Viewpoint: The mother of all natures

By Renato Mota, General Manager Distribution

When I think of the financial advice industry of recent times, it bears resemblance to Mother Nature at its extremes - on one hand providing sustainability and wellbeing for those that embrace it and on the other extreme, events that challenge its very existence. While the analogy may seem a little farfetched, our industry has faced a plethora of profound challenges over recent years. That said, it seems that green shoots are emerging in our industry, as business models are more robust and better placed for the next evolution of advice.

Last year most organisations de-prioritised innovation to focus on regulatory projects. The regulatory projects changed the way we do business however did little to improve the efficiency or affordability of advice. Our greatest objective at IOOF, has been to provide support to our advisers throughout the implementation of these projects. I’m pleased to say that while our projects have been successfully implemented, there have been some important learnings about how we can improve our communications and better empower advisers to facilitate change with their clients. I would like to thank all the advisers that have provided valuable feedback in recent months.

IOOF’s growth and success is adviser driven

As some of our competitors look to build advice and engagement capabilities directly targeting investors, IOOF continues to be driven by adviser engagement. I’m delighted by our recently announced half year results 2013/14 which reported a 75% increase in flagship platform net flows. The group’s profit is up 14% at $58m on the corresponding period of the previous year and the number of advisers we partner with has doubled over the past 2-3 years. 

Fewer regulatory headwinds – refocus on value-adding activities

With major regulatory change mostly behind us, we are excited about the next 12 months and getting back to creating improved functionality and a broader range of services for advisers and their clients. Our renewed energy is also buoyed by the confidence that rising markets and low interest rates are giving, not only our industry, but ultimately your clients as investors.

Don’t miss IOOF’s Leadership Series 2014 in May!

Finally, keep an eye out for details of our upcoming national Leadership Series in May. Entitled ‘How emerging social and economic trends in Asia impact us’, we’re delighted to be bringing advisers an insightful array of speakers with Bernard Salt, leading Australian demographer, as our keynote speaker, followed by a panel of economic and investment experts from Alliance Bernstein, Perennial and IOOF.