History damaging advisers' future

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The financial planning profession has come a long way in the past 30 years.

Those that have been involved in it during that time are grateful that training and supervision have increased and boosted the reputation of the profession.

Kenn Williams, who has been involved in financial services since 1981 says, “What WAS claimed to be planning for best interest  – and certainly can no longer apply, thank goodness – for the client was little more than legalised and undisclosed, unwitting “robbery” whereby the manufacturer enabled high commission charge-outs with lifetime penalties upon the unsuspecting consumer.”

However, other professions may still be holding this past again advisers. The touted ‘war’ between financial advisers and accountants is based on a view that’s 30 years old, according to M&A consultants Radar Results.

“Since the early 80s, financial planners have always been 'looked down on' by accountants. Some accountants have, in the past, believed that their clients were poorly advised by certain life-insurance agents disguised as financial planners…The FP industry has come a long way since then,” said the firm in its latest newsletter.

Radar Results is calling for an end to the animosity, saying that the “accounting industry's foray into the planning industry is really only just starting”.

Williams agrees with this view and is already ensuring that he has a close working relationship with his clients’ accountants.

“I consult with accountants and keep them in the loop to ensure we get the ‘best interest’ piece right, given that, as a rule, the Accountant is usually the first point of call when our client needs confirmation for actions planned. The process is then somewhat seamless and more likely to stay in place for longer.

“I do believe the future will be much more aligned for the two professions, with the very real risk for Fin Planners that they may well lose some serious ground as a result. We will need to adapt to the new market offers in order to retain and progress our relevance.”

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