Matrix Planning Solutionshas been named the 2019 Licensee of the Year by CoreData Research. 

Matrix has also been named Institutionally Affiliated Licensee of the Year, while MLC Advicehas been named Institutionally Branded Licensee of the Year and Sentry Grouphas been named Independently Owned Licensee of the Year.

CoreData also revealed two new awards this year: the Industry Leadership Award; and the Licensee Leadership Award.

Five of the six awards are based on CoreData’s annual Licensee Research, which measures financial advisers’ satisfaction with the offers of their respective Australian financial services licensees (AFSLs). However, the Industry Leadership Award is a qualitative award determined solely by CoreData, based on its observations of activity in the licensee industry and interactions with individuals within it. 

It is designed to recognise an individual who has demonstrated leadership in bringing the licensee industry together for the betterment of licensees themselves, financial advisers and their businesses and, most importantly, the clients and future clients of advisers. The inaugural award was presented to Tim Steele, general manager of NAB Financial Planning and NAB Direct Advice.

The Licensee Leadership Award recognises the leader of a licensee business who is most highly rated by the advisers within the licensee’s network. In 2019 the inaugural award went to Paul Kelly, managing director of Futuro Financial Services.

In 2019, advisers’ satisfaction with licensees can be explained to a large extent – 83.5 per cent – by three factors alone: business planning support, compliance support, and communication. 

Every licensee named as a finalist or as a winner excelled on at least those three issues, as well as on a host of other issues that underpin a great licensee offer. 

They have assisted advisers constructively to deal with the compliance burden heaped upon them; they have helped the owners of financial advice businesses plan effectively for the future and map a path through the next five years; and they have communicated effectively with their advisers about the road ahead, the changes that are coming and what the licensee is doing to get advisers through it.

The best licensees have delivered the specialised support financial advisers need to comply with ever-increasing regulation so they can deliver solid and technically compliant financial advice; and marry that with the same sort of support and assistance that would be needed by any small or medium-sized enterprise.

If it’s true that it’s never been a tougher time to be a financial adviser, then it’s also true that it’s never been a tougher time to run a licensee business – and there’s never been a more important time for those that run licensee businesses to demonstrate courageous and authentic leadership.

It’s the licensees that support financial advisers and give them the resources and the wherewithal to deliver great advice that the CoreData Licensee of the Year Awards recognise – along with the leaders of licensees as they guide their own businesses, advisers’ businesses and advisers’ clients through some very choppy waters.

2019 CoreData Licensee of the Year Awards

Industry Leadership Award
Winner: Tim Steele
General manager, NAB Financial Planning and NAB Direct Advice

Licensee Leadership Award
Winner: Paul Kelly
Managing director, Futuro Financial Services

Institutionally Branded Licensee of the Year
Finalists: 
AMP Financial Planning
MLC Advice
NAB Financial Planning
Winner: MLC Advice

Institutionally Affiliated Licensee of the Year
Finalists
Australian Unity Personal Financial Services
Financial Services Partners
Matrix Planning Solutions
Winner: Matrix Planning Solutions

Independently Owned Licensee of the Year
Finalists: 
Futuro Financial Services
Synchronised Business Systems
Sentry Group
Winner: Sentry Group

Licensee of the Year
Finalists:
Futuro Financial Services
Matrix Planning Solutions
Sentry Group
Winner: Matrix Planning Solutions