There’s one thing we can be sure of as the financial advice industry professionalises and realigns to deliver services in the best interests of consumers: the cost to financial advisers of being authorised by an Australian financial services licensee is going to increase.

The cost of delivering advice to consumers can’t be subsidised from products the way it once was, and nor can the cost of providing licensee services to advisers. Consumers will pay closer to the full cost of services provided by advisers; and advisers will pay closer to the full cost of the services provided by licensees. It’s really quite simple.

But how much is enough to pay in licensee fees, and how much is too much? Some licensee charge advisers as little as $20,000 a year; others charge twice as much; and some charge advice practices north of $100,000 a year, depending on how many advisers are in the firm and the services they take up.

It will be absolutely critical over the next five years to ensure that you are backed by a competent and well-resourced licensee. Support and guidance from a high-quality licensee might make the difference between success or failure as new education, professional and ethical standards come into force, and in the wake of the financial services royal commission as consumers increasingly look for non-conflicted advice.

But it can be difficult for tell if a licensee has got what it takes to support you adequately, without the context provided by other advisers’ experiences and opinions. This is where CoreData’s annual Licensee Research comes into the picture. 

Cost versus value

The Licensee Research is an in-depth look at the adviser-licensee relationship. Its results not only empower advisers to make better decisions about the licensees they choose, but also enable licensees to understand how advisers regard their existing services and support.

Each year we ask financial advisers to tell us what they think about the quality of the services provided by their own licensee, and which other licensees they like the look of based on what they know of them. 

This year we’re also focusing on the cost of licensee services, and whether those services are perceived as good value and as being relevant.

If you’re a financial adviser, CoreData wants to know what you think about your current licensee – how well it supports your business and the way you provide advice to clients, what it could be doing better, and what it already does well. Your participation in this research will help to create a comprehensive and accurate picture of the current licensee landscape.

Better support and services for advisers

The results of the research will be covered in leading financial planning industry publication, Professional Planner, in June, providing you with insights into which licensees your peers think are the best at what they do. And licensees whose advisers respond to the survey can use its results to develop sharper, more valuable and more relevant service propositions for advisers.

And of course, CoreData and Professional Planner will reveal which licensees are the ones that advisers believe are doing the best job of providing the services, support and value they need to cure them through the coming changes.


The 2019 CoreData Licensee Research online survey takes about 15 minutes to complete and you’ll also be able to go into the draw to win one of four $1000 Flight Centre gift cards, or one of 20 $100 GiftPay online gift cards.