The first quarter of 2021 has seen the fewest amount of advisers leave in three years according to research from Adviser Ratings.

The latest Musical Chairs report found 433 advisers left the industry in the first quarter of 2022 compared to the record 1,810 advisers that departed the previous quarter due to the FASEA exam deadline which included 847 leaving in December.

For perspective, adviser numbers shrank just over one per cent compared to 6.5 per cent in the final quarter of 2021.

“After an unsettling final quarter of 2021, the new year heralded a return to stability for the advice market, but as always, the promise of change on the horizon looms,” the report stated.

Previous research from AR predicted the number of advisers to fall to 14,964 by the end of the year. Data published on Thursday afternoon from Wealth Data shows the ASIC Financial Adviser Register is currently at 17,044.

“As we enter the second quarter of 2022, almost 900 advisers are yet to successfully complete the FASEA exam given the extension received after the deadline for end of 2021,” the latest report stated. “They have until September to do so.”

Data previously released by AR found the exam extension wasn’t a popular move, with two-thirds being against it. Only 32 per cent passed the first iteration of the ASIC adviser exam in January.

Switching places

Moving activity across licensees in 1Q22 mimicked the previous quarter, the research found, with just over 600 advisers finding new homes.

“The shifts among licensees were fairly consistent across the three months, with a slight rise in activity in March.”

The report stated the start of the year typically doesn’t bring as much switching as the two middle quarters.

“Many advisers are still settling into the post-lockdown phase, with a mix of office and remote work, but as networking increases throughout the year, we also expect to see a rise in licensee musical chairs. Corporate activity will probably bolster this, as banks and insurers continue to exit advice.”

Some 62 per cent of advisers are now licensed by privately-owned boutiques.

Indecision 2022

With attention shifted towards the election, the report noted both parties are angling for advisers’ votes but a survey from AR found advisers don’t support any change.

“By and large, they said no. In fact, more than three-quarters were not in favour of a change.”

Speaking on a Financial Planning Association webcast earlier this month Jones said he was “100 per cent committed” to enacting the experience pathway if he gets elected and said this week he is confident Labor will form government.

Jones first announced the policy proposal last December which led to the government putting it up for consultation.

Data from YouGov currently projects Labor winning 80 seats which is more than enough to form government.

One comment on “‘Return to stability’: Q1 sees fewest advisers leave in three years”
  1. Avatar
    Jeremy Wright

    With any change, the first impulse is to react from a self preservation and “how will I be impacted” position, which is totally understandable.

    Where it gets more difficult, is when your personal position, needs to include what is good for my Industry, my clients and then myself.

    Let us take the horrendous position we were all placed in, where after many years of ongoing study and the accumulation of many Industry qualifications, we were then told, bad luck, you will need to do much more and for Insurance risk specialists, you will be forced to study subjects, of which most of them have NOTHING to do with the work you perform.

    On top of that, your income will be on hold for 2 years for any action a client takes to reduce or cancel policies, no matter what the circumstances. Your cost to provide your advise and services has skyrocketed and to add insult to injury, we will reduce your upfront income to do all the work by 50%

    Now, let us get back to what is good for the Industry and for all Australians who need advice and Insurance to protect their life’s work.
    What has happened is water under the bridge and the loss of 11,000 Advisers, with the resulting financial and emotional impact for all Australia is a national disgrace.
    It is what happens next that is crucial to allow the Financial Planning Industry and especially for every Financial Planning Business, who understands that the foundation of every Financial Plan, is to protect their clients current Capital and revenue streams if they die or are unable to keep working.
    What happened in the past, where a outside specialist risk Adviser, or an internal Adviser would look after this crucial area of advise, has effectively gone due to the costs, time and risk of working in this space.

    This is a mult-billion dollar problem that has far reaching consequences for everyone.

    What is the solution?

    There is a very simple answer and has been explained countless times and to date, NOT ONE PERSON IN GOVERNMENT OR ANY REGULATOR has bothered to look at the solution, which defies belief.

    The ONLY WAY this is going to be fixed, is when Insurance advice is separated from Investment advice and risk advisers, ONLY study relevant subject matter.

    What we have today, are vested interest groups like the Education lobbyists who understand NOTHING about risk advice, though saw an opportunity to force thousands of risk Advisers to pay thousands of dollars on irrelevant studies and through their own ignorance, did not see or worse, did not care about what we warned would happen.

    So, we get back to, for all Advisers, what is best for my clients first, my Industry second and me third.

    The answer is to make Life Insurance Advice, a separate Industry that has separate introduction qualifications and ongoing requirements and MORE IMPORTANTLY, make it attractive enough for potential new advisers to want to join, as today, it is the total opposite.

    If this occurs, we will be able to properly look after our clients and bring some premium stability, while keeping quality policies due to the rising Adviser numbers who can write the required Billions of dollars in new Business and also help retain the existing premium pool so the Life Insurers can bring back sufficient reserves and profitability, which in turn will enable them to pay commissions to Advice practices for all the required work, that we all know clients will not pay a fraction of what it costs to provide.

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