Advisers should quit ‘ASIC-bashing’

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Advisers should stop criticising regulator Australian Securities and Investments Commission and move forward with what is important, says a business analyst.

“This year, advisers should move forward. We’ve got to stop bashing ASIC. They are there to police corporate behaviour, they are not there to pick or discriminate against anyone. They’re there to do a job,” says MGF Consulting Group managing principal Max Franchitto, who gives best practice advice to planners.

While advisers may not like the change which is happening in the industry, “rules are the rules”, he says.

“Change is inevitable. Let’s talk about how we’re going to manage change. As an industry we’ve been through a lot, let’s get used to managing change without being seen as the group that resists it.”

Instead, this year advisers have an opportunity to focus on quality of advice by selecting the best products, he says.

“A good builder won’t use second-rate building materials. There’s an opportunity for advisers to select out those products which are unlikely to do well. It’s not the product provider’s fault.”

 Franchitto believes 2014 will be the year for consolidation, and planners should “take a serious look” at whether the size of their practice matches the level of service for clients.

“Every adviser is different. There’s no recommended number it’s a question of making sure you’re providing the best advice. Some advisers can handle 150 clients, others 300.

"But 1000 clients for one planner – you can’t say you are going to service that many. Work out what level of service you can provide efficiently then allocate the number of clients,” he advises.

Franchitto believes grandfathering, fees and commissions allocation will remain hot issues for 2014, but encourages planners to be “better change managers” to get through the year intact. 

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