The Build is Underway

Thursday 16 March 17

Two weeks in, the Planning Stage is well underway and on track to be completed by 4 April 2017. Drawing on the insights from the Consultation Stage, the Working Group are now building the structure of the new body. In short, we’re getting into the detail of how Financial Advice New Zealand will deliver the priority outcomes identified during the Consultation Stage.

As we mentioned last week, three key themes emerged from the Consultation Stage: (1) Advocacy, (2) Standards, and (3) Public Awareness.

Advocacy is viewed as a crucial function by the majority of advisers and other industry partners we heard from during the Consultation Stage. The continuing changes to legislation; changes in how the public seek information and engage with financial services; the growth of Robo Advice and many other factors absolutely necessitate a strong and unified voice to represent advice and advisers. During the Planning Stage, we have been taking a hard look at the best way to support this crucial role of the new body; the approach that will deliver a truly powerful voice for advice and advisers.

On the topic of Standards, many adviser participants in the Consultation Stage expressed a strong preference for Standards above the minimum. Higher Standards – or a Code of Ethics which instil individual accountability and create professional pride – are seen as a key pillar in increasing public trust, understanding and access to advice and advisers. And importantly, higher Standards are seen as an essential factor in positively differentiating members of Financial Advice New Zealand.

Public awareness of advice and advisers was the third but equally important theme highlighted during the Consultation Stage. The outcome we want is ultimately a simple one: to increase public awareness of the value of advice, and the value of using an adviser. However, while the outcome may be straight-forward, the job is – as you’ll appreciate – a big one.

As we work through the Planning Stage, we are assessing the best approach for our public awareness programme, with key considerations such as: (1) ensuring powerful, effective and cost-efficient communications of the ‘value of advice’ message; (2) that we communicate the value of the different advice disciplines – mortgage, insurance, investment and financial planning; and (3) that our public awareness endeavours result in a great many more Kiwis looking for a member of Financial Advice New Zealand to help with their financial advice needs.

We look forward to updating you further on these developments and many more as we progress through the Planning Stage. As always, if you have any queries or suggestions, you are welcome to contact Rod Severn and Fred Dodds at info@financialadvicenewzealand.co.nz.