Recapping the IFS Financial Advice Conference 2023
On October 26, IFS hosted client funds, service partners and guests at the 2023 Advice Conference. This conference is the only dedicated event for superannuation advice, recognising the unique challenges and opportunities that come with serving a large number of people with their retirement planning needs. The day provided valuable opportunities for advisers and advice leaders from different super funds to share insights, successes and failures, recognising the power of collaboration and shared risk taking when it comes to service design and enhancement. It also provided an opportunity to hear from IFS and our technology partners on the work being done to make advice more effective in driving improved retirement outcomes at scale.
The key focus areas from the conference were:
A data led conversation about the benefits that Best Practice Models offer, where significant variances across adviser productivity and outcomes highlight inconsistencies in how advisers make best use (or not) of the systems and processes designed to support them. Katarina Glarin from Brighter Super and Prabath Ekanayake from Hostplus shared insights into how they have refined their processes, which have brought about sustained high performance. Andrew George provided numerous strategies on how a best practice model can be quickly defined, implemented and managed.
We explored hybrid advice models and the role technology can play in supporting the delivery of advice on a larger scale. The key lesson here is that we should not view technology as a one-size-fits-all solution, rather we need to have a clear picture of the outcomes we are seeking for members and then consider technology as an enabling force, not a problem-solver in itself. The retirement health check is an example of a hybrid service that has been tested with encouraging member outcomes and engagement. IFS presently has a number of initiatives to embrace this interest in hybrid models including the rebuild of Xplan (and related processes, artefacts and reporting), build of a risk profile experience, exploration with more than a dozen tech vendors on digital advice adapted solutions amongst others.
We can now better understand the potential for AI and tools such as ChatGPT in an education and advice context. IFS' partners, Iress and Novigi, gave us a crash course on how emerging tech works, the opportunities it offers and also things to be wary of. We also heard a little about the work IFS is doing with its Regtech partner, trialling AI capabilities to monitor call centre delivery of general advice.
Finally, we learned how traditional risk profile solutions can be deeply flawed and potentially irrelevant in a superannuation context. We saw the role that adviser bias can take when an adviser facilitates a risk profile experience and how poorly risk profile models reveal the trade-off-based decisions that members need to make between risk and reward. Without a compelling market solution to pick from, IFS has built a digitised risk profiling experience for a digital advice use case. With many questions about how this could work in a human advice channel, the audience was asked to work through the potential challenges. IFS is planning to pilot this solution with a select number of clients in the coming months.
The evening provided an opportunity for attendees to relax and socialise. We also saw a number of individuals and teams recognised for outstanding performance and service.
A huge congratulations to all winners:
Financial Adviser of the Year (Comprehensive Licensed):
Mark Rabius - Brighter Super
Financial Adviser of the Year (Limited Licensed):
Katarina Glarin – Brighter Super
Paraplanner of the Year:
Dan Skelton - IFS
Advice Assurance Award:
Manu Bhalla - Vision Super
IFS Professional Partner Award
Advice Support Person of the Year:
Lachlan Longmire – CareSuper
Financial Adviser: Outstanding Service Award
Gabby Williams – Brighter Super
Financial Advice Team of the Year:
We would like to thank the guest speakers, organising team, and attendees for making this event so rewarding and high-energy. We look forward to exploring the new initiatives that have emerged from our conference, and we have already begun planning a bigger and better conference in 2024!