Clayton Daniel (left) and Bryce Quirk

CFS has joined up with XY Adviser to launch the Professional Year online community hub as part of its new people and culture platform Elevate.

The platform provider built the service in collaboration with advisers to help attract and develop the next generation of practitioners by offering free training, online content, networking events, and collaboration tools.

The learning content created by CFS’ investment managers and its technical team CFS FirstTech will also be made available through the platform.

XY Adviser, which is due to rebrand, was co-founded by Clayton Daniel in 2014 and has become a key online social media portal for advisers, with the group’s head of community Emily Blanch speaking at a conference in Silicon Valley last month on community building.

CFS launched a trial of the Professional Year Hub two months ago, which featured over 150 Professional Year advisers trialling the hub.

Catalyst for change

The firm said a major catalyst for developing the platform is the shrinking adviser base which is now below 16,000.

It also noted the difficulty the industry will have replenishing lost advisers, citing Adviser Ratings research which found there is a six-to-one ratio of departing advisers versus new entrants.

CFS distribution group executive Bryce Quirk said Elevate has been designed based on feedback from advisers.

“At CFS, we believe that quality financial advice is vital to helping Australians achieve financial freedom in retirement, and we are committed to building a stronger and more sustainable advice industry,” Quirk said in a media release.

“Over the past decade, we have seen a significant reduction in the number of registered financial advisers and a fall in the overall number of Australians who are able to access financial advice.”

Quirk added the firm sees a role in identifying and addressing gaps that are making it difficult to meet the demand for quality financial advice.

“Advisers are increasingly time-poor and do not have the same access to human resources tools and resources like large organisations do,” he said.

“CFS Elevate seeks to address this gap by providing advisers with the support they need to successfully attract, develop and retain their people.”