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Fisher and Barratt offer advisers The Answers

A new dealer group has been set up, predominantly for risk advisers, which is based on a co-operative model.

Thursday, December 7th 2017, 10:55AM 9 Comments

Simon Fisher is the CEO of new dealer group The Answers

The Answers has been established by Simon Fisher and Greg Barratt from Preferred New Zealand. Fisher was previously the sales manager at Partners Life.

They are looking to limit membership to just 100 firms and each firm will be treated equally no matter how big they are.

Fisher says each firm will get one share and one vote.

“It’s not the Simon and Greg show. This is their business.”

Preferred NZ, which has around 20 advisers, will be one member of the group. About 20 other firms have already joined The Answers.

The idea of the co-operative structure is that the group is run by advisers for advisers.

Under this model “the big boys can’t bully the little boys and make changes that would be detrimental to them,” Fisher says.

He says in some of the more traditional group models changes can be made by one or two people.

“They can make changes that affect hundreds of people.”

Fisher says the group isn’t just about aggregating business for commissions, rather it aims to provide services to its members that they want.

Likewise the co-operative isn’t just about providing things like discounted professional indemnity schemes or discounted members of external disputes resolution schemes.

“We want to assist businesses to achieve their business goals,” he says.

Barratt says with regulation coming there are questions about whether over-ride payments from life companies will continue. He says The Answers isn’t relying on overrides.

One thing it plans to do is develop referral services for its members and this will generate extra income and revenue for participants.

“One of the biggest issues with most financial adviser groups is the way they come to depend on over-rides from insurers. Answers members benefit from a range of alternative revenue streams from real estate, accountancy, ACC and other sources.”

Barratt is a director of the new business and Fisher is its chief executive.

Tags: Dealer Groups Simon Fisher The Answers

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Comments from our readers

On 7 December 2017 at 12:06 pm The Oracle said:
I disagree with Simon's comment. in fact it is blatantly incorrect. I am part of one of the largest risk dealer groups, and the dealer group is subject to 75% shareholder vote for all major decisions That's 75% of the shareholders, not shares. Meaning over 30 people make the major decisions, not just one or two. Maybe a lack of experience on your part, Simon....?
On 7 December 2017 at 12:32 pm dmcdougall said:
I am all for free speech; I have spent 36 yrs protecting that right, but it needs to be factual. As the new CEO of a Dealer Group, I object to the inference that we bully our smaller members.

I have been brought into this company to assist in taking it into the future and my vision of the future is a collective of highly performing Advisers, that are members because they want to network with similar Advisers, they want to information share and problem solve for the betterment of the sector and they are committed to delivering a quality fit for purpose solution to all clients.

My vision has always been focused on improving NZ Inc, by giving everyone that I have contact with the opportunity to develop to be the best they can be.

I would never be party to any company that did not share my vision. Here at Newpark strategic decisions are made by the Board and the Board is appointed by a 75% agreement of all shareholders, not one or two people.
On 7 December 2017 at 2:56 pm Murray Weatherston said:
Disclosure I am a Director-designate of Newpark

The use of comparative advertising was described by Harvard Business Review as "a minefield".

The article above reads to me like a supplied press release.

It includes several thinly veiled comparators, favourable to themselves and adverse to their competitors, like Newpark. It is perhaps interesting to note that many members of Newpark write a lot of policies for Mr Fisher’s former employer, Partners Life .

Comparator ad strategies are difficult even when the facts are correct, but are downright dangerous when the facts are plain wrong.

With respect to Newpark, the following facts will show Messrs Barratt and Fisher’s innuendo is wrong
1. Major shareholder Darren Gannon has stepped down as Managing Director and will now be a director with special emphasis on special projects
2. There is a new shareholders agreement being put in place that requires 75% of shareholders by number (not of shares) before the shareholders can make a decision
3. There will be a five person Board, only one of whom is a shareholder. Independent Chair is Sir Bob Harvey. This Board designate has already met twice.
4. Over the last 6 months, a full management team has been introduced. The CE comes from the Navy.

With respect to other “fake news’ in the article I understand that “aggregating business for [higher] commissions has not been a feature of the industry for almost a decade.

Also if The Answers believe that they will be the only member oriented offering, they are sorely mistaken.

Newpark has set a definite course for the future. This course is structure agnostic. Newpark will be preparing for its own financial provider licence, and some advisers will choose to provide advice on behalf of that licensee; other advisers will want to obtain their own financial advice provider and Newpark will help them as well.
On 8 December 2017 at 11:07 am Scott Black said:
Nice to see another adviser focused group being set up, but I think SHARE, Plus4 and some of the other existing cooperative models might object to this being described as "new" or "innovative". SHARE has been a cooperative owned and run for advisers, by advisers for the last 10 years.
But I suppose imitation is the sincerest from of flattery.
On 8 December 2017 at 11:58 am MediCare said:
Ouch!! The new boys have clearly touched a nerve. Sounds great to me.
On 14 December 2017 at 1:24 pm Adviser1 said:
It's about time the FMA gave us an idea of what it's going to cost to licence as an individual vs being part of a dealer group/FAP. We need to make business decisions.
On 14 December 2017 at 6:56 pm Murray Weatherston said:
@Adviser1
Using Rumsfield's classification system, there are at least 4 "known unknowns"
1. how much will FMA charge a financial advice provider for a licence, both the initial application fee and the annual renewal?;
2. how much will a dealer group FAP charge a financial adviser for the opportunity to provide advice on behalf of that FAP?
3. what minimum requirements will the FMA impose on FAPs with respect to what its financial advisers can do and how they have to be controlled?; and
4. what additional requirements (above those minimums in a CYA exercise) will the dealer group FAPs place on those financial advisers that they allow to give advice on their behalf?

And then there are the "unknown unknowns."

From where I sit, answers to my 4 simple questions probably won't be knowable until well into 2018, about a year from now.
On 15 December 2017 at 9:01 am Barry Read said:
The current cost for a QFE application is $4,886.22 an AFA is $1,144.89, so my best guess is somewhere in between. Note there is additional cost if it takes the FMA longer of $115.00 plus $178.25 for every hour, or part-hour pro rata, of work carried out by a member or employee of the FMA in considering the application. So my guess is licence will cost somewhere between $2K - $5k.
On 15 December 2017 at 9:17 am Adviser1 said:
Thanks Murray/Barry, interesting times ahead.

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