Base salary set to rocket financial planners

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The future appears to be looking bright for Sydney-based financial planners after a new survey suggests they will receive a substantial annual salary increase this year.

The increase, highlighted in the 2014 Robert Walters Salary Survery, indicates a pay rise of up to $50,000 from 2013 for senior financial planners and up to $25,000 for financial planners. But what exactly is behind the salary jump?

Pamela McDonald, Robert Walters' manager of financial services operations and financial planning, said it is partly due to FoFA regulations, which are moving away from commission-based models and into a fee for service structure.

This has seen base salaries adjusted as commissions stop being collected, she said.

“It’s going to change the market. Some of the advisers and planners aren’t too happy with it. It will be a period of adjustment,” she said. “From the client’s side, they are expecting a lot more. They are looking at what’s happening abroad and becoming more market savvy.”

The move towards fee for service may have contributed to the Australian wealth management sector becoming one of the biggest growth industries during the 2013 year, due to the necessity for increased customer engagement in order to focus on retention and winning market share.

This sector saw busy activity particularly in financial planning, where qualified financial and para planners were in continuous demand and moved between organisations.

The survey indicated that salaries in banking and finance are expected to grow on a year-to-year basis on average by 2.81% in comparison with 2013, and those who can communicate on a commercial level are set to receive the biggest increases.

McDonald said customer interaction will continue to be important.

“There is a big focus on client service here. Clients are more aware and expect a much higher level of service. It’s one area we’ve been seeing a lot of recruitment at the moment,” she said.

Other trends in the financial sector include increased competition for chartered accountants with commercial experience, rising popularity in hybrid roles which bridge the gap between finance and wider business, and more positions opening up across the board as the economy continues to improve.

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