Bringing the industry together to shape its future

Forty days of industry consultation is underway as Financial Advice New Zealand enters the second stage of its 100 day development plan.

The Financial Advice New Zealand Working Group has entered the second stage of its 100-day structured development process. 

The 40 working-day consultation stage is planned for the rest of 2016, with a short break over Christmas and recommencing in early 2017.

The consultation will cast a wide net across the industry, including advisers – both members and those who are not currently a member of an association; adviser groups; product providers; adviser associations; regulators and consumer bodies.

Focus groups will be held at 11 locations across the country, with details around dates and locations to be provided this week. 

Speaking to NZ Adviser, Professional Advisers Association (PAA) chairman Bruce Cortesi said in addition to the focus groups, they intend to make the most of technology to reach as broad an audience as possible, such as via webinars and phone conferences. 

“It’s a really exciting time for the industry to have the opportunity to contribute to something that is really positive in a proactive way,” Cortesi says. “This is a really positive step for the industry and an opportunity to really shape the future of the industry - not only for the advisers and the industry as it is now but also for future advisers and for the consumer, which is critical.” 

The industry is at a natural crossroads, Institute of Financial Advisers (IFA) board chair Michael Dowling told NZ Adviser, a financial adviser himself for the past 26 years. 

“The evolution I’ve seen around my profession over that time has sort of spun my head a couple of times and so it’s natural to take stock and go, ‘where have we come from, where are we going and where are we right now?’

“We want to give everyone the opportunity to have their say.”

Cortesi says the consultation stage is a crucial time to ask questions on what Financial Advice New Zealand needs to look like. 

“It’s a blank sheet of paper to say, what does this need to look like; what does it need to deliver; what does the look and feel of a professional body going forward for the next decade and beyond need to look like?” he says. 

“So it’s a great opportunity for the industry to have some open dialogue which probably hasn’t really occurred before - you haven’t had input of the whole industry into such a key component as establishing a framework for a new professional body.”

The lead up to the Christmas break is no doubt a busy time for advisers but the break in consultation during the festive celebrations will offer all involved a chance to take stock of the progress so far.

“(The break) also gives us a bit of time to make sure we’ve got all the feedback, even from people who didn’t have the opportunity for feedback initially because they were so busy,” says Dowling. “So there’s enough space in there to allow us to make sure we get everyone’s view forward.”

Dowling says they were pleased with how the timing of stage two turned out, with the break inbetween. “We thought that’s an opportunity for those who are too busy that can’t get back with inside the 40 days. They have an opportunity to think through things in the break and send us an email or get in contact and give their thoughts in the New Year.”

After the consultation stage is completed, the Financial Advice New Zealand Working Group will begin development of the association’s structure.