Dealer group shuts after advisers depart

A dealer group boss decided to close down its Australian Financial Services License after finding it hard to restock advisers with the FASEA education requirements.

Queensland-based Myonlineadvisers was started by James Sutherland in 2012 as a non-aligned dealer group and had about 30 advisers at the end of 2018.

Earlier this year, about 15 of them left to self-license in two separate groups.

Sutherland then took the decision that it would be hard to restock the team given the new education requirements and decided to close.

"With the Royal Commission announcements and new FASEA standards starting, we knew that it would be difficult to find good quality advisers who shared our ethos and wanted to join a new AFSL such as ours," Sutherland told Financial Standard.

Sutherland said he helped the remaining advisers find a new AFSL. He himself moved to another AFSL called UEM Wealth.

He said the Royal Commission and new FASEA standards are good for the industry but they also bring about rapid change and are causing "enormous additional stress".

"Being part of the industry myself, I've seen the advisers leaving due to stress and it's not just bank-aligned dealer group advisers who are leaving, but across the whole industry," he said.

"With new advisers joining the industry required to serve a professional year as a "trainee" and required to have a degree to practice, I don't know if or when the incoming adviser numbers will outweigh the outgoing adviser numbers. This is a potential risk for all consumers."

Read more: AFSLAustralian Financial Services LicenseRoyal CommissionJames SutherlandFinancial StandardUEM Wealth
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