Fortnum firm acquires AMP practice

An authorised representative of non-aligned licensee Fortnum Private Wealth has announced the acquisition of an AMP-aligned advice practice.

Fortnum-aligned firm Fortuity Strategic Advisors announced it has acquired Just AdviceFinancial Services – an authorised representative of AMP-aligned licensee Charter Financial Planning.

In a statement this week, Fortuity Strategic Advisors said the acquisition of Just Advice was part of the firm’s “aggressive plans to grow.”

Fortuity also announced the appointment of Samuel Fenning to the role of financial adviser. Mr Fenning was formerly an adviser with Just Advice, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Managing director of Fortnum Private Wealth Joel Taylor said the dealer group is pleased to attract well-educated, young professional advisers like Mr Fenning who are passionate about helping people achieve financial freedom.

“Today’s advice businesses will be unrecognisable in the next five-10 years with new education standards, a smaller professional advice community (with adviser retirements) and increasing customer demand and complexity,” he said.

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Fortnum hires former BT manager as advice head

Fortnum Private Wealth has appointed a former BT Financial Group manager to the newly created position of head of advice.

Kerry Thomas is the former national manager, practice advice at BT Financial Group, and will be tasked with enhancing the delivery of Fortnum’s professional advice program to the group’s national network of advisers, according to a statement.

Ms Thomas has over 15 years of financial services experience and will report to Fortnum Private Wealth managing director Joel Taylor, the statement said.

Mr Taylor said Ms Thomas has the right blend of skills, expertise and values, and is the right cultural fit.

“It’s important that our staff – and advisers – have a high degree of personal integrity, and embrace our high performance, collaborative culture,” he said.

“Kerry is an experienced professional who has a genuine rapport with advisers and she is a great addition to the team.”

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Planner’s advice to industry: get comfortable with change

Like many financial planners, Robert Reid finds the shifting goal posts of regulatory changes tiresome.

But he argues they’re fundamental to lifting the reputation of the industry and atoning for the scandals of the past. Those scandals that may have been caused by a few unscrupulous and unethical advisers but, as he notes, the stain has a way of spreading to affect the reputation of the entire fraternity of planners.

“It’s easy to bitch and moan about regulation, and it remains an ever-present concern, but we have to remember as an industry that we have brought this on ourselves,” he says. “It’s because of our own behaviour and if we want to move towards self-regulation of the kind they have in other industries, such as accounting, then we have to earn the public’s trust.”

While this means a degree of flux and uncertainty as regulatory frameworks change and laws introduced, it also means the industry is flushed of any lingering snake oil salesmen.

“It’s a shifting landscape, but the upside is as the regulations get tighter the people who are in it just to make a quick buck will get out and will leave it to the rest of us, who want to turn the industry into a profession,” Reid says.

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Advice group principles provide security

Advice groups should be proactive in devising professional and ethical commitments for their advisers that go beyond the Corporations Act as the industry was ultimately heading toward further regulation to shore up consumer protection, according to Fortnum Financial Advisers.

In a new white paper, “Building a Professional Advice Framework”, Fortnum group chief executive Neil Younger and managing director Joel Taylor said that despite a raft of new regulations being introduced to financial planning in recent years, there were still problem areas that were likely to lead to further legislative action.

These included a lack of restrictions around dealer group ownership, subsidisation of adviser licence fees by institutions and the narrow range of products permitted to be on aligned advisers’ approved product lists.

“They all point to an under-regulated industry with major shortcomings when it comes to consumer protection,” the report said.

“Therefore, it’s dangerous for advisers to rely on the Corps Act for guidance on how to meet their best interest duty obligations – they need to have a set of professional principles to guide them.”

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Eschew products, support client-led advice: whitepaper

A whitepaper has stated that the future of advice firms is an existence as genuine professional services firms, but added that licensees also need to adapt in order to support them.

The paper was jointly authored by Neil Younger, managing director and group chief executive of Fortnum Financial Group, and Joel Taylor, managing director of Fortnum Financial Advisers. It states that advice needs to be rebuilt on three pillars: a set of strong professional principles, sound professional judgement, and robust professional practices.

Taylor says Fortnum’s professional principles underpin what it calls its professional advice framework, which is designed to help advisers view their services “through a ‘professional’ lens as opposed to a legislative lens”. The principles cover fair engagement, competence, professional diagnosis, and best interest advice.

Younger says advice models are “transitioning from essentially licensee businesses that ran distribution business models, to advice services businesses that have a very different framework of solutions for advisers”.

“There is a vacancy in the middle-market segment for an established, professional advice services business with sufficient scale to be able to develop technology solutions that deliver efficiency into the delivery of advice,” he says.
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Building a Professional Advice Framework

Newly appointed Managing Director & Group CEO of Fortnum Financial Group, Neil Younger has worked alongside Managing Director of Fortnum Financial Advisers, Joel Taylor to realign the dealer group’s focus.

This whitepaper addresses Fortnum’s Professional Advice Framework.

“At Fortnum, we have established the reputation to call ourselves a Professional Advice Services Business; with a deep commitment to continually striving to find a better way”, and we look forward to continuing this journey in the future.

Building-a-Professional-Advice-Framework-Whitepaper MARCH 2017

Fortnum firm launches guide to combat dodgy advice

Plenary Wealth has produced a 10-point check-list document to educate consumers about whether the financial advice they are receiving is “good, bad or ugly”.

The North Sydney-based firm, which was named Next Gen Practice of the Year 2016 within the Fortnum Financial Advisers network, has been publicising the initiative on social media platforms alongside a statement suggesting it is “time to cull some advisers”.

“Financial advisers vary widely in quality, professionalism and ethics,” the document asserts. “Use this checklist to ensure you’re dealing with a quality adviser.”

Scenario-based examples of “good”, “bad” and “ugly” practitioners are offered across 10 separate assessment criteria, including presentation skills, decision-making style, communication mode and method, transparency and research.

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Playing the long game and “flirting with 40s”

Gareth Colgan’s career in financial planning began when he met his wife, Amy. Or perhaps the wheels were truly set in motion even earlier than that when he left his native Belfast, armed with a degree in science and an Irishman’s thirst for adventure.

He arrived in Sydney in 1998 and chatted up his future wife at the Lord Dudley Pub in Paddington.

Her father, Guy Carrington, ran a successful planning business, Sidney Lloyd, and not long after he and Amy got together, Colgan joined the ranks.

He started off in office administration, progressed to paraplanning and was gradually given greater responsibilities.

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CoreData and Professional Planner name the 2016 licensees of the year

The director of Australian financial services for CoreData, Sean Allen, says the 2016 licensee of the year winners share some common characteristics.

“There was one consistent across the winners: a commitment to improving the productivity and efficiency of their advisers and practices, whilst ensuring that these gains also created a stronger and enduring client experience,” he says.

“The overall winners for 2016 were also able to articulate a strong narrative for the future success of their practices, which obviously resonated with their advisers.

“What differentiated the winners was that their advisers bought into the overall licensee vision, direction and business plan.”

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Two heads are better than one

The founders of Plenary Wealth tell ifa how building a non-aligned business from scratch, and as a team, has set them up to make an impact.

It was after meeting within a peer network – at a dealer group for which they were both working – that Joshua Cratchley and Julian Nowland recognised a strong alignment in their individual passions and visions for financial advice.

With the mutual desire to carve out their own destinies within the industry, Mr Cratchley and Mr Nowland set about building Plenary Wealth – the vehicle through which they would pursue their vision.

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Fortnum continues to dominate the Licensee of the Year Award due to its focus on helping advice businesses succeed.

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