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Financial Advice NZ CEO hangs up her boots

Katrina Shanks has resigned as Financial Advice NZ CEO. She talks to Good Returns about her time in the role and achievements.

Friday, September 29th 2023, 10:00AM 8 Comments

Shanks is one of the longest serving chief executives of an adviser association in New Zealand.

She was appointed as the inaugural Financial Advice NZ chief executive in 2018, after stints as a National Party MP and CEO of the Funeral Directors Association.

Her initial role was to bring three organisations; the Institute of Financial Advisers (IFA), Professional Advisers Association (PAA) and NZ Financial Advises Association, together into one body.

While Shanks admits she didn’t know much about financial planning when she took on the role, things have changed and she is now a strong advocate for advice.

“When I first started at Financial Advice NZ I obtained a financial adviser for the first time, and this transformed both my financial behaviours and my financial wellbeing.

“I am and will continue to be the strongest advocate for financial planning.”

“I truly believe quality advice transforms New Zealanders financial health, wealth, and wellbeing. This belief has been my point of reference when delivering advocacy, promotion, and ensuring professional standards are maintained.”

Shanks lists a number of things amongst her big achievements including:

  • The mere fact Financial Advice NZ is still in existence five years after it was formed. “It was always an unknown and we have an organisation which everyone can be proud of.”
  • Advocacy - CCCFA – “It was such a poor piece of legislation and regulations. It proved that with a well-designed campaign you can influence change. Having advisers provide 300 stories of how their clients had been impacted within 48 hours certainly provide the fuel for the fire.”
  • Advocacy – CoFI – “The original legislation was so hard hitting on advisers it meant that advisers would have had the FMA and product providers as their regulators. It is very rare a piece of legislation is stalled in the house and changed with an Supplementary Order Paper. It shows you that advocacy behind the scenes can be really effective.”
  • During Covid-19 Financial Advice NZ started daily webinars to bring its members together during the first lock down, and it continues to provide webinars.
  • Stakeholder Relationships, she says, have been key in ensuring “we have trusted relationships which allows the association to have to open discussion on issues that matter and obtain good outcomes.”

As for her biggest regret?

“I would have loved to have spent more time on public awareness of the value of advice and building the brand which supports this.”

Unfortunately the distraction of Covid, along with the implementation of the new adviser regime and the changing business models has hampered this goal.

"Financial Planning has to be the dial mover for people to be able to increase their financial health, wealth and wellbeing. This is an area where I believe we can start to get inroads into policy change and influence the public to understand its value."

She's optimistic about the future of advice. 

"I think the sector is extremely well placed for the future. The new regime will strengthen the sector as it drives towards professionism. With being a professional brings public confidence and trust based on the requirements and traits of being a professional and more people will seek out financial advice."

Shanks isn’t revealing where she is going, but says she has “recently been approached regarding a couple of other opportunities.”

“I have given Financial Advice NZ 110% over the last five years and I feel the time is right for the organisation to have a new leader for the next phase as the organisation matures.”

Tags: FANZ

« Industry should ignore Nat pledge to scrap CoFi: KPMGSouthern Cross is “very supportive” of CoFi »

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Comments from our readers

On 29 September 2023 at 10:08 am JeffQV said:
Thank you for your service Katrina, not an easy journey and one still to be continued, your successor has their work cut out. Good luck in your next venture.
On 29 September 2023 at 11:34 am Bruce Cortesi said:
All the very best for your future Katrina. You have steered the organisation through some transformational times. I recall the first year after amalgamation of the three bodies. A culture shock for some - but in looking back, to be a Financial Adviser - you need to have resilience, and so naturally members would just get on with it. Best wishes for your future.
On 29 September 2023 at 11:39 am Andy the adviser said:
A BIG thank you, Katrina, for your dedication to the industry and its members. Your hard work and diligence is an inspiration to many, both inside and outside the industry.

Best wishes in your future endeavours.
On 29 September 2023 at 6:32 pm JPHale said:
I too echo the comments, thank you for both your service and counsel in what has been a busy period of change for the industry.

You've adapted to the challenges of the industry quickly and well despite the lack of knowledge coming in. On top you joined us in getting level 5 too. That needs to be commended

Go well in your future endeavours.
On 29 September 2023 at 7:10 pm Steve Tutbury said:
I can opnly echo the previous comments. Your enthusiam has been a joy and bright light to our organisation. You will be missed. Your replacemetn will have BIG boots to fill. All the best :)
On 2 October 2023 at 8:09 am Pragmatic said:
Best wishes for the next chapter Katrina. I’m now curious to see who steps in to the role, what sills they bring to the position, & whether the collective vision of the incoming CEO & Board changes. Of course…. there’s always collaboration with FSC to consider…
On 2 October 2023 at 11:11 am Mark Sheehan said:
Thank you Katrina for your hard work and advocacy. Best of luck in the future.
On 3 October 2023 at 11:11 am HusJ said:
Many thanks for doing a fantastic job as CEO. You have been one of the best & will be missed. All the absolute best in your next venture.

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