Set and forget aggregators not good enough, says CEO

by AB,Mackenzie McCarty08 Mar 2013

Vow Financial CEO, Tim Brown, says brokers are starting to have higher expectations of their aggregators thanks to, among other things, heightened licensing-related stress levels.

Brown says a ‘subtle’ change has begun to occur and that brokers are now requiring a higher level of support.

“All participants in financial services are looking at the value for money proposition and brokers are no different. High levels of aggregation services are no longer enough; our brokers want business solutions to improve revenues, strategy and client interaction. Small businesses generally struggle to commit the resources needed to independently develop those solutions.”

Additionally, says Brown, licensing has put enormous pressure on brokers.

“Their admin has increased substantially to a point where they need scale for efficiency. This means brokers businesses will need to consolidate and this is where the aggregator can facilitate and help structure mergers and acquisitions. Most small businesses will not have the expertise to do this properly. Brokers are now experiencing what the financial planning industry experienced years ago when licensing was introduced into their industry.”

The low-cost, set-and-forget aggregation model no longer suits this new environment and brokers’ businesses will need to consolidate, he says.

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  • by Patrick 8/03/2013 10:21:06 AM

    It is a fact that banks subsidise the acquisition of new business from portfolio revenue. As they continue to widen their margins and increase profits in a market where demand has weakened they have also slashed the ongoing portfolio revenue of brokers, their trailer commission, which also subsidised the acquisition of new business. It was said during the GFC that trailers had to be cut to share the pain, yet banks control their margins and have continued to generate pain free rising profits. Do not be so naive as to think this is because they cut trailers, while this is adding to profits the former larger trailers are still being paid on loans originated up to 2008 and this would still be the major part of any banks portfolio as home loans have an average life of around 7 years. At the same time that banks slashed broker portfolio revenue by 40%, NCCP was introduced. This actually changed nothing for consumers as the majority of brokers were already acting honestly, fairly and professionally under MFAA industry regulation. The majority acted this way due to intelligent self interest. If you do a good job and your clients are happy, your business grows through referral. All that NCCP has achieved is to increase the administration and paperwork for honest brokers also now expected to write more business to earn the same income. We have no union to represent us and a professional association which is in the pocket of the exploiters, their sponsors.

  • by Patrick 8/03/2013 10:30:23 AM

    Tim, I have looked and and tried a number of aggregator options, but I now still pay fees to all the aggregator I have used, whose service I have rejected as unsatisfactory or uncompetitive. I am also a financial planner and the same has transpired, but all my clients and business has been transferred to my current dealer group. When will ASIC and/or ACCC do something about the Restraint of Trade and breach of the Trade Practices Act being perpetrated on masse by aggregators with the consent and assistance of the banks. Tim, would Vow transfer my portfolio to my new aggregator if I became dissatisfied with service or price?

  • by Scott Beattie 8/03/2013 11:44:43 AM

    It's a simple solution - if an aggregator is in favour ie allows, clawbacks - then they should have no reason to not allow your trail book to be transferred without fee or penalty.
    If an aggregator won't allow the trail to be transferred, how is is that they can be in favour of clawbacks? At the end of the day, if a broker changes their aggregator, it's usually that there is a better offer or their cicrumstances have changed - usually nothing in the aggregators control - kind of like what happens when a client sells or refinances their loan....