MLC's Geoff Lloyd

MLC Wealth has begun a strategic review of National Australia Bank’s self-employed licensee channel and re-branded NAB’s financial planning and asset management businesses, according to an update chief executive Geoff Lloyd sent to the group’s advice network.

The update was part of the roll-out of a new strategic intent and operating model Lloyd announced this week, the first significant news to reach the group’s broader network since Lloyd was appointed to lead the soon-to-be spun off wealth business at the end of last year.

In the announcement Lloyd emphasised the group’s plan to invest in and grow advice, but he also noted that the way advice has been delivered in the past needed to change.

“Over the last year, it’s become very clear that the Australian wealth management industry needs to change fundamentally. The industry needs to get better. MLC needs to get better in order to deliver higher quality outcomes for clients,” Lloyd said in a note seen by Professional Planner.

“We believe strongly in the advice profession and the need for Australians to access high quality, professional advice that fits their needs and life stage. Our new operating model reflects this, with our advice business a key pillar of the new model,” he said.

MLC Wealth’s new operating model is built on four individual pillars: advice, platform, retirement & investment solutions and asset management. Each pillar will be a stand-alone business, Lloyd explained.

The group will re-brand NAB Financial Planning and NAB Asset Management to MLC Advice and MLC Asset Management respectively.

Lloyd stated MLC Wealth is committed to continuing both employed and self-employed advice models, but he flagged that a strategic review of the aligned dealer groups business was under way.

In addition to NAB Financial Planning, the group also owns GWM Adviser Services, JB Were, Godfrey Pembroke, Apogee Financial Planning and Meritum Financial Group. More than 1400 authorised representatives were under these licensees this time last year, according to Professional Planner’s 2018 Licensee Survey.

In February NAB announced it had put on hold the divestment and public-markets exit plan of its MLC Wealth until at least the second half of this calendar year.

Since its announcement to put its spin-off on hold, Westpac announced its exit from owning advice, which has led to Securitor and Magnitude authorised representatives looking for a new home or pursuing self-licensing.

“We want to lead in the advice industry and are committed to continuing both employed and self-employed advice models. We will reshape our advice businesses to be successful and sustainable, servicing clearly identified client segments,” Lloyd said.

There will be 10 executive positions reporting to Lloyd once the structure of MLC Wealth is finalised, he said. The group has already announced the governance and compliance as well as the client, digital & marketing executives with the further appointments expected to be announced in coming months.

Smith is the editor of Professional Planner’s print and digital platforms. He is an experienced financial journalist, editor and multimedia producer who has held senior editorial positions both in mainstream press and trade media.
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