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Convergence of financial service roles to be seen as an opportunity

Financial services in 2013 is seeing the broking and planning professions increasingly converge. This week Wealth Professional caught up with Mark Woolnough of ING Direct for his insights into how this convergence can produce opportunities for planners.

Video transcript below:

Stephanie Zillman:  Financial services in 2013 is seeing the broking and planning professions increasingly convert.  Mark Woolnough of ING Direct says the industry convergence represents an opportunity for planners.

Mark Woolnough, ING Direct
Mark Woolnough:  I think for ING Direct we are trying to follow the trend and keep abreast of the whole financial services world.  Recently with the integration of our Advisor Division and our Broker Division into a true third party distribution model, we are actually able to learn a lot on both sides and to share wisdoms and war stories for want of a better term with the respective partners, as we see that convergence model really working together and promoting a lot of opportunities out there for both planners and brokers.  
Stephanie Zillman:  With the FOFA reforms due to roll out as of the 1st of July, Woolnough says the industry changes may have caused a reluctance among planners to enter the mortgage space, but this needn’t be so.
Mark Woolnough:  With FOFA planners are still a little bit of shy of looking at mortgages, but they understand the value of diversification.  So we are seeing a lot of brokers potentially having some chances and opportunities to create some networks and to connect with financial planners and I think that spells some good news ahead for consumers.
Stephanie Zillman:  While significant opportunities abound for planners willing to expand their skill set, Woolnough adds that entering the mortgage space must be done with careful preparation.
Mark Woolnough:  Look, I think there is a select few that can actually pull off the mortgage broker and the financial planner very very well.  We see an element of that within our portfolio, but what you are starting to see now is that professional networks are actually starting to move closer together and they are prepared to talk to one another and potentially still operate under the same brand.  For the consumer it’s just a holistic advice, but it’s more strategic partnerships and joint ventures behind the scenes.  So I think that works quite well when a trusted advisor on either side can forward a referral to their trusted partner and colleague to look after the customer.
Stephanie Zillman:  This is Stephanie Zillman reporting for Wealth Professional TV.
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