Marc Fabris

Creating a business to service a declining market might seem like a nonsensical business move, but Marc Fabris believes the launch of Risk Hub will help facilitate more access to much-needed risk advice.

Risk Hub, which launched to the public this week, is a peer network and professional development network, like Ensombl (formerly XY Adviser) but with a core focus on risk advice.

“I’ve had people go ‘hang on, don’t you only have a couple of 100 people that would be interested in this?’,” Fabris tells Professional Planner.

“I have this simplistic view of three groupings of advisers: the ‘riskies’ who do a lot; the ‘holistics’ who maybe do a little, not much; and then the non-risk writers who just don’t want to.”

Data from Adviser Ratings earlier in the year found there are roughly 3400 advisers that write risk, but only around 150 “pure risk” advisers.

Fabris accepts the dire straits facing the risk advice sector, but sees the opportunity not only in the couple of hundred risk specialists, but the 3000 to 4000 advisers dipping their toes in risk.

“That is the biggest opportunity to help growth and that’s the conversation I’ve had with insurers,” Fabris says.

“What we want to try get to is to help with the trust, the knowledge and understanding of strategies. Some people used to do risk and have gone away from it because of efficiency issues, some maybe don’t know how to bring it in the process and need assistance.”

Fabris believes that group doubling or trebling the amount of risk advice they write would have a profound impact of the accessibility of life insurance. “All of a sudden the industry is coming back again.”

“Risk specialists are a key target to help with [their] efficiency and engagement,” Fabris says.

“Yes, it’s a smaller pool – there’s maybe a few hundred – they are absolutely screaming out for a bit of help.”

Small foundation

The hub was launched this week and has the backing of insurers PPS Mutual and MLC Life Insurance. “We’re starting small and we’re planning to build this out,” Fabris says.

“I love the industry. I’ve been in this industry for a very long time. I love it and I’d love to be one those people making a real difference.”