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SMSF Advisers Network overtakes AMP as biggest licensee

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Sarah Kendell
11 January 2021 — 1 minute read

Accounting and advice group SMSF Advisers Network is now the biggest licensee in Australia, with AMP’s advice businesses seeing further reductions in adviser numbers, according to new data from Adviser Ratings.

According to the Adviser Ratings’ weekly adviser movements update, 78 advisers left the industry in the week to 24 December 2020, which was “a big uptick from prior weeks”, Adviser Ratings founder Angus Woods said. 

Including data from Adviser Ratings’ earlier adviser movements updates for the month, it’s estimated that almost 250 practitioners left in December, with the industry exodus continuing as many made the choice to retire at the end of the calendar year.

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A further 14 advisers switched licensees during the week, with mid-tier privately owned licensees being the primary beneficiaries. Capstone Financial Planning gained three new advisers, with the group having grown by 60 advisers over the past two years.

Similarly, Lifespan Financial Planning added three new advisers, having expanded its footprint from 182 advisers in December 2018 to 268 currently.

While two new advisers joined AMP’s employed advice business ipac in the week to 24 December, the institution continued to rapidly shed advisers overall, with ipac’s adviser numbers falling from 138 in December 2018 to 85 currently.

AMP Financial Planning also shrunk to 820 advisers from 1,414 in December 2018, with the group now sitting at second on the licensee table behind accounting and advice group SMSF Advisers Network.

There was further movement in the accounting space, with two advisers moving from IOOF-aligned Lonsdale to accounting firm Leenane Templeton as the group expanded into the financial planning space, while BDO’s eastern corporate finance division wound down its financial services licence to exit advice.

The data also revealed a significant drop-off in advisers at Lonsdale, which had shrunk from 225 advisers in December 2018 to 151 currently. IOOF recently revealed the group would combine with former ANZ licensee Millennium3 to form a “specialised” advice division under its new Advice 2.0 strategy.

Advisers also continued to leave the MLC-aligned Garvan ahead of the closure of the licence when the group’s sale to IOOF completes, with adviser numbers down from 487 in December 2018 to 412 at present.

Meanwhile, TAL-owned Affinia Financial Advisers lost five practitioners in the week to 24 December, but demonstrated strong growth overall with 192 advisers now in the network compared with 162 at the end of 2018.

SMSF Advisers Network overtakes AMP as biggest licensee
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