Financial planning group Futuro Financial Services says it is experiencing a significant spike in enquiries from planners who are eager to join the licensee with six new practices signing up so far and more on the way.

Typically the Future of Financial Advice reforms have been cited as the main reason for switching although Futuro managing director Dennis Bashford said the six had little in common.

“They have not come from any one area. Some have been self-licensed businesses opting to hand back their licences, others from both small and large dealers,” he said.

Six new representatives signed up to the Futuro national network in June, a further four are expected to join in coming days and still more in August.

“This rush goes against expectations because most believed there would be little activity in the immediate wake of FoFA while people sorted out what the impact would be,” said Bashford.

“Instead, however, planners now better understand the tough, new realities and that there is a need to act quickly.”

Change of perspective

BASHFORD_DennisEDMAccording to Bashford (right), there have been a number of reasons cited for the move by planners who have approached Futuro. Some were concerned that their existing AFSL’s were not properly prepared to handle the many changes required under the FoFA regime.

He also believes there is a growing understanding that FoFA will encourage the mind shift from running a practice to running a business and the type of support needed to make this happen.

“Planners have had enough of the uncertainty caused by financial markets and regulation,” said Bashford. “They are looking for stability and clarity in how they operate their businesses. They understand that to maintain and grow profitability they will have to do things differently than they have done in the past.

“Costs are a major factor for small planning firms. Higher costs resulting from compliance with new regulations is something that has to be address by small AFSL’s and practitioners alike, with the later needing to factor in the complexity and distraction of managing a license plus having access to the level of expertise and resources required to be successful in this new world.”

Since 2002, Futuro has grown to cover some 84 authorised representatives in more than 50 offices nationally. Futuro announced in March 2012 a staged sale of its business to Charter Financial Planning.

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