Peter Johnston, of the AIOFP reports on isolation, scale and new client opportunities are 3 challenges facing new AFSL Holders.

Hi, isolation, scale and new client opportunities are 3 challenges facing new AFSL Holders to maintain a profitable practice business model going forward in today’s market.

At our recent AGM members reported that ASIC are now processing AFSL applications within 7 weeks, a pleasing outcome for those who want to venture down the self – licensing path. With any new venture however, risks and challengers must be overcome, boutique members have overwhelmingly requested that the AIOFP Board develop a range of services to assist their position going forward.

Scale and isolation are two key initial issues to overcome. If an Adviser is a new entrant or has been licensed to a large Dealer Group the feeling of isolation to share information with like – minded professionals and the price of critical services like PI Cover, CEP solutions and IT/software needs to be countered. Getting access to new client opportunities is also high on the wanted list.

Venturing into your own stand – alone business space can be an intimidating experience, being a member of a family orientated Association can and does mitigate these circumstances, the AIOFP has demonstrated this over the past 25 years.

The AIOFP Board has given approval to develop a CEP service where members will get access to a total CEP solution incorporating a monthly webinar, 2 full day [non zoom] workshops in all capital cities and attendance at one of our 2 annual conferences to satisfy the requirements. The attendance at the workshops and a conference will also provide the networking opportunities to share information and develop friendships with other members to counter the isolation concerns.

The AIOFP already has a PI service to assist members of all sizes and we are in advanced discussions with some Industry Super Funds, major Corporates and Unions to provide Advice Services to their employees and members. The AIOFP’s Certified Financial Strategist [CFS] designation will also be promoted to these groups to assist the lead generation activities for members.

The AIOFP’s 25-year track record of acting in the best interests of Members and outstanding political advocacy achievements over the past 8 years strongly suggests we are the natural Association home for the independently owned Adviser sector.

Please feel free to send this information onto any Advisers who are currently considering Association membership.

We have had a few questions in response to this notice and will qualify some related issues –

  • The AIOFP has always been supportive of the current licensing regime, we think there is plenty of room for both the Dealer Group model and self – licensing of individuals. Some Advisers enjoy the benefits Larger Groups offer and others don’t, we think having choice will be beneficial to the industry and consumers.
  • We don’t think taxpayers will be happy if ASIC needed to employ thousands more public servants to manage circa 14,000 additional individual AFSL holders.
  • We think Dealer Group’s play an important role with monitoring Adviser behaviour, they have a definite commercial interest in ensuring Advisers are acting diligently and in the best interests of their clients. This relieves some of the pressure on ASIC to monitor behaviour.
  • We don’t think Associations should become quasi – regulators handing out penalties for poor behaviour, that should be left up to ASIC/AFCA and the Courts. The only roles Associations should have are referring poor Adviser  behaviour to ASIC and acting in the best interests of its members, consumers and the industry in general.


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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