Business development managers (BDMs) have enough on their plate dealing with the issues facing financial planners, and won’t be able to cope with the demands of both advisers and brokers.
This is the assessment of outspoken business consultant Max Franchitto from MGF Consulting Group, who has attacked the culture of pushing “product features and benefits”, which he claims is the hallmark of a mortgage broking BDM.
“Based on my three decades of financial services management and consulting I have seen the BDM role change shape and focus on numerous occasions, so here are some points that may challenge its success when combining the dual roles,” he told Wealth Professional sister title Australian Broker Online.
“Financial planning is a specialist field with many complex issues. BDMs have enough on their plate keeping up with what FoFA means to the planner and how they can add value to the relationship.
“Financial planning BDMs are supposed to offer ‘business development’ support to advisors, not push product features and benefits – which is the hallmark of a Mortgage Broking BDM.”
He added that a BDM who works across both financial planning and mortgage broking will need to have more than just good sales skills: “in the least a degree in financial planning and ideally an MBA”.
Advisers who deal with a dual-role BDM should also expect to see a lot less of them, said Franchitto, as the product knowledge and legislative knowledge required alone would mean that the combined BDM would have to spend more time reading that actually seeing advisers.
“Then the ultimate question remains; will they be working to develop the business opportunities of the product supplier or that of the practice?
“What credibility rating will the advisor give to the knowledge and level of expertise the BDM may bring to them?”
While clearly skeptical of the move to merge the financial advice and mortgage broking BDM role, Franchitto concluded that only practical implementation will determine whether this is a good move.
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