It was a year like no other, and the team at Professional Planner did our level best to keep advisers abreast of the industry, regulatory and investment news that defined the period.

There were some surprises in our most read list this year, and some stories that panned out exactly as we though they would. As always, most of the stories that mattered for our audience were the ones that affected the way advisers go about their business.

No surprise, then, that two of our top five stories centred on a landmark suite of regulatory advice reforms.

So here we are, the most widely read – and shared – stories published by Professional Planner in 2020.


1. FASEA axed, FDS and OSA docs to merge in landmark day for advice

FASEA will have its functions spread across Treasury and a single disciplinary body sitting within ASIC, while – in a much-needed compliance win for advisers – annual fee renewals will be combined with financial disclosure statements.


2. The pandemic’s silver lining for retirees

No one’s doing it tougher than aged care clients in this crisis, but there is a chance some of the events that are transpiring could be of considerable benefit in the future.



3. Financial Adviser Licensee Owners List 2020

The great wealth exit by the banks has played out in the last 12 months and is now reflected in shape of the industry as many advisers have chosen to go down the self-licensed route and many more have left the industry entirely.


4. ‘Watershed moment’: Annual opt-in, independence disclosure bills released

Advisers have a scant five months to overhaul their operations after the government made good on its promise to roll out some of Hayne’s most impactful royal commission recommendations.


5. Sunsuper sees ‘overwhelming flow’ of unadvised members flocking to cash

As unadvised superannuation fund members panic-sell their way to the cash, advisers and their clients are heeding the lessons learnt in the global financial crisis.


6. IOOF discards MLC licensees and shuts down FSP

CEO Renato Mota said the group has taken the “very deliberate” decision to de-risk the MLC acquisition by leaving most of its licensees behind and asking advisers to come across to IOOF’s own brands. Additionally, IOOF has wielded the axe to its FSP brand and taken another step towards a simpler, salaried adviser model.


7. $3,558 per client, per year; the new normal

Research into the advice market suggests a new benchmark for revenue per-client that can be used as a prompt for advisers to check in on their own remuneration. It’s also a stark reminder of how increasing costs are affecting advice businesses.


8. FASEA extensions now unlikely this week

The FASEA deadline extensions promised to financial advisers look like they will be scuttled this week thanks to a Labor amendment attached to the Bill in advance of its planned introduction to the Senate.


9. Six mid-tier licensees surge, others falter

Licensees just outside the top ten largely lost ground in line with the rest of the industry this year, while some spectacular falls were matched by half a dozen significant success stories.


10. ‘I don’t mention I’m from AMP’

Advisers licensed by AMP admit the latest round of scandals has made them reluctant to admit their link to the company. Yet most think De Ferrari is still the man to lead the institution back from the brink.

Professional Planner is the leading source of news, information and analysis for Australia's professional financial planning community.
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