New SHARE & Newpark CEO on priorities and expectations

New SHARE & Newpark CEO on priorities and expectations | Insurance Business New Zealand

New SHARE & Newpark CEO on priorities and expectations

Craig Winterburn (pictured) welcomed the New Year with a new role, having assumed the top post at Kiwi adviser group SHARE & Newpark last November. Speaking with Insurance Business, the CEO talks about his priorities, expectations, and what he thinks are 2023’s biggest challenges and opportunities for financial advisers.

High on the agenda for Winterburn, who succeeded Tony Dench, is maintaining the financial success and growth trajectory that his predecessor and the group’s board have been driving over the last half-decade.

Winterburn’s priorities also include reinforcing and building on SHARE & Newpark’s foundations and culture. “For me, this means listening and communicating effectively with our people, i.e. our advisers, our clients, and our staff,” the former national network development manager told Insurance Business.

Areas of focus for SHARE & Newpark

Based in Mairangi Bay, Winterburn has a handful of things he wants to zero in on while at the helm.

“We’re really proud of the huge amount of work we’ve done to help and support advisers towards full licensing and enhancing their delivery processes and systems,” declared the chief executive, whose camp will use its resources and the support from business partners to focus on several areas moving forward.

“As we approach and move beyond March 15 with the deadlines for full FAP (financial advice provider) licensing and the end of the two-year competency standard ‘safe harbour’, it goes without saying that the industry will strive for continual improvement in the way we deliver quality financial advice to clients and meet our FMCA (Financial Markets Conduct Act) obligations.”

Winterburn said insurers, fund managers, lending partners, and trade bodies can help SHARE & Newpark shine a spotlight on recruitment of key talent to the financial advice profession; providing pathways to advice business ownership; and building and delivering effective succession plans for advisers and business owners.

Other focus areas include refining adviser-client engagement, communication, and relationship management skills; and the sustainability and development of adviser practices through education, mentorship, digital compatibility enhancement, and culture and staff/team development.

“At SHARE we are exceptionally fortunate to maintain really positive and pragmatic relationships with our business partners,” Winterburn told Insurance Business. “We are tirelessly looking for opportunities to support, train, and add value to our adviser channels, and our business partners play a significant role in helping us deliver on that. It helps our advisers deliver advice that matters.

“The loudest issue I hear now would be the sheer number of insurer/lender/fund manager requests for advisers to provide/fulfill ‘compliance’ information, accreditation, and attestation. Most advisers understand the need for this information – I guess the challenge is whether the sector can coordinate a process for advisers to make these returns to satisfy supplier requirements and enable them to spend more time with clients.”

Expectations, opportunities, and challenges         

Discussing his outlook, Winterburn pointed to the economic and societal challenges currently facing communities – the same set of conditions which he believes will pave the way for the biggest opportunity.

“[The challenges] provide our sector with opportunity to use the platform and resources we have to make a real difference for New Zealanders, their families, and their businesses,” he explained. “It’s in these times that the real value of what we do as a profession and the guidance, advice, and protection advisers provide to their clients is truly realised.”

On the mortgage side, for instance, Winterburn is witnessing a positive trend.

He noted: “We are seeing an influx of new mortgage advisers joining our home loans business and taking advantage of our training/mentorship programmes, despite the challenging conditions in the lending space. This is really encouraging, and I expect this trend to continue with hopefully a spin-off to having new life/health/investment and F&G (fire and general) advisers.”

Additionally, despite the challenges, the CEO does not expect a “wholesale exodus” of advisers.

“I think there is a widely held belief that we will see increasing numbers of existing advisers leave the sector over the next few years due to the age demographic of the channel, compliance requirements, cost to do business, etc.,” he stated.

“We have definitely experienced an increase in enquiries from advisers looking to place their businesses on the market but don’t expect there to be a wholesale exodus from the sector.”

What is your outlook for the financial advice sector in 2023? Share in the comments below.