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Australian Unity adds four planning practices in past four months

31 Aug 2015
General Manager Advice of Australian Unity Personal Financial Services, Mr Paul Harding-Davis, said the increase in the number of practices reflects the attractive environment Australian Unity has created for advisers.

“Advisers say they are drawn to Australian Unity because of our relationship- based full service offering, our broad open-architectured APL and our Accountant Partnership Program, as well as the fact we are a mutual organisation focused on improving the financial         wellbeing of our clients and not a bank or life insurance company,” Mr Harding-Davis said.

“Australian Unity provides advisers with a holistic service.  We have a team of experienced financial planning industry experts who deliver a high level of support to our advisers in the technical, asset allocation, investment research, para-planning, compliance, practice management, marketing and back office areas.

“Our Accountants Partnership Program is very successful in introducing referring accountants to our advisers,” Mr Harding-Davis said.

Mr Harding-Davis said the Accountant Partnership Program currently has relationships with over 300 accounting firms—most of whom refer their clients to Australian Unity financial advisers and mortgage brokers for specialist financial advice.

“Australian Unity appeals to accountants because we give them a choice of providing financial services in-house under their own limited or full authorisation, or through a referral to an Australian Unity Personal Financial Services specialist.

“It’s a flexible, full-service model that makes it easy for accountants to retain their independence and identity,” Mr Harding-Davis said. 

Mr Harding-Davis added that Australian Unity’s proprietary ‘Best Practice’ program—which helps advisers to run more efficient practices based on benchmarking—is another draw card for advisers to join Australian Unity.  Efficiency has become even more important for advisers as a result of the additional administration burden imposed by regulatory change.

He also said he expects more advisers to join Australian Unity Personal Financial Services over the next few years as advisers realise they need a full service offering and open architecture from a licensee if they are to grow their practices—and provide first rate client services—in an efficient, compliant and profitable manner.

“Although we expect to continue to grow strongly, the fact we have a high touch, full service model with a focus on helping our advisers grow their practice means we do not want to take on too many advisers. 

“That and the importance of cultural alignment with our wellbeing focus is why over the last 12 months we have turned away a number of prospective advisers and also assisted some of our existing practices to find alternative licensee options that were more suited to their business objectives,” Mr Harding-Davis explained.   

Australian Unity Personal Financial Services currently has 101 planning practices, 183 advisers and 22 mortgage brokers operating in all mainland states and the ACT.

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