While you’re now likely approved for your FAP licence, it isn’t time to celebrate just yet as it is just the tip of the iceberg, writes The Adviser Platform‘s Ryan Edwards…


The financial services industry found itself in turbulent times with the introduction of FAP licensing. But the real challenge is running your business and documenting all of the hard work you do in advising your clients to the satisfaction of the regulators.

Most advisers got into the industry for the right reasons – each has a genuine desire to share knowledge and help people, but before you are able to do that you must help yourself.

You need to be running a compliant business with good governance and oversight before you can provide the best service to your clients.

This doesn’t mean a random file review every now and then. It’s about having an in-depth understanding of your business and being across all the details, being able to demonstrate and attest to the fact that you are operating in line with your documented policies and processes.

You need to be running a compliant business with good governance and oversight…

Getting it right isn’t difficult, but may require advisers to relook at things through the lens of a business owner or director.

Ryan Edwards, Managing Director at The Adviser Platform
Ryan Edwards, Managing Director, The Adviser Platform.

For example, is the business meeting all its objectives, or does it need to proactively invest in services to help with areas that are not a strong suit (such as admin or record keeping)?

We’ve always valued the importance of accurate data, and building systems that take the mystery out of delivering market-leading advice while running teams across, risk, lending, investment, and F&G services.

A modest investment in systems and services can enable advisers to share the load, and gain scale and efficiency, without reinventing the wheel.

Take part in this week’s poll

I’m confident my advice practice already operates under an efficient and robust compliance management system.

  • Agree (69%)
  • Still working on it (29%)
  • Disagree (2%)

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Our challenge to FAP businesses

We’re challenging segments of the market to raise their sights and ask “what could my business be?” Rather than “what’s the minimum I can do to survive and be compliant”?

I believe we should turn this turbulent time into an opportunity for genuine positive change, where advisers start putting their business systems first. We encourage advisers who have a focus on positive outcomes for their clients to help themselves first, and ask “how can I turn this into a good outcome for me?”

We’re challenging segments of the market to raise their sights…

Well-resourced businesses run better, have more efficiency, less stress, and command a premium when it comes to helping clients. Unsurprisingly, if you have good systems, processes, and governance in place then you’re generally the most compliant. The two go hand-in-hand.

There is boundless opportunity for proactive advisers who put their FAP first, and with the right support services, can continue to run a business that is rewarding for both clients and advisers.

Ryan Edwards is Managing Director at The Adviser Platform. He has been with the firm for more than five years, and has more than 14 years’ experience in the financial services industry in Australia and New Zealand.