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Financial Advice NZ adds members, focuses on getting voice heard

Financial Advice New Zealand is finding its feet and preparing to advocate harder for members in its second full year of operation.

Friday, August 23rd 2019, 6:00AM 3 Comments

Fred Dodds

Chaiman Sue Brown and chief executive Katrina Shanks addressed delegates at the association’s annual conference in Auckland on Thursday.

Brown said it had been an extremely busy first year for the association, setting up new systems and processes and working out what adviser members needed to support them in their businesses.

That was set against a backdrop of change, she said, in an industry running at a thousand miles an hour to keep up with a changing environment.

At the end of the 2018 financial year, the association had 1,696 members, Brown said, representing 90% of the members of the original founding associations – 60% from the PAA, 34% from the IFA and 6% from NZFAA.

In the 12 months since then, it had added another 151 members.

Almost 60% of members were RFAs, 22% AFAs, 15% CFP AFAs and 4% CLU AFAs.

Brown said in 2018 only 26% of members had been women but in the past year the percentage of women had increased to 39%.

Financial advice should strive to be more diverse and look more like the population of the country the industry wanted to serve, she said.

Brown said the association had ended its first year in operation with a surplus and had been able to build up a small buffer to help reduce the financial strain of future growth. Subscriptions make up 58% of the association’s revenue and the conference 31%. It has also implemented a business partner programme to pay for research to prove the value of advice.

Shanks said the association offered members several key points of value, including knowledge – the regular weekly newsletter was opened by 50% of recipients, she said. It also offered protection through its professional liability insurance and group health scheme. Members were offered access to learning and networking opportunities.

A key part of the association’s role was advocacy, she said. Shanks said while it had been performing well, engaging with policy-makers and decision-makers, there was always room for improvement. She said the association was keen to make its voice heard at the “water cooler” stage – before policies had even progressed to formal submission processes.

The association was trying to build a stronger national media voice over the coming year to make its views heard more widely and get its message across.

Shanks said 9,800 people had used Financial Advice NZ’s “find an adviser” feature on its website in the financial year.

The association is also offering pro bono advice to victims of the Christchurch mosque attacks.

The conference’s gala dinner was attended by more than 300 advisers, industry partners and sponsors.

 

Tags: diversity FANZ annual conference Financial Advice New Zealand Katrina Shanks Sue Brown

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Comments from our readers

On 23 August 2019 at 2:17 pm Amused said:
Hearing the association talk up it’s value of been able to offer an advocacy role it’s worth highlighting a few facts.

1)Financial Advice New Zealand does not have an official regulatory role under the new financial advice regime.

2)The “policy-makers and decision-makers” decided there was no benefit to the consumer in an adviser been a member of a professional body. The FMA had the perfect opportunity to make membership compulsory under the new financial advice regime but didn’t do this.

3)Lenders and insurers are not making membership of an association compulsory either to hold accreditation with them. No change there.

Going forward advisers need to decide whether membership of the association under the new financial advice regime involving licensing adds value. Do your clients currently engage your services for your own abilities or because of the association certificate perhaps hanging on your office wall?
On 27 August 2019 at 9:43 am all hat, no cattle said:
If the only measure of value you're using is new customers, then you are confusing what professional membership is for, and what marketing is.
On 27 August 2019 at 3:07 pm Davet said:
I joined the the association last year not having previously been a member of the IFA or PAA. It has been one of the better business decisions I have made in the past year, there is much value to be derived here and for what its worth I think they are doing a good job and clearly have become a respected voice. And, the Conference this year was one of the better ones I have attended for quite some time.

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Last updated: 19 September 2019 9:02am

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