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Financial Planning
Adviser numbers at five-year low

The financial adviser population has reverted to the pre-financial services Royal Commission days, ending at 20,667 in the first quarter of 2021.

Rainmaker analysis of ASIC's Financial Adviser Register found that the total number of financial advisers have tapered off to levels experienced in 2016 (see Figure 1).

About five years ago, adviser numbers floated above 20,000 and peaked at nearly 30,000 at the end of 2018 as the Hayne Royal Commission was finalising its verdict.

On a year-on-year comparison, the number of advisers dropped 11% at the end of March 2021.

The SMSF Advisers Network is currently the largest advice licensee, followed by AMP Financial Planning, Morgans, Synchron and Charter.

Over the course of 12 months, GWM Adviser Services welcomed the highest number of advisers of 173 but lost 164. AMP Financial Planning lost a whopping 389 but added 50 new advisers.

Less than a third (30%) of advisers or 14,487 are authorised to provide advice on life risk products.

Aware Financial Services with 204 and Commonwealth Financial Planning with 203 risk advisers have the largest market share in the risk advice segment.

Lifespan Financial, GWM Adviser and Capstone Financial are the fastest-growing licensees, each adding 29, 31 and 56 advisers respectively over the period. Bank-owned AFSLs continue to experience the largest fall in adviser numbers.

The report also found that bank and institutionally aligned platforms are highly favoured among advisers.

Colonial FirstChoice tops the chart, housing 10,072 advisers with an 11% market share.

AMP Flexible Lifetime (6876), Perpetual WealthFocus (5992), Asgard (5477) and BT Wrap (5208) make up the top five most-used platforms.

Outside of the major platforms, Netwealth owns the biggest market share at 2.5% with 2371 advisers, while HUB24 has 1790 advisers and a 1.9% market share.

During the March 2021 quarter, there were 538 adviser registrations with advice licensees while 1017 ceased registrations.

Read more: AMP Financial PlanningAsgardASICAware Financial ServicesBT WrapCapstone FinancialColonial FirstChoiceCommonwealth Financial PlanningFinancial Adviser RegisterGWM Adviser ServicesLifespan FinancialMorgansNetwealthSMSF Advisers NetworkSynchronWealthFocus