The Adviser Platform (TAP) Managing Director, Ryan Edwards, has voiced his concern that many advisers may be underprepared for the new licensing environment, whether it be holding their own licence or working under someone else’s.
He said many advisers struggle with things such as basic record-keeping, renewal processing and CRM management.
“Without making major changes to the operational side of the business, many will struggle to operate in line with the new requirements,” says Edwards.
“Another major blind spot seems to be the same advisers putting blind faith in sections of the market that they claim, ‘will look after me,’ and say things like, ‘I’ll be ok, as I will fall under someone else’s license’.”
Edwards said he encourages advisers to consider the consequences if they are not on top of their operational issues, such as struggling to hold their own licence or in finding another licence holder to accept them under their umbrella.
“…how would a licence holder have oversight and confidence in an adviser who uses provider hubs and their inbox as the backbone of their business?”
“Many advisers need to consider the fundamentals of oversight and liability for the advice provided – how would a licence holder have oversight and confidence in an adviser who uses provider hubs and their inbox as the backbone of their business?” said Edwards.
“We think a lot of advisers are not going to receive the safe landing they are expecting – and will be cast aside to fend for themselves.”
Edwards said TAP talks to an average 10-15 advisers each week and finds the vast majority have said:
They struggle with the amount of admin they are doing
They stress that much of the admin they should be doing (eg. renewals) isn’t being done, or isn’t being documented correctly
Their CRM is either non-existent, or not up-to-date, and they would struggle to go through an audit or file review
That this causes them and their spouse stress and makes it difficult to take holidays
They worry about how to best set themselves up for the new regulations
“The industry is built on independent operators who want to work for themselves. TAP’s primary focus is to provide a platform where our advisers can be their own financial advice provider (FAP),” said Edwards, explaining TAP provides advisers with full-time admin staff, a CRM system and support from a dedicated advice and compliance team to give advisers a ‘plug and play’ licence solution.
“Our question for advisers is, ‘If you had the resources to run your business and maintain a licence with confidence, would you rather hold your own, or pay a premium to work under someone else?’” he said.
TAP intends to become a FAP and will have an option for advisers to fall under its licence, but Edwards explained, as with any licence holder, the adviser will have to demonstrate that they are capable of running a licensed business in order to be an appealing candidate.
“We have no limitations on the number of advisers we can support – our main concern is that many advisers are going to leave it to the last minute to decide they need to invest in their businesses. There are solutions out there, but advisers need to be willing to seek them out,” he said.