Colin Williams

Five of the country’s six largest licensee owners dominate adviser losses in 2021, with declining numbers at the major groups remaining “out of kilter” with the market as a whole according to Wealthdata director Colin Williams.

The five groups – IOOF, AMP, NTAA, Easton and Synchron – all have over 400 advisers under their umbrella yet have lost more than 100 advisers this year, Wealthdata says.

While losses average out at -9.08 per cent for all adviser groups over the year, the figures at the top end are far more dramatic.

“To put the losses at the five groups into context, the losses in percentage terms range from -18.25 per cent at Easton to -25.3 per cent at IOOF with an average of -21.91 per cent,” Williams says. “If we remove the bottom five from the results, the net loss of all advisers would be -4.55 per cent.”

The losses paints a picture of an industry struggling with a supply problem driven by educational, ethical and regulatory standards raised in the name of increased professionalism. And while the search for scale at licensees continues, the numbers also point to an adviser cohort eschewing institutional-sized licensees in favour of strong mid-tier dealer groups.

Not all of the losses at the top end have been regrettable, however, with groups like IOOF and AMP deliberately streamlining their networks. As noted by Welathdata, many are also utilizing service-only propositions to retain the business of advisers gravitating towards self-licensed status.

“It should be noted that some of the groups listed had stated their plans to reduce their adviser numbers,” Wealthdata states. “Additionally, there have been some cases whereby practices have left a licensee to commence their own AFSL and now use support services from their old licensee.”

After the top five largest licensees, the losses begin to dry up with brokers Morgans and Centrepoint, which recently acquired Clearview, faring better.

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