say what the structure of a new professional association to represent financial advisers might look like, says IFA president Michael Dowling.

Friday, June 10th 2016, 6:00AM 8 Comments

by Susan Edmunds

Michael Dowling

The IFA and PAA have revealed plans to work together to develop a new organisation, Financial Advice New Zealand.

PAA president Bruce Cortesi said more needed to be done to promote the value that financial advice and advisers could offer New Zealanders. He said, with the industry structure as it is, that was not being done.

Dowling said he had come to realise that it was not enough for the IFA to promote its own members. Consumers could not understand the difference between financial advisers as a whole and IFA advisers, he said. More work was needed to change consumers’ perception of the industry.

Cortesi and Dowling said it was hoped that Financial Advice New Zealand would end up with more members than the just under 2000 who are currently members of the PAA and IFA.

But Dowling said it not possible yet to say what the structure of Financial Advice New Zealand might be. Until both the IFA and PAA had received a vote of approval from members, it had not been appropriate to delve to that level, he said.

“We both had to be clear we don’t have a mandate from our existing memberships to spend money on developing an organisation, even researching it.”

He said the IFA and PAA had wanted to take a blank slate and look at what the organisations could look like in 10 years, whether that was significantly different from where they currently were, and what steps were needed to take that.

“This is bigger than just our organisation. If we understand what we are looking to achieve, it doesn’t have to be exclusive. We don’t know yet it fi it would mean the PAA and IFA have to close down. It’s just what can we look like in 10 years, if we want to move to that now we might do that but if we need six years to think and develop that’s what we will do.”

Concerns raised about the status of CFP – a qualification administered in New Zealand by IFA – were valid, he said. CFPs were as few as 1% of all advisers.

“That’s a legitimate concern to have. But it is not our intent to have any group fall by the wayside. One of the things we’ve got to look at is how do we protect the interests of all advisers, how do we ensure specific areas are still catered for?

Tags: IFA PAA Professional Advisers Associations

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Comments from our readers

On 10 June 2016 at 9:34 am R1 said:
Re the last paragraph, I would suggest that there are some advisors whose interests you do not want to protect but rather weed out. Structured CPD around the knowledge, standards and processes for providing best practice financial advise would tick a lot of boxes for me and I expect many others in the industry.
On 10 June 2016 at 1:20 pm Majella said:
@R1 - couldn't agree more. I keep coming across a particular group, based in AKLD but with tentacles as far south as Dunedin, that gives egregiously incorrect-to-the-point-of-negligent 'advice' and will roll ANY policy they come across. We could certainly do with these guys, and their ilk, either being weeded out or, at least, brought up to a minimum standard.
On 10 June 2016 at 10:24 pm Ron Flood said:
Majella. I look forward to the result of your complaint to the FMA against the group you keep coming across that "will role ANY policy they come across" and whose advice is "to the point negligent".
On 13 June 2016 at 11:16 am Paul Sewell said:
The concept is great. We have been working in a cottage industry for decades, we have been fighting each other on ethics and standards for longer. We have manged to increase the perception of distrust and disdain of our industry. If we continue to fight each other rather than working together nothing will change and the small splinter organisations will bumble along.

A blank sheet of paper sound like a great place to start to have a new professional organisation. Get on board and unify the profession, help design this new organisation with the appropriate ethics and standards for financial advice, lets create the confidence and trustworthiness our profession and clients deserve.
On 14 June 2016 at 12:08 pm Tash said:
The concept is great as long as the various members of the two organisations both get what they need from one organisation, the existing members of each respect each other and their respective areas of advice and the superior attitude (unjustified by the way) shown by some over others will have to be strenuously weeded out. Might I also suggest that whatever governing body structure is decided upon, it not be overweight with individuals from one particular arm of financial advice.
On 14 June 2016 at 1:58 pm AFA Muggins said:

I believe the words we use are important. In your response above, you refer to the industry and profession. Which is it?

For a long time I have maintained we are supposed to be professionals, (in a profession). The term 'Industry' has been long overused. Industry produces a product. I see product providers as being in an industry.

If we want to be deemed as professional, along with lawyers, medical experts etc, could you imagine them referring to being in an industry?

Perhaps this also creates questions around product manufacturers having such involvement in our 'profession'.

It would be good to see that any new body clearly defines the roles and involvement or exclusion of parties on that basis.
On 15 June 2016 at 11:33 am Pragmatic said:
A useful starting point is to look at the "industry" through the lens of the consumer. That will help shape a relevant body
On 15 June 2016 at 4:18 pm Paul Sewell said:
AFA Muggins,

Good points but semantics really. Using the word Professional does not make a profession. Which is a side point to my post. I state that I am a Certified Financial Planning Professional with new clients. I would hope that anyone seeking advice would ask the financial adviser what is your experience and qualifications. What is your specialty. How do you charge for your services.

When choosing an adviser you want a professional adviser. Were do you find them is the problem that the public has stated. Perhaps this can be address within Financial Advice New Zealand. I'm sure if this gets off the ground that members will aspire to continue raising the bar in standards and ethics which is just one part of a profession. What we are currently doing as a profession doesn't seem to be bearing fruit in the public minds. Lets get on board and I can't see why with a blank sheet of paper you would exclude anyone at this point. If we have the same values and objectives for the public good and are providing financial advice then lets get on with it. I hope you are interested in helping to shape and joining Financial Advice New Zealand

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