The CEO of the AIOFP, Peter Johnston, reports on the latest conference.

Hi, arguably the greatest panel session we have had in 24 years of member conferences was this session, masterly compered by AFR WEALTH EDITOR Aleks Vickovich.

It is the first time ALL the major industry stakeholders have participated in a discussion focussed on acting in the best interests of consumers. Its duration was unfortunately only 40 minutes, but it could have been double that and would have still held everyone’s attention. We will invite them all back in 12 months time to assess the industry direction.

CHOICE CEO Alan Kirkland suggested it was ‘very civilised and constructive discussion’, but one of the key issues he raised around the QAR debate is very poignant. Alan put forward some comprehensive research conducted by SUPER CONSUMERS AUSTRALIA where only 25% of Australian adults seek assistance from a Financial Adviser, 38% are disengaged with few assets and 37% are self – directed where they have direct property/other assets in SMSF structures or MDA’s etc.

When you consider that we have around 18,000,000 Adults over 18 years, 25% of that is 4,500,000 Adults seeking advice then divide that by 15,000 Advisers and you have exactly 300 clients per Adviser. Advisers can have up to 500 clients and Risk only Advisers can have up to 700. Even if there are some SMSF consumers using an Adviser the numbers won’t be overly distorted.

The question then must be asked of Ms Levy’s ‘panic and scare tactics’ of claiming the nation does not have enough Advisers to meet demand therefore justifying the Institutions back into Advice. No wonder few have seen the attached Report before or Ms Levy has made no public reference to it, it does not suit her Liberal Party infused narrative of supporting the Institutions.

This Report is well worth reading.

Hi, as predicted pre – conference, I thought we had one of the best programs ever. This position was reinforced when the only complaints during the AGM was about certain guest speakers should have had more time and others less…..a difficult task of course without the power of hindsight.

The key issues to emerge are as follows –

  • Minister Jones confirmed that he will honour his pre – election promise of allowing 10 years – experience with no blemish to be the equivalent of a Degree by putting legislation before Parliament in the first quarter of 2023. You may recall this was announced at our 2021 Hunter Valley conference, a great outcome.
  • The Minister will ‘have a look’ at the Exam format once the QAR outcomes are assessed, no promises but at least some light at the end of the tunnel. We have also asked for an ‘amnesty’ period for those Advisers who exited due to the FASEA/LIF intimidation to immediately re -join if they passed a restructured exam.
  • The AIOFP culture and business model has been selected by a global Life/insurance distribution group to help them in mainland China to modernise their Advice landscape.
  • The urgent need to have a Cyber security solution in your practice was reinforced numerous times over the 4 days by ASIC, Choice, AFCA and new compliance guru Nick ‘The Greek’ Kloufetos. We will have a discounted member priced offer from Southern Security out to you very soon.
  • We had 3 opinions from 3 different economists on the severity of 2023 and beyond. As always, we had 3 varying predictions from dire to ‘not as bad as most think’, we will assess their predictions at the 2023 conference event in BANGKOK [with an extension to London for some].
  • The consensus is Risk Commissions will stay and a key comment from CHOICE CEO Alan Kirkland suggesting they ‘may stay’ and indicated he was ambivalent about the issue is significant from a political perspective. ASIC new SENIOR LEADER OF ADVISERS Leah Sciacca demonstrated her understanding of our industry [she was an adviser for 10 years – a great appointment], AFCA’s Shail Singh was practical and helpful as always and the performance of AFR’s Aleks Vickovich as host of both panel sessions was first class.
  • PI Expert Ryan Neary suggested the conditions to justify a lowering of premiums was happening, great news for the industry.
  • At the AGM members wanted the AIOFP to conduct 2 TRAINING CPD ‘face to face’ days where AR’s can attend to address the ‘ethics’ CPD requirements for the smaller member practices. This will be done in each state between the conference programs.

The importance of members getting together ‘in the flesh’ to exchange ideas and socialise during the event was again reinforced to those who attended. More specific information on some of the above issues in due course.


Peter Johnston | Executive Director
Association of Independently Owned Financial Professionals
Suite 1211, 1 Queens Road, Melbourne VIC 3004
P 1800 111 203, d 03 9863 7574, m 0418 857 621 | Download my business card

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