Helen Blackford (top left), Pina Sciarrone and Matt Brown.

The institutional exodus from advice has taken away a key supplier and trainer of new talent, creating a void that hasn’t been replaced according to a panel.

Appearing at AIA’s online Adviser Summit webinar Wednesday afternoon, Matt Brown, Australian Unity executive general manager for advice, noted the financial services minister’s acknowledgement of the underwhelming adviser pipeline.

“I know the minister and shadow minister have started to talk about this more recently with the proposed amendments to education standards and getting the balance right,” Brown said.

“But I can’t help but think of some of the benefits of yesteryear and one of the unintended consequences is one of the very engine rooms that created career changers or new starters to our industry have gone.”

Brown said there is a “void” with the departure of those institutions.

“The banks – for all their actual [or] perceived woes – invested heavily for many years to help bring through that next generation,” Brown added.

“Alisdair Barr [founder of advice and accounting networking and recruitment firm Striver] and others in the industry are doing great pockets of work but I don’t see that next generation coming through.”

Barr told Professional Planner in January the industry needed 2,500 to 3,000 people joining in support roles that met the education baseline to sustain the industry.

“Last year there were 300 people graduating with an approved degree out of an Australian university, of which about half of them made their way into the financial planning profession,” Barr said.

Also speaking on the panel, chief executive for Insignia licensee Millennium3, Helen Blackford, said the industry lacked a grand plan for how to replace the advisers that left the profession over the last 12 to 18 months.

“That next generation of advisers coming through and our ability to find advisers to increase numbers and provide that accessibility is certainly something we need to focus on,” Blackford said.

Brown said the industry also needed to improve mental health in the industry.

He quoted figures from a report AIA did last year with Dr Adam Fraser that found 73 per cent of advisers were feeling run down.

“That recurring nightmare of the 5, 10, 15 year plus of reforms, reviews, review of a review, reform of a reform… the scrutiny has had its toll,” Brown said.

“Mental health has been spoken about more in recent years, but it does still worry me.”

One comment on “Departure of institutions leaves new talent void”
  1. Avatar
    Jeremy Wright

    Matt and Helen make some very cognizant observations and have seen first hand how the Industry has changed and not for the better.

    The world has become so focused on negativity and criticism that is looking for everything bad, while ignoring all the good things and worse, not having strong enough people with the wisdom or experience or the courage to stand up and voice valid arguments without fear of recrimination via the WOKE movements, that has led us to the point where there is a higher willingness to appease the noisy minority and destroy what was a good system which needed tweaks, only to be left with utter UTOPION visions with little clarity and less ability to fix or even replace what they helped destroy.
    The movie, Don’t look up, with Leonardo De Caprio and a swathe of A lister stars, is a classic example of where the world is heading, where focus groups and their opinions are far more important than the truth or even reality.
    It could be seen as a parody of where the Financial Planning Industry is today.

    The Inquiry into the Corporations Act, which grew from 400,000 to 800,000 words and has been deemed by everyone as too complex and wordy, ironically was given to the Australian Law Reform Commission to simplify the maze.
    The interim report from the ALRC was 664 pages long and was as complex as the Law itself.
    Electing a fox to look after the hen house, may seem a good idea from the woke fox lovers who feel they have been misunderstood, though as usual with the woke brigade, they do not bother to understand the inherent way a fox thinks or acts and even after the wise fox has killed all the hens, the woke experts will say, lets put more hens in and ask the fox to be more cognizant of the hens welfare.
    Asking a Lawyer to simplify the Law, is the Fox and hen scenario.

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