July 4, 2017

The disconnect

Australia

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The disconnect is growing…

Clients are aging – that’s not much of a scoop, we know! But when you consider the current state of play for many Australian practices, we hope you’ll agree that more focus and attention will be needed over the next few years at the very least, to successfully address the greying client demographic. Consider:

    • 54% of clients are aged 60+

    • 45% are already retired

    • 34% don’t have a will

    • ‘Range of services’ is now one of the lowest indicators rated by clients through our CATScan tool

And yet we’re informed from our latest analysis, that 67% of business owners won’t be looking to expand their service range over the next 12+ months. It seems to us that many of today’s clients have moved on from superannuation and protection and are now seriously considering retirement style products and services. There has emerged therefore, in our view, a significant risk that clients and their advisers could very well become disengaged or disconnected over the next few years.

If some of your clients fall into this category (and let’s be honest – whose doesn’t?), perhaps you could factor into your more immediate business plans, actions such as:

      • Reviewing (and expanding if necessary) your current range of product and services.

      • Extending your referral network to include like-minded professionals, experienced in areas such as aged care and estate planning.

      • Ensuring every client has an up to date Will.

      • Seeking clients’ feedback as to their current levels of satisfaction.

 

Advisers are aging – Who would have thought! And, as with ensuring there is a connectedness between clients and the services their adviser offer, there is an equally important dynamic which needs to be factored into the greying adviser scenario. Consider:

      • 62% are single principal businesses

      • 48% have no key person protection in place

      • ‘Relationship’ is the highest rated indicator of the 9 areas we survey through our client CATScan tool

      • And yet, only three in ten Australian practiceshave a documented succession/transition plan in place. In fact at only 30%, this finding is below our 2014 stat of 39%.

      • And, of those practices with a plan, 35% still haven’t identified their successor, while a similar percentage have not yet arranged for a funding arrangement.

 

The conclusion is simple – while contemplating exit options and strategies is very often a challenging matter, every principal we know, will inevitably leave his/her practice. Doesn’t it make sense to start the process before you really have to by:

      • Documenting your plan for succession

      • Starting the process of identifying potential successors

      • Ensuring you have a current valuation for your practice and revisit it every year.

Stats and facts drawn from Future Ready VII, the seventh in our series of whitepapers providing insight into the ‘health’ of Australia’s advisory profession and its preparedness for the future.

For your consideration.

Terry Bell.

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