Adviser: Why I handed in my AFSL

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Troy Edmondson, a previous winner of the AFA Adviser of the Year award is handing back his AFSL and joining the newly formed national risk specialist dealer group Affinia.

Edmondson said, “After holding the Licence for a number of years, the compliance obligations were taking me away from running a specialist insurance and estate planning practice. I want more time with my clients not less.”

He said the obligations were not necessarily difficult, but extremely onerous, and as the practice grew he was “dragged more into licensee land”, despite outsourcing their compliance. “If you look at what’s happening now with PI costs increasing as well, that was a concern to me. So I looked around at options because I really wanted to be an adviser full time.”

Since the end of January this year, Edmondson has been talking to all his advisers to give them plenty of time to decide what they wanted to do. A number of existing advisers under Edmondson’s Queensland-based Business & Estate Planning Specialists Licence are also joining him at Affinia.

“I think it’s a difficult time going ahead for boutique licensees…If you get to the stage where you have ten to 50/100 external advisers, I think it’s going to be difficult because you lack that scale.” Edmondson didn’t want to go full time into running a licensee and growing in scale, so he decided to be an adviser full time.

He says now that he has made the decision, there is no way he will go back. “I thought it would be great to have our own AR, and it was good fun in the early stages, but it’s become more and more onerous…I’d rather concentrate on being a business proprietor rather than running an AFSL at the same time.”

Affinia general manager Craig Parker said Affinia would “remove the noise” so that advisers could do what they do best – see more clients.

“We are serious about our network enjoying a seat at the table and having a voice to the continued design and evolution of Affinia. Troy brings very strong expertise as we evolve into a major risk specialist dealer group of choice.”

Edmondson said the Affinia offer is competitive, and that the group is clearly keen to help risk advisers run their business, and profitably. Having an open APL not aligned to a big institution was a key differentiator that enables advisers to pick the products that best suit a customer’s need.

“The daily blog I receive from Keith Abrahams tells me to pursue my passion, so that’s what I decided to do. Running the business and providing advice to small business owners around their risk management and estate planning needs is what I am passionate about, and joining the Affinia group enables me to do that.”