From left Liam Shorte, Anne Graham, Keith Cullen and Julia Newbould.

The departure of the banks from wealth, otherwise known as “Wexit”, led to advice practices scrambling to find independent licensees after the Hayne Royal Commission.

Satisfied with their licensees until their demise, the speed at which they needed to find a new dealer group created headaches for practices and weighing up the costs versus benefits of prospective licensees.

Speaking at the Professional Planner Advice Practitioner Summit on Wednesday, Verante Financial Planning director Liam Shorte said he’s in a “fairly expensive” dealer group and doesn’t consider paying a higher price a detriment.

“We wanted stability, guidance where it’s needed and the ability to run our business the way we want to run it,” Shorte said.

“You can go for the lowest costs but you’re not going to get the services. Dealer groups don’t make a big profit; very few of them turn a profit. Make sure the right people are in there that you want to work with and that they have the same focus as you.”

Shorte said working with the right people in place that have the same focus as your practice is important.

“If you pick the wrong one you can be stagnant for a long time,” Shorte said.

However, before going the self-licenced route Story Wealth Management CEO Anne Graham was less impressed with the offerings from dealer groups.

“Everyone overpromised, overcharged and underdelivered – like constantly across the board,” Graham said.

Shorte said the drawback with a lot of dealer groups is the services can be one-size-fits-all. His business is heavily focused on SMSFs.

“Problem is that [our practice] isn’t a normal business, we do complex work,” Shorte said.

“When you’re with a dealer group, they’re looking to cater/dumb it down to make sure the lowest quality adviser is doing everything correct, but that takes every other adviser along that route of compliance as well.”

Going it alone

In 2019 when the banks pulled the plug on their association with financial advice, many advice businesses were left scrambling to find a new home.