Australian NEWSLETTER JUNE 2018
They Ain’t Just Whistling Dixie…
INNOVATIONS FROM THE US
We recently ran a series of breakfasts at our Pyrmont office to share some of the innovative things we saw last year during our work with US advisers, who are, in many ways, similar to Australian practices. They are similarly sized in terms of revenue and FUM, work through a broker-dealer (licensee), are concerned with changing regulations and compliance, are always on the lookout for good quality people and view succession as a major priority. Their top priority, like us, is maintaining profitability in a market where costs seem to increase regularly, and new clients are harder to attract. The table below provides the context.
As to some of our more interesting take outs from these US advisers…
A number of US practices have begun to seriously focus on specific market segments. Their interests were wide ranging from gen X & Y, through to professional sectors such as dentists and medical, with perhaps the most interesting area we came across last year being divorcees. One Boston based firm facilitates weekend retreats where individuals in the throes of separation come together to discuss a wide range of associated topics from health and general wellbeing, through to their legal rights and the need for professional financial planning.
- Key learnings – niche marketing requires investment of time and resources as well as a longer-term view, requires building a network of aligned professionals to supplement your own expertise and you must maintain the existing business at the same time.
An increasing number of US advisers are making a concerted effort to optimize technology. These practices while truly leveraging the best of technology, however are not being seduced by the latest ‘fad’. They recognize that technology needs to serve them, with integrated functionality being a primary goal. For example; meeting scheduling, ‘alert’ functions, data collected from the fact finder process automatically flowing through to update the CRM, mobile phone messaging converted to file notes stored on CRM. A disciplined approach to social media is being employed.
- Key learnings – requires investment in time and effort to customise to business needs, recognition that 80% functionality is very acceptable, staying focussed on ‘the steak, not the sizzle’.
Lots of effort is being put in to develop and support the ‘life’ aspirations of key staff. External study is encouraged, facilitated and generally rewarded. Principals also; profile any new hire prior to appointment, offer all staff a flexible approach to working hours/location, 4-day working weeks, provide a modern approach to the work environment (crèche for children, masseurs to relieve stress, family days) and regular performance reviews.
- Key learnings – you generally get what you pay for, the above is being offered by small as well as large practices alike. Seek regular feedback from your staff.
For your consideration.
Estate Planning… ensuring the right people, get the right money, at the right time
One of our most popular tools is the Estate Planner – a confidential, web-based diagnostic which assesses how prepared your clients are, in their estate planning. As such, it’s proving to be a fabulous client engagement tool, for those advisers who are willing to invest a little time and effort in going the extra mile for their clients. And, as the following findings indicate, there’s plenty of reasons to do so!
From the latest ABS findings:
- The median duration of marriage is 12 years
- One in three Australian marriages ends in a divorce
- 46.9% of divorces involve children under 18 years
- One in five people who marry have been married previously
On top of these stats, according to Business Health’s most recent CATScan and Estate Planner analysis:
- 53% of clients are aged 60+
- 50% don’t have a binding superannuation nomination
- 25% express concern that the level of their life insurance isn’t sufficient
- 34% don’t have a valid Will
Advisers in motion… reviewing licensee arrangements
Even without the surprising news (8 June) that the Dover group would cease its operations in 72 hours (and its 400+ authorised representatives needed to look for another licensee), it’s been clear for most of this year at least, that many advisers are reviewing their current licensee arrangements.
And while this is a prudent business practice, it is also one that demands careful thought and consideration. Here are our top five tips when considering a change of licensee:
- The decision to remain or leave your licensee is not one to be rushed in anyway as it can often prove disruptive to not only your business’ operation but also to staff and clients alike. In fact for many, changing licensee is the most disruptive of all events.
- Before making any move, have a clear picture of where you want your business to be in say 3-5 years. Yes a plan!
- Evaluate whether a prospective licensee can help you to fulfil your plan.
- Don’t be distracted by the fees, the real question is ‘am I getting value for what I’m paying?‘
- Communicate, communicate, communicate – to clients, staff and referral partners. Keep them abreast of your decision, reasons why and how it will/won’t impact them.
Recent blogs… more from us
- <<Insights from a working class man>>
- <<A few things to start doing, right now>>
- <<Time to start marketing upstream?>>
- <<Taking care of the top 15%>>
Send us your insights and Ah-hah! moments (we love to hear about ideas that are working for you!). Prizes for those we have not heard before. Some we have heard recently…
- Client retention is the new lead generation.
- If you’re looking for new clients, start by examining where your clients came from last year. Why not increase activity in those areas first?
- The easiest way to lose a prospect is to not call them back.
- If you’re not paying for the product, you are the product.
Converting unique insight into practical, proven solutions
We offer a wide range of services, linked by a common goal – to improve the ongoing profitability of advisory firms. For further information about our services you can view our website or simply contact our office at firstname.lastname@example.org.