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Associations expecting 'yes' vote

PAA’s chief executive says he would be very surprised if his organisation's members did not vote in favour of the establishment of Financial Advice New Zealand.

Tuesday, June 28th 2016, 6:01AM 14 Comments

by Susan Edmunds

Rod Severn, his counterpart at IFA, Fred Dodds, and the two presidents of the organisations, Michael Dowling and Bruce Cortesi, held a series of sessions with members of the IFA and PAA around the country last week to discuss their proposal for a new adviser association.

Severn said the feedback from members had been positive. “There was a good turnout in each location and nobody came into the meeting with any negative ideas.”

He said some members had wanted more detail than was available at this stage. “Some said they think it’s a good idea but they can’t give a view until we can give more detail in the future. All we are asking for at the special general meeting is to approve the creation of Financial Advice New Zealand.”

He said, once that hurdle was passed, he and Dodds would have the job of working out the mechanics of the set-up, including its constitution, budget and structure, which could take six to nine months to achieve.

“I was expecting a bit more pushback than we got but everyone was positive, so I’m delighted. I’d be bitterly disappointed but also incredibly surprised if we didn’t get a positive vote based on what we saw in those groups.”

Members will be given the chance in a month's time to vote on the proposal.

Dowling said the response had been positive at the sessions he was responsible for, too.

“We expected that the response would be largely positive, which it was, because that was the feedback we were getting via email. But we had people who said at the start they were not comfortable with what was being proposed but then said ‘you’ve won me over’.”

Dowling said everyone involved had made a point of not getting into the detail yet. Once the IFA and PAA members were on board, the goal would be to take the idea to the wider adviser community, he said.

Financial Advice New Zealand is being tipped as a more consumer-focused body, which is believed to be a move supported by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.


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Comments from our readers

On 28 June 2016 at 5:15 pm Murray Weatherston said:
At the risk of being labeled mischievous, can I say it is not surprising that everyone was positive and no one negative.
After all the proposal is at this stage simply a blank sheet of paper.
Michael is attributed to have said "everyone involved had made a point of not getting into the detail yet."
I reckon I would get a similar response to a proposal to introduce (unspecified) tax reform. Everybody would be in favour because they would assume that "their personal version" of tax reform was what was being proposed... yeah right.
On 28 June 2016 at 9:09 pm Doddsy said:
Vision and Strategy ( Detail ) are both important , but there is a priority to them.
Vision always comes first.
and this is a good Vision Murray.
Mischevious as you may be, you are smart and we will be calling on you

On 29 June 2016 at 4:17 pm Murray Weatherston said:
Hi Fred
We might as well continue this in the full glare of the public. It might be a clarifying exchange for all.

If it's "such a good Vision", can you articulate that Vision is in say 60 words or less so that those of us who are not a current member of either PAA or IFA but must be suspects/prospects for a new body can get a better feel for what is on the blank page?

In order to make your task easier, let me give you the first words "The vision of the new body is......" and ask you to fill in up to the next 54 words?

Other lurkers on this blog should not be bashful and should have their own attempt at the task I have set Fred (crowdsourcing in action).

If there are 10 or more contributors who give it a go by cob on the 4th July, I'll send a bottle of liquid from Rheims or Epernay to the author of the best answer.
Cheers Murray
On 1 July 2016 at 1:40 am said:
Try this for FANZ Fred.

"The vision of the new body is to help create an environment to better the financial advisory industry in New Zealand by promoting the effectiveness of financial advisors to the public of New Zealand. To represent financial advisers, in regulatory interactions. To promote, ongoing education opportunities and knowledge sharing within suitable fiduciary standards.”
On 1 July 2016 at 2:45 pm blogger billy said:
how about;

the vision of Advice NZ is to help the NZ public find out where they can find financial advisers they can trust, and who are competent.

unfortunate that Advice NZ shortened is ANZ

On 1 July 2016 at 11:18 pm blogger billy said:
Almost forget to add;

At a fair price.

No not free since most things that are free are usually worth about what they cost

Or sometimes free advice really means a sales pitch
On 2 July 2016 at 12:29 pm Murray Weatherston said:
Thanks Mike and billy for your entries. Ms Google has ID'd Mike for me, but billy's ID is unknown.
While I profess absolutely no expertise in the process of and wordsmithing of strategic planning, both of you have phrased your words in terms of what the new body would do, how it would do it and to whom. The way I understand the strategic planning jargon, these concepts are more the stuff of Mission Statements.
My understanding is that a vision statement is more lofty and envisions what the future would look like.
In order to promote more discussion, let me paraphrase the best definition I have ever heard of financial planning in words that I think a Vision might be expressed.
I hasten to add that this is not an entry in the competition (the promoter is banned from entering) but merely a teaser to get more advisers thinking about something that they should be thinking about.

Vision Statement for a new body promoting advice - A future where everybody either can assess for themself, or knows where they can obtain assistance to assess, whether they have sufficient financial resources to achieve all their lifestyle objectives through time, and if they have a shortfall, what they need to do to search for and implement a solution which balances their objectives and their resources.

Brickbats (and bouquets) freely accepted. Open debate should encourage a better outcome.

At least 8 more entries and someone will be popping a good cork. FYI, I am going to bend Fred and Rod's arms to join me on the judging panel.
On 4 July 2016 at 11:43 am CathyM said:
Hi Murray
I penned a few thoughts last week that probably sound a bit lofty, but went something like this:
Purpose: Its purpose is to maintain a high standard in the financial advice sector to ensure all New Zealanders have access to financial advice, and can gain greater financial literacy and support to ensure better outcomes on the road to, and throughout, their retirement years.
Strategy: Its strategy is to ensure its members are seen as trusted leaders in the financial advice sector. Being the result of an amalgamation of several bodies, it is built on a strong foundation, equipping its members to stand out as professionals in the marketplace.
I visualise it providing ongoing training and support to members via five streams: Financial Planning, Insurance, Investment, Mortgages and General Practitioner. Members join a stream or several streams where they maintain and grow their knowledge base.

I also see the organisation being very visual/vocal to ensure New Zealanders know where to go for help. I see that as being a critical element of this new organisation. Joe public should not be in the dark about what financial planning is all about, whether its getting adequate insurance or gaining an understanding on their KiwiSaver, and they need to know its within their reach - not just for the rich and famous!
On 4 July 2016 at 12:21 pm PM said:
From my Linkedin post
Philip, a vision statement is essentially about a desired change in society; so it's an excellent thing to "open source". For Financial Advice New Zealand, it'd be something like: "New Zealanders have accumulated the financial resources they need to fund how they want to live in their retirement". That's actually the easy bit. The hard bit is Financial Advice New Zealand's mission statement, or how they plan to help New Zealanders achieve that vision. The good thing is that a unified adviser body is very well placed not only to come up with a mission statement, but to deliver it.
- Paul Gregory (FMA)
On 4 July 2016 at 12:53 pm AFA Muggins said:
Interesting that the FMA representative thinks financial advice from the advisory profession is purely about retirement funding.

What about cashflow management, cashflow planning, paying debt off as fast as possible, saving and accumulating for goals, ensuring estate planning and asset protection is dealt with, etc

Are those just as important when giving financial advice? I guess it is about paradigms, experience and backgrounds as to the perspective we bring to the table.
On 4 July 2016 at 1:57 pm DeeP said:
Competition entry:
Financial Advice New Zealand
Our vision is for people to be empowered in their financial decision-making through having access to sufficient information and resources to put strategies in place to achieve their lifestyle objectives.
On 5 July 2016 at 8:56 am said:
Murray W and Landlord of Never Never FMA Land, I struggle to understand how a professional association can compel it dues paying members to achieve visions without the words provide, support, benefits and advocacy for its members somewhere in the statement.

Please google the phrase “visions statements new Zealand professional associations”. The list starts with IT Professionals of NZ and traverses many quango’s, however I must have missed the Law, Medical and current Adviser associations before I got bored after page 3 of the search. Perhaps a vision statement is really irrelevant in terms of what the FANZ should be for Advisers.
On 5 July 2016 at 11:00 am Murray Weatherston said:
Hi Mike

I do understand where you are coming from.But there is a framework definitional issue.

I too have done some Google search and have found there are a lot of different interpretations of what vision statements and mission statements are. [There are huge consultancies who make a good living out of this stuff!]

The line I got onto on my "international" search was that the Vision Statement is more like "what the world will look like once the organisation has achieved its mission." its Martin Luther Kings "I have a dream.."

The mission statement is more operational and answers four main questions
1 what does the organisation do?
2. Who does it do it for?
3. Why it does what it does?
4. How it does what it does.

My interpretation is the words "provide, support, benefits and advocacy for its members" fit squarely in the Mission Statement framework and not in the Vision.

The answers in the Mission are the bits that potential members will weigh up in determining whether to join or not.

So its not that the things you call for are not important. The new body will have to figure that out too.

Mike I will send you separately some descriptions of what (a) vision Statements and (b) Mission Statements that I cut and paste from the sites I looked at.

While the competition closed last night with fewer than the required 10 entries, the judges are meeting today over a "virtual bottle" to see if we can agree if any of the 5 entries is worthy of the prize. [Spoiler - I think there is at least one so worthy.]

If Good Returns had had a voting capacity, we could have had a People's Choice Award as well to show the judges don't necessarily reflect the mood of the people.
On 6 July 2016 at 1:00 pm Murray Weatherston said:
Here is the result. I ended up being the sole judge because on reflection, it could be inconvenient for Rod and Fred to be seen endorsing any view before their Associations had voted, and before they had made any progress on turning their blank piece of paper into an actual organisation.

So the sole responsibility for the decision rests with me.

Thanks to the 5 entrants. It disturbs me that there weren't a lot more as this might be one of the most important issues facing PAA and IFA this decade. Are the other 1900 members just not interested?

My view on what a Vision Statement is should be clear from this blog - it is not a Mission statement. Some of the other entrants are good candidates for the Mission Statement. Also i share a view expressed above that "why do people think financial advice is only about retirement planning.

So I have much pleasure in awarding the Champagne to DeeP for what at least I think is teh best Vision Statement entered viz "Our vision is for people to be empowered in their financial decision-making through having sufficiient information and resources to put strategies in place to achieve their lifestyle objectives.

If DeeP would make themself known to me (I'm not hard to find in the Auckland phonebook) or via Phil or Susan at GR, then I will arrange for the delivery of the prize.

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