Dear FPW Adviser Community,
As often is the case, when you take time out of your usual day-to-day environment and routines, you find yourself with time to think and reflect, recharge, refocus and re-energise. After a fantastic conference in Japan, I’ve done all of those things. I am also hoping that those of you who attended are feeling the same, as well as united in the Fitzpatricks community.
Conference gave us all 3 days to work on the businesses and not in the business. The notion of working on the business rather than in it was first coined by Michael Gerber in the E-Myth Revisited – an excellent read. He suggests that to make a business work, you have to shift your thinking; you have to start thinking differently.
You would have to start imagining your business as something wholly separate from you. You would have to think about your business strategy, not just the tactics of your business. You would have to envision how your business would work, not just do the work of your business. You would have to figure out how every business process could look and function to give your client the experience you’re dedicated to providing. You would have to think about the kind of people you would need and the culture you have to create to rally everyone around your vision. You would have to imagine every system your team would need to effectively create an exceptional client experience…
The point here being, that it’s better to imagine this system with you being a part of it, not it being dependent on you to survive. It strikes me that this is the theory of the National Firm.
The theory of the National Firm is that of a group of advice practices acting in collaboration, under one brand and business model will be able to compete better than acting alone. This theory assumes that with collaboration we will be able to create and increase value to the client consistently and continually, and that the advice firms can share some of the created value and grow their EBIT and thus value.
This is what we started to explore at conference, we explored what the National Firm is and what it could become. We explored what the community would look like, what the culture needs to be, what partnership would look like, who the ideal client is, what harmony and collaboration mean and what our rules of engagement are. We covered a lot of ground, but we made significant progress. We started to work together in partnership to understand the program of work ahead in building the vision and dream together.
As part of Scott Young’s session, we played with being “a highly aligned team, with a strong culture who are client obsessed, with a growth mindset and slick operations” – sounds pretty good doesn’t it! He introduced this concept of a winning formula and encouraged us to create ours – what will it take for us to win and create profitable growth for all stakeholders? There is lots to think about here, and lots of work to be done, but I feel that the paradigm shift has started. We are already starting to think and act as partners who are committed to building a business that relies on the community not the individual for our mutual success. So much so that by the end of the conference, all who attended signed up to the Charter, signalling their intent to be involved, to participate in co-designing the National Firm and to be curious learners.
Personally, it is very motivating to know that there is a committed community (which I am part of) building a business that enriches people’s lives.
Enriching lives has always been a core value of FPW. I am proud to say that as a community, once again we raised $34,000 through the Fitzpatricks Foundation for Oz Harvest.
It was a privilege to have Ronni Khan join us from Oz Harvest for the day and to hear her share her story and her life purpose. Her story and purpose is even more poignant with recent world events, and reminds us to be grateful for what we have. We will continue to raise funds as part of the Fitzpatricks Foundation and will bring you more information on what this will look like in the new year.
All the photos and content shared at conference, as well as the video recordings of Scott Young and John Jones are available on our Adviser Portal. I encourage you to take the time to go through the content – it is rich and thought provoking. As always, I am happy to chat and more than willing to discuss conference outcomes/themes.
Lastly, to all the advisers who were able to attend conference, it was great to get to spend quality time with you and your families and to get to know you better. I am proud and grateful to be part of this community. I look forward to catching up with you at the upcoming Adviser Days in November.
ADVISER COMMUNITY NEWS
This month we interviewed David Counsel, Senior Financial Adviser at Fitzpatricks Private Wealth WA Pty Ltd who has recently returned from a 4-day family trip to one of the most beautiful places in the world, Denmark, in the south coast of Western Australia.
Q: How long have you been at Fitzpatricks Private Wealth WA Pty Ltd?
A: My role initially started 10 years ago with Garry Symonds and the previous business owner as a Senior Financial Adviser, to then partnering with the Fitzpatricks group 4.5 years ago.
Q: Why did you enter the financial services industry and how long ago?
A: I liked numbers and was always curious about what people did with their financial affairs. I loved economics and finance at university, but there was no way accounting or economics was ever going to be my chosen pathway. It was a friend’s father that triggered my interest in financial services, he seemed to have an amazing life, with an abundance of spare time; he coached our footy team so super involved in the community and managed to do all the things he loved whilst being a Financial Adviser.
He was an old-school Adviser who offered his wisdom, guidance, and knowledge to a young 20+ year old, so I started my studies knowing this was my chosen path, even though I had no understanding of where I would land. The one thing that stuck with me was always do the right thing by your client, something he did extremely well.
Q: What has been your best life experience so far?
A: An easy question, meeting my wife (Elena) and the birth of our two beautiful girls (Indiana 6) and (Harper 4) by far exceeds any other experience.
Q: What do you want to do when you grow up?
A: I have no set goals to tick off when I grow up, only to follow life’s journey and be proud of what I can provide for my family. Personally, my two young girls being proud of me (non-financially) will be my greatest legacy. Professionally, knowing that I have had meaningful impact on my clients’ lives is also important.
Q: When have you felt you have enriched a client’s life?
A: My most recent enrichment was a client suffering terrible mental demons as he approached retirement. He was petrified that he and his wife would not be able to achieve their goal of living 6 months in Australia and 6 months in Scotland. I was able to work directly with this client on how we could balance what was possible and what was not. It was wonderful to recently hear that they purchased the property they dreamed of facing the North Sea in Ireland. Their dream was achieved.
A: Would you like to share a monumental change that you know was the right one?
Elena and I made the decision to prioritise lifestyle and education for our children, we subsequently started building a big new home which is close to the school we want our children educated at, this may take up to 3 years to complete, although it sometimes feels like 10 years, however, we both already know it is so worth it.
Technical & Compliance
Execution Only Service Policy.pdf – we have updated the format of this policy to reflect our current style and clarified the fact that an Execution Only document is not required to be signed where a client specifically asks to withdraw funds from a cash account. This includes drawing cash from a platform cash account.
FPW – Wholesale Client Policy.pdf (Wholesale Advice) – this policy has been refreshed with no change other than removing some duplication.
Client Engagement FDS & Consent – At the recent Technical Day we spoke of changes to the policy to allow joint agreements to continue in the event of the death of one of the individuals.
We apologise that this change has been paused. Feedback we have received is that this change is confusing. As a result we have decided to pause this change for the time being till we can better communicate the change and you have a chance to understand the impact on your business.
Ensuring fees deducted from super funds meet sole purpose is a high priority for ASIC and APRA in their supervision of super funds. ASIC will instigate a review of advice to assess this issue as part of their review of fees deducted from super funds this year. Retail and industry funds are actively scrutinising fee deductions for instances where not all of the fee being deducted meeting sole purpose. We encourage you to be vigilant in considering what proportion of any fee is to be deducted from super. Please refer to this webinar for details for what is deductible from a fund.
There is no carve out from sole purpose when clients are in drawdown phase (all funds unrestricted non preserved). This means that including retirement planning for a client who has almost all funds in an allocated pension will include some advice which can’t be paid for by a debit to their fund. In this instance, consider increasing the pension payments to cover any fees and have the client sign a direct debit.
Ethical dilemma – separating clients
Over the last few weeks, we have had a few instances where clients have told advisers at review time that they are separating or considering separating. We have even seen a complaint from one partner who now, 12 months after such a review, has decided that it should have been clear to the adviser that he and his wife were separating, and the adviser should not have continued to provide the advice. His complaint is that the adviser did not act in his best interest.
These situations present an ethical dilemma, a need to deal with the conflict that has arisen in accordance with our regulatory responsibilities as well as a challenge for the provision of services. As we know, separating and/or divorcing clients can be both acrimonious or amicable. Even where both parties are on the same page and the situation is 100% amicable, we need to properly deal with the conflict.
The Corporations Act (s912) says we must have adequate arrangements in place for the management of conflicts which may arise in relation to our activities. Our Code of Ethics clearly says that “You should not act where there is a conflict of interest.” (Standard 3) and Standards 2 says “You must act with integrity and in the best interest of each of your clients.” There is no easy answer, and every situation will depend on its unique circumstances. For these reasons, please contact Professional Standards immediately when you become aware of this to discuss the options available to you.
Technology & Operations
Secure your teams by making them private
In Microsoft Teams, ‘teams’ are groups of people brought together for work, projects, or common interests. When creating a new team, it’s important to create it in such a way that you can control who has access to it. You do this by making it Private (limited to a specific set of people) or Public (anyone in the organisation can join). Follow this process to create a team from scratch:
1. Choose Teams on the left side of the app, then select Join or create a team at the bottom of your teams list.
2. Hover over the Create a team card and select Create team.
3. Choose From scratch.
4. Decide what kind of team that you want this to be:
- To limit content and conversation to a specific set of people, choose Private.
- For a community or topic that anyone in the org can join, choose Public.
5. Name your team and add an optional description.
6. When you’re done, select Create.
If you need to change the settings of any of your existing teams from Public to Private (or vice versa), go to the team name and select More options > Edit team toward the bottom of the menu. Under Privacy, select either Public or Private.
Further, Channels within teams are where you hold meetings, have conversations, and work on files together. You can create two types of channels — standard (available and visible to everyone) and private (focused, private conversations with a specific audience).
Change within the Construct Advice Wizard
There was a recent update to the Opex Suite and subsequently within the Construct Advice wizard you may have noticed a change to the Investment portfolio recommendations screen. Please view a quick video showing you how you can now add the Investment portfolio recommendations using the managed field content template options.
If you have any further queries in relation to this please feel free to contact Siva Mehta or Professional Standards.
Reminder of Online Fact Find functionality
We hope that you have familiarised yourself with the XPLAN Online Fact Find functionality and have started utilising this with your clients. As a reminder, this is a solution that was prioritised and tested by the Advice Technology Committee. Click here for a recording of the webinar and other guides and videos.
Business Coaching & Training
Please don’t forget to mark the Adviser Days in your calendar and join us post sessions for a Christmas spirit get together before everyone starts to head off for the silly season.
- 27 November – Adviser Day Brisbane
- 29 November – Adviser Day, Sydney
- 5 December – Adviser Day, Perth
Agenda and format for the day will be circulated over the coming days.
Notifying FPW when you make changes to your staff
Please ensure that all changes to your staff are notified to Advice Operations & Compliance ([email protected]). Failure to do this can result in confusion for the support team and can mean that these staff are not included in key communications which are important to the efficiency of both of our businesses.
Adviser Portal and Brand Refresh projects
After last month’s conference, we now have a big focus on building the key marketing components to help support the launch of the National Firm, the first of which will be a new Adviser Portal and an updated and refreshed brand. These are both relatively big projects that we will be working on over the coming months and when required we will reach out for feedback and share with you progress and outputs of each project.
Following on from the success of the recent Virtual Technical Day, we have the Adviser Days at the end of November and beginning of December. I hope you all can make one of these days as it will be a great opportunity to get together and for me to meet you.