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These are the best licensees in the land – as rated by advisers

CoreData Research today announces the winners in its 2020 Licensee of the Year Awards, based on CoreData’s industry-standard Licensee Research and other research carried out by CoreData during the year.

CoreData 2020 Licensee of the Year Awards

Independent Licensee of the Year
(Finalists listed alphabetically)
• GPS Wealth
• Lifespan Financial Services
• Sentry Financial Group
Winner: GPS Wealth

Institutionally Affiliated Licensee of the Year
(Finalists listed alphabetically)
• Affinia Financial Advisers
• Matrix Planning Solutions
• RI Advice
Winner: Affinia Financial Advisers

Institutionally Branded Licensee of the Year
Not awarded in 2020 due to an insufficient number of qualifying licensees.

Licensee of the Year
(Finalists drawn from segment finalists listed above)
Winner: GPS Wealth

Licensee Leadership Award
(Winners listed alphabetically)
Peter Ornsby, chief executive officer, RI Advice
Marcus O’Sullivan, head of Affinia Financial Advisers

Industry Leadership Award
Darren Whereat, IOOF chief advice officer

The awards reflect advisers’ satisfaction with their licensees across more than a dozen aspects of their service offering, and how it is structured and delivered to advisers – including the fees they charge – and other aspects of the licensee structure and its network dynamics.

The Licensee Leadership Award reflects advisers’ satisfaction with the leader of their licensee, and the level of understanding of and empathy towards advisers and their businesses shown by the leader. O’Sullivan’s and Ornsby’s ratings were statistically inseparable.

The winners and finalists in the Licensee of the Year Awards each showed themselves to be capable of delivering a highly rated level of service and support to advisers in an extremely challenging environment. Financial advice is grappling with the implication of thousands of advisers choosing to leave the industry as it continues a transition to a professional structure and footing.

The highest-rated licensees are those best supporting advisers and their businesses to navigate the required changes, while proactively identifying and helping to manage out of their networks those practices and advisers unable or unwilling to make the transition.

A number of institutions have scaled back their involvement in financial advice in the past 12 months, and some have departed the sector altogether, As a result, CoreData opted this year to withhold the Institutionally Branded Licensee of the Year, due to an insufficient number of licensees operating in that segment.

CoreData today announces today that the Licensee Industry Leadership Award has been won by Darren Whereat, chief advice officer, IOOF. The Industry Leadership Award was instituted last year and is presented at CoreData’s discretion in recognition of actions that make an impact transcending a single licensee.

While an action may originate within a licensee, the award reflects leadership defined as setting a course or undertaking action that has the potential to shape or reshape the advice industry in toto. The 2020 award reflects the creation of an advice entity that has the potential to determine the future of an entire industry for the foreseeable future. 

In some respects the award this year represents potential yet to be realised. It reflects some of the work done to date, but it also anticipates the work that will need to be done to ensure the objectives of not only the corporate entity are met, but also the interests of advisers and – most importantly – the best interests of advisers’ clients are served along the way.

That presents challenges on multiple fronts: corporate, undoubtedly; but also in supporting the development of financial advisers into trusted and respected professionals. The eyes of the industry, consumers, government and regulators will be on them.

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