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Cortesi courts current members

Initial feedback on the formation of Financial Advice New Zealand suggests that advisers want an industry body that provides a strong voice to product providers and regulators - and demonstrates to the public that advisers offer good value to clients.

Tuesday, January 3rd 2017, 6:00AM

The consultation phase for Financial Advice New Zealand wraps up with a nationwide series of Adviser Forums between January 31 and February 9, and advisers are being urged to have their say on the structure and constitution of the new organisation. (See Diary for dates and locations in your area).

Financial Advice New Zealand will replace the Institute of Financial Advisers and the Professional Advisers Association, however the Working Group says it's essential that everyone understands that this is not a merger.

While some people have preconceived ideas on what Financial Advice New Zealand should look like, what it stands for and how it positions itself, PAA President Bruce Cortesi says "if we'd gone down that track it's almost more of the same." As a completely new body, Cortesi says that Financial Advice New Zealand is being created from a blank sheet of paper so industry input is critical to get the shape of the new organisation right.

The Working Group is following a 100 day plan proposed by leadership expert Dr Lester Levy that is designed to be as inclusive as possible. The aim is to have a framework and constitution to vote on by early May, and IFA President Michael Dowling says a key driver will be the benefits for advisers, the industry and consumers. Something "that had to pay off for everyone."

The IFA and PAA have just under 2,000 members between them, but Financial Advice NZ will be pitched to a potential membership base of between 5,500 and 8,000 advisers.

In an email to PAA members, Cortesi acknowledges people are cautious about change, but encourages them to get on board with the Financial Advice NZ proposal.

“Change we can deal with, but when the security and sense of belonging to a place one calls home – the PAA, is on the table for change then I understand that some of you may feel a little cautious.

“The passion for me to be part of the Working Group for Financial Advice New Zealand is how we can achieve better outcomes for our members, acknowledging the huge role you play in lives of many New Zealanders. You are the unsung hero that continue to focus on seeing that next person – giving advice and helping people make the right choices financially whether it’s in insurance, mortgage finance or investment.

“You see, this is where the consumer message comes in with Financial Advice New Zealand. It is about supporting you in this space, telling consumers what you do, advocating on your behalf so that consumers feel they can engage with our industry without fear, uncertainty or embarrassment for a lack of financial literacy.

Cortesi says for Financial Advice NZ to be successful advisers need to engage in the development phase:  “You all have thoughts, questions, ideas – they are all worthy to be heard, they are what you think, how you feel, and what are important to you either as an individual, a business or a group. These conversations need to be shared, expressed and considered.  Whilst not everyone may share your perspective, I can assure you that you will be respected for sharing it and expressing it. That is non-negotiable.

Tags: Financial Advice New Zealand Professional Advisers Associations

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