Sequoia is likely to be the fastest-growing financial advice licensee in calendar year 2023, according to research from Wealth Data.

Noting that final ASIC Financial Adviser Register numbers for December will be released this month, the research covering most of the year found that Sequoia – which has 349 advisers listed overall – gained 33 advisers over the year, followed by Shaw and Partners with 22 (taking it to 196 in total), and Castleguard Trust (which owns Lifespan) with 20 (277 total).

Conversely, the two largest licensees – AMP (871 advisers) and Insignia (783) – lost 50 and 135 advisers, respectively. Both made the top three for losses, with WT Financial Group sliding in at second place with a loss of 58 advisers.

Wealth Data noted WT Financial Group’s decline was partly due to its acquisition of Millenium3, which itself lost 18 advisers over the year, for $2 million. Insignia put the firm up for sale last year as part of a re-shuffling of its licensee business that preceded the announced departure of CEO Renato Mota.

“The licensee owners with most gains are quite modest compared to the losses at a license-owner level,” Wealth Data founder Colin Williams said in his weekly analysis of the ASIC FAR data.

“Much of this has been driven by advisers leaving larger licensees and commencing their own. A total of 112 new licensees have commenced [in the year to date].”

The final number of advisers listed on the FAR at the end of 2023 was 15,667, with a net loss over the year of 131 advisers.

The three-figure loss is a fraction of losses in previous years, with 1335 leaving in the 2022 calendar year along with the loss of thousands of advisers each year since 2019, after the conclusion of the damning Hayne royal commission which has seen the departure of 12,000 from the FAR.

When it came to new entrants, there were 383 provisional advisers added, which is still below what is needed to replace departing advisers and close the advice gap but has still improved every calendar year.

After a rocky 2019 and 2020 with fewer than 100 advisers commencing their PY in both years combined, 245 started in 2021 along with another 341 in 2022.