Kim Payne, managing director of the Melbourne-based financial services consultancy (previously called Experience Wealth Consulting) said she is seeing a change in attitude from her clients and more generally in the industry.
“I think advisers are looking at 2013 from a different perspective,” she said. “Last year was all about uncertainty and fear about FOFA and new compliance requirements, but now there’s been a shift towards acceptance of these changes.”
While most planners are turning their attention back to “bread and butter” issues such as business modelling, client lead generation and retention and staffing, Ms Payne said there is a small segment of the industry with its “head in the sand” in relation to FOFA preparedness.
“There are some advisers who still have a lot of work to do to get ready [for the reform implementation date] and for them it is still scary, but the majority of the planners I work with have come to terms with [FOFA],” she said. “So the fear hasn’t necessarily passed but there is more acceptance of the new climate and a little more optimism around.”
Shifting levels of comfort with FOFA notwithstanding, Ms Payne said there are a number of other common challenges being raised by financial advisers.
Chief among these concerns is technology, and the ways electronic platforms can be used to provide enhanced advisory services to clients. “Advisers are keen to find ways of doing what they’re doing better, cheaper and faster,” Ms Payne said.
“In 2013 it’s about being rock solid about who you are as a business, who clients are and what they want. The ones who are clear about their mission will be the winners this year,” Ms Payne said.