While most adviser businesses are deciding which way to go with regards to licensing, some groups have changed their strategy entirely in the face of the new regime.
Brendon Neal, CEO of licensee service Kepa explained that with volume-based sales no longer being viable, the group settled on licensing support as its ‘key pathway’ as early as several years ago. He says the group found a lot of value in the licensing services that they could provide, and, today, the group has over 80 adviser businesses applying to come under its transitional license.
“Like any market, there’s got to be room for different business models that can accommodate people’s different needs,” Neal explained.
“There are plenty of advisers who only want to concern themselves with seeing the next customer and driving what they’re really good at, which is the advice piece. They see the idea of outsourcing, or using an oversight body who can tell them what to watch out for as really valuable.”
“We determined several years ago that getting Kepa fit for licensing was going to be our future pathway,” he continued.
“We thought about what the value chain of a dealer group was, and it was a great opportunity to get more involved in the advice channel and help businesses. There was a lot that we had a lens on that we could help with.”
Neal says Kepa decided that becoming a Financial Advice Provider (FAP) would be a very valuable proposition for those advisers who thought it suitable for them, and the group also assists advisers with becoming a FAP themselves.
“As of today, we’re in the process of doing diligence on about 80 firms who want to join our transitional license,” he noted.
“That’s a positive thing for us but it’s also a fair bit of work – we’re getting to know these businesses in a slightly different way, and I will soon be in the unique position of having to say ‘no’ to some firms.”
“But ultimately, I don’t speak to anyone who doesn’t see the logic of a dealer player like us doing what we’re doing,” he concluded. “That endorsement from our suppliers and advisers has made it clear that our strategy is in the right place.”