Running over ten days in July, the AFA’s National Practitioner Roadshow travelled through seven cities and addressed hundreds of advisers as it made its way from Perth to Brisbane, via Tasmania and a number of stops in between.
Appearing at his first roadshow as AFA Chief Executive, Phil Kewin told attendees the increasing focus on advice by Government and media meant that more people were interested in the profession and what it was doing.
As a result, he said, the need to place consumers at the heart of advice was stronger than ever and this remained the focus of the AFA, as well as its members.
“We have to determine where we are going as a profession, so the first thing I want to stress is that we are a professional association,” Kewin said.
“A professional association does put forward the aims of its members but it must be in the public interest. We want to put forward our profession but if it is not in the public interest, then we not a professional association, we are a lobby group. And lobby groups are fine but they do not give the depth and breadth we need to go take us into the future,” he added.
Kewin also took the opportunity to flag the launch of AFA Care – a counselling service for members offered in conjunction with employer assistance program provider, Davidson Trahaire Corpsych.
The Association had set up the program in recognition of the potential stresses that small business owners, their staff and families may face as a result of dealing with clients, running a business and ongoing industry change.
Also appearing on the stage from the Association was AFA General Manager, Member Services, Partnerships, & Campus AFA, Nick Hakes who outlined some of the pending changes to education and professional standards that advisers would face in the coming years.
Hakes said research had shown that clients see advisers for their interpersonal skills and expertise but these were not being taught in adviser education courses.
He also urged attendees to become involved in the push to include these in the new education model being developed by the Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority.
AFA Adviser of the Year Award winner, Darren Johns and AFA Practice of the Year Award winner, Sam Henderson unpacked how they interact with clients and developed an approach to advice which keeps their clients happy and allows them as advisers to enjoy what they do.
Johns outlined how he spent six months working from a remote office in Canada while still keeping his client satisfaction and retention rates at a high level while Henderson discussed how his media profile as a trusted professional creates and educates new clients.