The changing market of financial advice

With Mark Hoven, CEO of Adviser Ratings.

Hear how Mark Hoven, CEO of Adviser Ratings, envisions the future of the financial advice industry based on research from the Advice Landscape report. Mark shares insights on the growth in self-licensing, licensee switching, adviser exits from the industry and if episodic advice is the new way forward.

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Matt Heine: Hi Mark, welcome to the show.

Mark Hoven: Thanks mate. Good to be on.

Matt: First of all, how are you doing in this pandemic?

Mark: Pretty well. We are a digital business. Most of our people work remotely anyway. Fortunately a lot of those people are up in Queensland, in Sunny Noosa, so we see each other a lot on all the various social com platforms and they have always got more sunshine than me down here in Melbourne but now we're working well, we use com platforms, we use Slack, we're using confluence and JIRA and it seems to be going well.

Matt: Fantastic. There's worse places to be than Noosa that's for sure. Now, Mark we've known each other for a long time and we were just having a quick chat before. This is actually your second appearance on Between Meetings. I think we had decided that you didn't actually get much air time given Angus, your colleague took up most of the conversation but for those that don't know you or haven't come across you before, could you just give us a bit of background as far as how you got into the industry and then some of the different roles that you've had?

Mark: Yes. Well, I had a career before financial services. 10 years as a engineer in the oil industry. I worked for Exxon and there's some very interesting times and stories in that journey, but I jumped into the financial advice industry somewhat by fluke. All my colleagues were leaving Exxon and going to the West. They were talking about 10,000 engineers required in the West to open up the oil and gas fields, working for Woodside and Santos and all the various service companies that run that industry and my best friends were going there and it just happened at that time, my wife's parents were relocating back from 30 years in Europe. We had two young children and it was all about staying in Melbourne. So I thought the advice... So the financial services industry looked kind of interesting and I just happened to fluke a job with the very first application I submitted to BT. So joined the civil side equity research team in BT, Melbourne.

Matt: Right, what year was that?

Mark: That was '97. So it was really coming to the end of obviously an extraordinary period of market growth and of course BT's franchise was a very strong one at that time. Not that I knew that. Can I just tell a funny story about that? BT... It was way back at university when I was looking to join the oil field industry that I went for an interview on campus with who I thought was BP. You know a big oil company and I actually obviously misread the advertisement. It was actually with BT. So I didn't last more than about five minutes in the interview when I realised that I'd come to the wrong interview.

Matt: But it was always meant to be.

Mark: Jump forward 10 years and I landed up there.

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Matt: By chance our last guest Michael Blomfield, on the podcast started his career at Bankers Trust too and sort of walking through, I guess what innovative and great place it was to work.

Mark: Yes and I listened to that interview. It was very interesting hearing Michael story. I joined, as I said the sort of '97, '98 and I was very aware once I joined about that legacy and the people who were there. It was a remarkable actually when BT was finally wound up when as you know, people would know that a principal came in and bought the asset management business of course, and the investment bank was split between Macquarie and Deutsche.

I think the parties that they had the gatherings that not only that were held at the end, but in the months and years that followed just showed how close and vibrant a community it was. I didn't see most of that because I came in late, but I did understand that I was joining a pretty significant brand and way back then it really was about BT and Macquarie. I just remember being reminded about that all the time as we work through the industry that the both of those businesses had extraordinary franchises in asset management and investment banking.

Matt: And so how did you end up then moving across to S and P?

Mark: Well, it was a couple of hops. I was... Possibly one of my few regrets in my professional career and I'm somebody who's moved a lot and I've loved every moment of it. The only regret probably was not accepting a role with Macquarie infrastructure group as BT was being shut down and instead I... And it was just at the beginning of Mig... And they were just buying into [Toll roads 00:05:33], in Europe and they had an amazing journey following that, but I went with a small resources team. Equity research team covering resource sector across to HSBC securities, which was a fatal move because that business shut down six months later.

So then I eventually ended up at Standard and Poor's and it was an interesting journey because culturally, I think for me, jumping out of Exxon 10 years in an engineering firm, the biggest in the world at that time and now subordinate to all the FinTech firms, the apples and Amazons, but it was the largest company and had some extraordinary leadership and some very strong protocols and business processes into financial services. It felt like I was in free fall and I always remark about this and I'm sure I didn't have full visibility on the governance controls that existed in BT, but it felt like I was on another planet going into the financial services industry and that continued as I moved into HSBC but when I arrived at Standard and Poor's, it seemed like a really nice middle ground between my experience at Exxon and two investment banks.

Matt: At the two investment banks, how do you feel domain knowledge and becoming an analyst or moving into an analyst role was brand new for you?

Mark: Yes. That's right. I was an analyst in both those investment banking roles and then the role at Standard and Poor's... Funny, I actually applied and was offered a job as a credit analyst in the infrastructure group. Again, I had sort of morphed having come out as an oil and gas engineer into oil and mining research. I morphed into doing infrastructure and utilities research and then applied for the role and was offered the role in credit research at S and P and then I decided not to take it and I think that was a really good move. Weeks later I was contacted by Chris Dalton, the country head managing director, who became my boss for many years and developed a very close relationship with Chris. He called me up and said, "Would you be interested in a management role?" And to cut the long story short, I took on my first executive role running the market development business for Australia and that started my management career.

Matt: And what was it, if you think back across those three probably very different roles, what was some of the things that you wanted to take with you into that management role?

Mark: Well, firstly I think the thing that they found attractive was that I... and maybe why I was probably well suited to essentially a... Well not just an executive role, but a... And I was running a group called Market Development, which was primarily product development, business development, sales marketing, was the equity analyst... You know, equity analysts always think the glass is half full and credit analysts think it's half empty. So I think bringing that much more opportunistic and open minded growth mindset to a culture in S and P, which was credit. You know, very strong credit DNA, I think were some of the qualities that made me attractive to Chris in that role that I was taking on.

Matt: And did you find that challenging initially given that you would walk in as the bubbly optimist and have to deal with the pessimist?

Mark: Of course, if any credit analysts are listening to this, they'll probably feel I'm-

Matt: Of course they are out there.

Mark: ... characterising them somewhat unfairly, but it was. It really was and it was particularly interesting when... You know, remembering I'd come from four years of covering BHP. You know, all the big companies BHP, RIO, all the miners. All the sort of base metal miners, coal companies, and going into S and P and meeting the analysts who were covering those same companies. That was fascinating. Having very different views about the future of those organisations. Of course, they were looking at them with a different lens. So I had to respect that. That they were looking at about their credit ratings, which were about whether they could meet their debt obligations on time, but less so about the upside. So that was an interesting cultural clash. It wasn't so much a clash, but it was certainly the challenge I saw very quickly that to drive growth in a company like that you were going to have to bring those people along with you. So there was a fair bit of a relationship building early on to get them to appreciate what I was bringing to the business.

Matt: And I think that skillset particularly going through time and history like we are, being have to balance one's optimistic views with not necessarily pessimistic views, but the reality of the situation is going to test a lot of people.

Mark: Yes. Well, I think... You know, as we all get older... I mean, I'm an old bloke now. Someone in my business call me dad the other day, which [crosstalk 00:11:08], is a real wake up call but as you do get older and you become more experienced, you realise that you're taking on so much more information and you're able to process it and you're able to balance it. I think... You know, if there's one thing I took from my days at Exxon is that you're always looking at the downside because you're looking at risks. If there's something I think that the financial services industry can learn from engineering industries are the way they look at risk holistically.

Scenario planning and I learned a lot about that. So always thinking about risk and then I jumped into financial services, investment banking, which was all about upside with a lot less consideration for risk and that's why S and P was such a beautiful sort of middle ground for me. It was both and going forward since then, my career has been about... Has been in executive roles and always thinking open-minded opportunistic growth opportunities, but always balanced with a bit more sense around the downsides and being practical

Matt: And without going through each of the sort of the various roles that you've held throughout that time. You're now, I think in one of your most interesting roles, working for a FinTech. Converting that business into a data driven industry infrastructure if you like. Trying to just talk a little bit about what Adviser Ratings doing and the reasons that it was initially set up by Angus.

Mark: Yeah. So Adviser Ratings was set up five years ago by Angus. 2014, I think he'd been planning to do it for at least a couple of years before then. His story is that it was prompted by the worst of the financial crises in advice. At that time, storm financial was in the rear view mirror and so it was very much a platform for consumers to find a trusted adviser and that front end still exists and to some extent COVID-19 and everything that's been happening over the last couple of months and the huge spike that we've seen in consumer demand for advice has returned us to our roots as we're focusing on how can we improve our front end and servicing that consumer demand, but in the last two years since I've joined, we've turned it into... Intentionally so, turned it into a data driven FinTech and arguably a reg tech as we increasingly leverage our services to help some of their regulatory requirements that firms in this industry are dealing with. So that's the conversion and the transition or pivot that we've made and everything we're focused on right now is building out our core strengths in data and analytics and the technology to sort of express that information or deploy those services.

Matt: When adviser ratings first launched, I think the industry met the business with a fair bit of scepticism and potentially saw it as a bit of a threat and a way for the firm to uncover poor advice as opposed to maybe celebrating good advice. How has the industry now seeing advisor ratings and the work that you're doing?

Mark: Well, I think it's coming along. I think there's still a natural reticence for older advisers to be online. The same reasons they maybe haven't engaged with a lot of the technologies that are out there that would allow them to run their businesses more effectively. Clearly COVID-19 has introduced us all to online video conferencing and this cleared an explosion and views of that, but by and large, we're not only an online business where a business where you get rated and coming from 11 years at Standard and Poor's, you come away knowing everything can be rated and knowing that people don't like ratings intrinsically. They love them when they're rated well and they hate them when they're rated poorly and when you get a poor rating, everybody jumps to challenge the criteria and the validity of those ratings, but they don't challenge them when they're good.

So we've lived through those things. They're natural challenges as part of the journey. I'm very familiar with that from being at Standard and Poor's. I hope he doesn't mind me saying it, but one conversation that I had was with Chris Cuffe on a bad rating many, many years ago. Trying to explain why he got the rating he got on his fund and I've repeated those conversations hundreds of times since and I'm starting to have those... We probably always been having those with advisers. So I think there's a natural reticence that will always be there. We will never have all advisers fully engaged with our platform.

The ones that are, I think are seeing that we are really working hard to improve the value for them and we were doing a lot of things in the backend that are still to some extent in the pipeline and are coming through shortly that I hope we will get recognised for that. That the services that are going to add value for free, I might add. These are not services that the advisors have to pay for. So they're going to be adding value to the way they run their business, to the way they engage with consumers and most importantly with the vendor or marketplace that we've got coming out later this year. It'll help them in the way they deal with service providers.

Matt: Have you found that the criteria or the adviser rating criteria has changed a lot over the last couple of years? Have you needed to refine it or sought industry feedback to get better outcomes?

Mark: We are working on that but really you haven't seen that come through yet. So we were working on a couple of things on the consumer side. We're working on... We've been working on a big project which we've called licensee ratings and many of your listeners may be familiar with that. We set out to actually come up with a better rating on the adviser, a better rating that a consumer can rely on. We currently... Just so everyone's understanding, we have two ratings on an adviser. There is the customer satisfaction score, which is out of five star and that's purely based on four questions that a consumer answers and it speaks to the satisfaction that that consumer has with the adviser and then there's a badge of platinum gold, silver, bronze badge that we apply to the adviser.

So it's a little bit like Airbnb, which has both customer satisfaction rating and a host badge. We're looking to improve both of the algorithms and the intelligence behind those ratings but when we set out to improve the badge rating and we got feedback from the industry, the industry was telling us very clearly they wanted us to write licensees and this was pre-royal commission. I think the Royal commission just demonstrated that that kind of a rating was absolutely essential. So much of the way in which an advisor performs their day to day work and the environment within which they operate under is controlled by the licensee and the services that they offer. So it seemed appropriate that to get to the heart of an adviser's performance, you really have to understand the hierarchy and infrastructure that sits above them. So re licensee ratings is something we're working on, which will translate to a better badge on the adviser and we're also looking to improve the nature of the customer satisfaction assessment. So three assessments that we're working on.

Matt: Fantastic. And I think certainly we've talked about this many times. Most people don't go to a restaurant these days without having a look at its rating. You certainly don't go to a movie until you've checked rotten tomatoes, but the adoption of adviser ratings by advisors is actually still very small and again recent research was suggesting only 20 to 25% of respondents had registered or were actively using it to seek feedback. Just far too low.

Mark: Yes. Those numbers are about right. We want... You know, I've obviously set myself a target for our business to get to. So we've got about 5,000 advisors who have engaged with us and their profile... A few others also help us with our market research, but by and large about 25% of the industry. I want to get that to 50% over the next sort of 12 to 18 months and I'm relatively confident about that because I think, again, COVID-19 demonstrating the power of being online, being connected.

Mark: I think that's one reason I'm very confident with the service that we're going to roll out, that advisers will recognise that we are really working hard to give them value and that they want to engage with us for that reason and so I think, yeah, those types of things are important that we get more of the industry working with us because we're certainly working for them and COVID-19, it's more important than ever that we present as a unified industry to the consumer and to government for that matter. I think government is watching the way in which the adviser industry responds to this economic hardship and we have a chance as an industry to really step forward in terms of the reputation that we have with government and with the community.

Matt: Couldn't agree more. With the adviser ratings in those advisers that are actively using it. I guess two questions for me is, do you know off the top of your head how many clients would typically respond to that adviser and make up the rating? And secondly, have those advisers particularly where they've got good ratings, seen an uptick in new business as a result?

Mark: Yeah. So we've got... Look nowhere near enough, man. No, we haven't got enough advisers using the platform. We haven't got enough consumers reviewing them. So I think we've got 20,000 reviews on our site and about, I think 3000 advisers, so even when an adviser claim their profile, they aren't necessarily going off to get reviews. So we need to change that but so you can do the math 20,000 and three that's obviously not that many reviews per adviser on average and the reality is they're heavily skewed.

Some advisers have got one or two or 300. Remains to be seen whether the advisers are going to maintain client bases of 300 people but we'd like to see more advisors getting more reviews and some of the tweaks we're working on right now. Hopefully we'll get these rolled out in the next few weeks are going to improve the functionality around chasing more reviews and following up clients who have been asked to review them and have not yet. The other part of your question was... And I've now forgotten what it was. It was-

Matt: Had advisers seen an uptick where they've used the service-

Mark: Yes. That's right. Yeah. So the metrics are very clear about that. An adviser who has claimed their profile and got at least sort of five or 10 reviews are getting something like six times the number of leads from consumers than the advisers who haven't engaged and assuming there as an avatar on our platform. So that's a remarkable leverage for the simple act five minutes of claiming your profile and filling it out a bit, sticking a photo on there and then going off and requesting some client reviews using our wizard. So really simple to be in the game to get more leads if you want them.

Matt: And as you said, it's a free service.

Mark: Yep.

Matt: Some of the other really interesting work that you're doing and we've certainly engaged with you on a number of these. With a lot of that data as well as data that you're collecting from other sources, you've been able to come up with some very deep insights into what's happening with the industry right down to almost a suburb about top advisers, who's using what platforms, who's looking at retiring in the near future. In your recent report, you had a pretty clear outlook on where you think the industry is heading particularly post COVID and interested just to get a bit of an update on what the industry is going through and where you think it's going to land.

Mark: That's a big question.

Matt: It is. The report was only 600 pages I think. So if you can distil it down, that'd be great.

Mark: That's an... And I saw you ask Michael Blomfield the same question. Big question. Where does that... Well, clearly the industry is going through a massive reshaping, repositioning isn't it? And that's not just the advice industry, but the financial product manufacturing world that supports it. So we look at that whole ecosystem because you can't disconnect it, can you? It's the entire ecosystem. A complex ecosystem in Australia that's heavily connected, interdependent not withstanding banks exiting and getting out of advice and regulation driving more of a wedge between advice and product, but they're still heavily connected and there are so many bits and pieces changing. It's hard to know where to start. I mean, we're certainly seeing tackle some of those things. I think obviously the bank exits are continuing as they continue to look to sell down not only their advice assets, but now potentially softening off some of their financial product assets.

Obviously we've got colonial first state, people wondering about what happens to that. We've got the bundling together of the BT assets and Jason [Yeten 00:25:27]. We've got MLC up for sale or listing at some point in the future and we've got [inaudible 00:25:35], going through significant reform as well. So at that big end of town where the balance sheets exists, there's still lots of change ahead. Clearly we're going to see new capital emerging, buying up some of those assets. We've seen the Japanese coming in buying life assets and maybe they will buy more. In other areas we might see money out of the US. So I think we're going to see new balance sheets, new companies emerge in the manufacturing space but I think on the advice side, we're seeing clearly the mass privatisation of advice. It really is a small business industry isn't it? It's an SME market now with something like 65 to 70% of advisors now operating under privately owned licensees and a huge chunk of those on the self licencing. Extraordinary level of privatisation and going small. So-

Matt: What sort of growth have you seen in the self licencing over the last 12 to 18 months?

Mark: Well, we've seen 50% growth in licensees over five, but really interestingly and most of that growth is at the really small end of town. One, two, three person, large self licenced practises but what we have seen, what's been really striking in the last 15 months has been a massive reversal of that. So 50% growth over five years and sorry, that was through the end of 2018. Since then we've seen almost two licensees shutting down for every one being formed. Incredible reversal and somewhat 90% of those licensees being shut down... In fact, 95% of those licensees being shut down are one person businesses and where are they going? Because 60% of those people are actually staying in the industry. They're going into the big end of the privately owned sector.

Matt: And what are the reasons for that? Have you gotten any dialogue feedback from any of those practises? Do they find it too hard, too expensive? What was the driving reason?

Mark: Well, I think it's all of those things, isn't it? I mean, one might say... And I might say too, that somewhat 70% of those businesses are less than five years old. So I think we saw an explosion of self licenced boutiques. People coming out of the big banks, the major institutions and for better or for worse, decided to set up their own self licenced boutique when PI insurance was probably more affordable [crosstalk 00:28:23], we're probably not looking as carefully at the bonafides' of those businesses and so we saw that explosion. Now, under all the difficult and challenging circumstances that are confronting us both market, environmental, pandemic, regulatory, it's really expensive and time consuming to run a licence and so these small businesses are realising that. Some have left it too late and they really got nothing left in the tank either physically, emotionally.

Their businesses have been emasculated by loss of client, failure to transform into the new environment and so those businesses they're not valued, they're not valuable, and they're really hard to sell. So a lot of the businesses will shut down and those owners will exit and others will be able to find a buyer and advisors of course want to stay in the industry and find a new home. So I think we're seeing a flight to safety. So moving back into the bigger end of the privately owned licensee space and therefore it won't be surprising that we are going to see a growth in the total number of advisors, I think in the bigger licensees and we will see more of those big licensees starting to emerge. So ones with 30, 40, 50 advisors are probably going to become 50 to 100. The 100 will become 200 and the 200 become 500.

Matt: It's quite cyclical in some ways. If you think what happened pre FOFA there was a definite flight to safety as a lot of the smaller groups and practises at the time joined institutions because they felt that they had deep pockets and the know how to actually never go through what was a very challenging time back then. We're seeing something very similar happening now, but instead of the institutions, they're running to scale.

Mark: Yes. Yeah. History repeats, doesn't it? But will the big probably owned end of town have the capacity to manage it? I mean, this is the next question, isn't it? What does the new big six, we talked about before... There's a new big six in the privately owned space look like? What are their businesses models? How profitable do they become? Do they have the capacity to support situations where businesses are collapsing or where they're the significant customer detriment? Clearly there are other mechanisms in play.

Now there's obviously a new scheme in play, which I think is going to get a lot of air time in the next few weeks, which is a compensation scheme of last resort, which is very much been rolled out by government to try to protect consumers in the event of [inaudible 00:31:21], advice by advisors who have left the industry or are running insolvent businesses. So I think that's going to get a lot of attention as well.

Matt: Just going back to your point around people moving licensees and obviously moving from self licence to the larger end of town. We're seeing a lot of advisors what I'm calling moving onto their second marriage at the moment. So moving from... Potentially having moved from a large institution to a small to mid sized licensee and now moving again to one of those larger privately owned. Have you got any statistics or anything that supports that view?

Mark: Well, I don't know the exact statistics on it, but they are certainly hopping more than one or two times-

Matt: Over just a short period too from what I can tell.

Mark: Yeah, that's right. That journey and whether they hop from an institution or an aligned institution directly to the bigger end of privately owned or go through that experience through running their own self licenced boutique, they are hopping several times. Now that's probably getting harder. I mean, it's really is a dating game, isn't it? You know I often talk about our business being like E-harmony or and we're seeing the data as advisors are moving around trying to find their perfect match, but licensees are also showing a lot more discretion about who they're prepared to take on and unsurprisingly so as the banks are spending $11 billion in remediation around poor advice from advisors who are in many cases still in the industry but are moving. So there's a lot more due diligence going on both ways.

Advisers are probably becoming or making sure they're a lot more informed about where they're going before they hop and licensees are definitely taking care of the due diligence. They want to make sure that these people and whether they're practise owners or simply advisers, that they are aligned to the philosophy and culture of the licensee. That they will come in with good compliance records. They will be looking at their educational status and what education obligations they have remaining to meet [inaudible 00:33:41], and how compliant they will be to the systems and mechanisms that that licensee are running. So lots of that's going on. I think that's going to lead to eventually a slow down in movement. Although we haven't seen that yet, we're still seeing people switching at the same rate they have for about the last six quarters, which is about 13% of the community is moving around really consistently. That rate of movement is really consistent.

Matt: It's amazing given how disruptive it is to a practise.

Mark: Yes. I know. Well, when you think about exits and switches, that adds up to about 30%. Can you imagine any sort of major organisation with 30% staff turnover?

Matt: It's huge. So Macquarie of the reasons that you've mentioned, we are seeing advisers exiting the industry I think at its peak, we got to 28,000 for the reasons it will be well understood. I think it's sitting somewhere around 18 to 20,000. What's your expectation over the next couple of years? Are we going to see a drop much further?

Mark: Well, it's actually about 22,500 at the end of March and we forecast and you know, the landscape research we did end of last year, we came to the same conclusions we 18 months earlier and that's the industry is going to shrink to something like 15,000 over the next few years and we're running ahead of that right and so that's pretty frightening to think that we're down to 15,000 and I might say at a time when arguably the demand for advice has gone through the roof. So we've got a supply problem and-

Matt: Well that's going to be our next question, is there a lot of clients and money leaving the industry? Is it the 15,000 that remain getting bigger? How is it actually panning out?

Mark: Yeah, so 15... We think with the fold of 15,000, there is going to be a significant amount of wealth in transition. We actually estimated $900 billion of wealth in transition over this period where advisors are leaving or switching and a lot of that wealth will find a home again. It will find a home with the advisor that used to manage it or it'll find another advisor. That might be by chance and by fluke or it might be by design because those advisors are thinking very proactively about how you transition wealth as they leave or as they move or I'm passing that wealth down from one advisor to another or from a an advice client to their children's.

All those different transition issues I think where the businesses are proactive about that, that wealth will be retained and then a lot of that wealth will be lost to DIY or maybe to digital. So yeah. So in terms of the actual industry they are re... You know, the numbers 15,000, I think it was really interesting to see the... So we have a capacity problem, right? A supply problem and it's only going to get worse before it gets better. So I was really interested to see the government with its recent instrument around advice for early access to super bring in unlicensed tax agents and accountants. Now that's clearly a massive reversal of the direction the government has been taking to regulate the advice industry, why would they do that? Well, I think it was simply about capacity. Wanting a great army of professional people to help consumers in their hour of need.

Now it was short term, it was an interim step. They've said that and I certainly don't anticipate that they're going to make that a permanent move, but I do wonder and I'm interested to see where we will get supply from in terms of advisory capacity. So I'm really interested to see if we're going to see a trend of more accounting firms being lured into the space. There's clearly plenty of them out there that have not made the jump that we thought would happen probably three or four years ago. Tax agents seem even further removed of course, from being able to provide even simple advice, but with the H and R block announcement not that long ago, partnering up with a robo called fiduciary.

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So there's been a lot of talk about episodic advice lately. Are you saying or hearing from consumers that that's what they're looking for?

Mark: Oh, I think definitely. I mean, look this COVID-19 is a classic case. It's like if we ever needed to... Anyone didn't believe that episodic advice was coming and all the big chatter of accounting firms are forecast is for years. I mean you only have to look at big [inaudible 00:42:48], documents from KPMG, Deloitte [inaudible 00:42:51], and PWC over the last 10 years and they forecast out incredible growth in limited advice and very slow growth in comprehensive. It's the nature of our lives. We've become a transactional world.

People want help around something and right now it's being delivered to the doorstep of the advisors by COVID-19 and government have all the access to Super. That's what they want to talk about and you know what Matt? I think in just a few weeks and maybe months, I think we're going to see unfortunately an even bigger spike in redundancies. So I think as the world return... As the economy returns and government support mechanisms are slowly or quickly withdrawn. I really do think we're going to see a lot more redundancy. So that's another area that advisors can really help out.

Matt: Mark on that point and unfortunately we are about to run out of time, I know that you've got a couple of big projects. You've always had a couple of big projects on the go, do you want to finish off and just let us know what you're doing in the consumer space and what exciting things are coming up?

Mark: Yeah, thanks Matt. Yeah, as we've been talking about sort of this consumer demand coming through and so we are busy but we thought this was exactly what adviser rating was created for. You know, we are a bridge between the consumer and the advice industry in all its shapes and sizes, face to face and digital. Here is a time when the Australian community is in real financial pain and families are really struggling. What a great time to run a campaign to bring awareness of the community to the advice industry. So we're calling it Together Australia campaign. We are hoping to launch in a couple of weeks. We're hoping to reach through a range of major media partners, at least 5 million consumers around this concept of affordable advice at a time where they're in significant financial pain. We are already talking to advisers.

Hopefully many of the people listening to this and many others will get on board. They have all been canvas to say, are you interested in helping consumers? Please identify yourself, select some of these icons that are being produced on our website and on their logged in portals to say, "I want to in this campaign. I want to be found by consumers who are coming looking for help." So that campaign as I said we're launching a couple of weeks. We expect it to run for months. We were originally thinking the end of that campaign was when the early access to Super provisions and at the end of September, but actually do anticipate this is going to be key. This is going to run for a while.

We believe more advisers will get on board in time and more consumers will find their way to getting help in some form. That could be as simple as reading some of the material on the sites. We hope it's a little more proactive than that. Maybe connecting to their Super fund and realising that they may not need to go to take their money out. We're offering up some digital solutions for them to tap into if that's all they want and if they want to go further, then they will be able to reach advisers who have selected those particular icons on our platform. That's big for us and we're working really hard. The team is pulling out all stops to get this campaign ready to go. So everybody should be watching out for that and hopefully supporting it in some way.

Matt: I think that's a fantastic initiative and I think you and the team should be applauded for what you've done for the industry over a very short period of time. Thank you for continuing to raise the profile of advice and particularly the good work of so many advisers.

Mark: Thanks very much Matt. I appreciate it.


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Views expressed are of the interviewee and may not be the opinion of Netwealth or its related companies.

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