Colin Williams (left) and Nicolas Peña Mc Gough

Fewer advisers moved between licensees last year, but in a shrinking industry the proportion of advisers moving has increased.

According to analysis from Wealth Data and Adviser Ratings, 1595 advisers switched licensees last year, which trended down from roughly around 2,500 each in 2020 and 2021.

Proportionally speaking, roughly 7 per cent of advisers switched in 2019, 9 per cent in 2020, 8 per cent in 2021 and 10 per cent last year.

Adviser Ratings econometrician Nicolas Peña Mc Gough tells Professional Planner the researcher is currently doing final checks for the upcoming Musical Chairs report due in a couple of weeks.

“We’ve seen over 2000 [advisers each year] for the past six or seven years [switch licensees] and in 2022 it was under 1600,” Peña Mc Gough says.

Wealth Data principal Colin Williams also confirmed movement between dealer groups has slowed.

“A lot of practices are hiring advisers and they’re finding ex-advisers who have been struggling to find a job, so that’s a positive,” Williams says.

“On the negative side, there’s still people retiring. Do we have enough newcomers to balance retirements? That’s the balancing act at the moment.”

As of Thursday morning, the ASIC Financial Adviser Register sat at 15,855, and has stayed under 16,000 since the fallout of the October adviser exam deadline.

Williams and Peña Mc Gough expect numbers to remain steady after losses of thousands each year since the end of the Hayne Royal Commission, but both note the experience pathway will be a key factor in shaping departures before the 2026 deadline to hold a relevant tertiary qualification kicks in.

“That will determine a lot on how many people will leave, especially the people with more years of experience,” Peña Mc Gough says.

Williams also notes that for departed advisers from the banking networks like ANZ, it was expected they had completed left the industry, but this wasn’t the case.

“They came back; Count hired quite a few and the majority of these people came back into advice,” Williams says.

“There are advisers coming back and new entrants which is good. It’s not enough but it’s much better than what it was at this time last year.”