Dealer groups must evolve as the new regime for financial advice comes into force, says Newpark Chief Executive, Melanie Purdey.
She believes most dealer groups are still trying to understand how they need to change in the new regime and where they can make themselves relevant in the insurance service chain.
“I think if we continue to operate within the paradigms that we have we run the risk of becoming anachronistic,” says Purdey. “The model has to change in order to be meaningful to both the adviser, the user and ultimately to the New Zealander who has outcomes as part of that.”
Purdey joined Newpark in April this year (see: Newpark Announces…) and appointments for General Manager, Performance and Growth and Adviser Success Manager have been made since (see: Newpark Key Appointment…).
Good client outcomes
Purdey explains one way dealer groups can reinvent themselves and achieve “robust evolution” is in focussing on the services that support the non-aligned adviser in fulfilling their obligation to providing good client outcomes.
“We have to help advisers understand what good client outcomes mean. If you talk to a doctor they can tell you what a good patient outcome looks like if you’ve had orthopaedic surgery. They know exactly what the criteria is and they have a way of monitoring whether they’ve fulfilled all that criteria,” she said. “I think we need to bring that articulation and that awareness going forward, I think that’s really critical.
She added the time has come where dealer groups have the opportunity to bring a real level of professionalism and trust, explaining how they need to earn the trust of consumers by supporting advisers in the best way possible, so that “when they open the survival kit that they’ve been sold, everything their adviser said was going to be in it is there and they know how to use it”.
“If I can help advisers get to that place where they know they’re delivering that to their clients every single time, I think we’ve got a real opportunity to add value in that chain, in new ways that maybe we haven’t even thought about,” said Purdey.
She notes dealer groups must also play a more active role in consumer awareness going forward, participating with providers in helping New Zealanders understand the need for financial advice and good outcomes.
“I think that’s really critical in the whole education process – we’ve only got about 15 percent of New Zealanders who are actually appropriately covered,” she said.
“How are we as dealer groups going to work together with advisers and with providers in that education piece? I think that is something quite new and different where most dealer groups are going to have to examine how they are going do that.”
Purdey said how dealer groups can offer support in helping advisers be compliant is a big body of work and will morph over the coming nine to 18 months but will focus on how advisers understand what their obligations are under the code and how they can prepare their businesses for licensing.
She said dealer groups have to make themselves the expert in this area so the non-aligned adviser can spend more time helping their clients.
“I think between now and 2020 we have to fulfil our obligations to provide really robust training and development around licensing and also around what good advice looks like and what the process is for not only providing good advice but for also documenting good advice,” said Purdey, noting she had found there were differing levels of awareness in these areas among advisers and that Newpark is putting a large portion of their resources into creating robust core programs for advisers.