SMSFs in rugby legend’s sights as licensing numbers stagnate
In light of the limited take-up of the AFSL regime for accountants, one fintech and robo-advice oriented firm is ramping up its efforts as a referral partner to accountants looking to provide investment advice, including to SMSFs.
Stirling Mortlock, Wallabies captain from 2006-2009, moved from a consulting role at NAB to Stockspot in July this year, with a view to boost distribution to professional intermediaries.
The ‘Partners Program’ is now in full swing, and the company is eyeing accountants to secure the business of SMSF clients in particular, in light of the accountants’ exemption phase-out and the extremely low take-up of AFSLs among accountants.
“We feel as though it’s a real opportunity there to increase our penetration across superannuation,” Mr Mortlock told Accountants Daily.
“There’s a huge opportunity now in SMSF where accountants have a limited financial services licence and they can’t provide investment advice, and the big question is, what are they doing there?” he added.
Stockspot is looking to capitalise on client demands for investment advice from their unlicensed accountants. Mr Mortlock cited research from Investment Trends from June this year, which found 60 per cent of SMSF trustees using an accountant for tax purposes would use them for investment advice, but can’t because of licensing restrictions.
Providing statements of advice (SOAs) - which has been a sore point for accountants who are new to the AFSL regime - is a feature Stockspot is focusing on in its push. Accountants are facing considerable delays from their dealer groups with SOAs, which is having a knock-on effect with clients and pricing, and SOAs are high on ASIC’s watch list, particularly templated and pre-prepared documents from a third-party provider.
Stockspot was founded by Chris Brycki, who spent most of his career as a portfolio manager at UBS.