October 15, 2019
Mortgage Choice Financial Planning (MCFP) has reached $1 Billion in funds under advice since it was established in October 2012.
Chief Executive Officer of Mortgage Choice, Susan Mitchell said, “I am thrilled to announce this milestone for our financial planning division. Since its inception, Mortgage Choice Financial Planning was established to support Mortgage Choice’s mission to be Australia’s leading provider of financial services and advice. We believed then, and believe today, that every Australian should have access to financial advice they can trust and afford.
“Mortgage Choice Financial Planning was established with a handful of start up advice practices, with no client base. Our home loan customers were already asking for help with their finances beyond the mortgage. We recognised the opportunity to fulfill their full financial needs and set out to bring on professionals who were suited to our culture and brand values.
“Starting from scratch was by no means the easiest approach, however it has allowed us to build the business on a solid foundation, without having to deal with legacy issues. We have grown organically under the strength of a national brand and have spent time nurturing these practices to grow from start-ups to fully-fledged businesses with customer databases, support staff and in some cases, multiple advisers.
“Financial planning is an important part of Mortgage Choice’s future. The business continues to perform strongly, with Premiums In Force growing 7% in the last financial year to almost $30 million.
“We now have seven years of experience supporting our advice practices to deliver transparent, fee for service, goals-based, strategic advice.
“I’m incredibly proud to see the business reach this milestone. Especially when you consider the headwinds that have faced the advice industry in recent times.
Strengthening our foundation
"In 2018, while the financial planning industry was under intense scrutiny, we embarked on a journey of transformation to ensure our business would be resilient enough to thrive into the future by delivering two key changes to the business.
“The first involved the creation and implementation of a new remuneration model for our adviser network. Our new remuneration model allows us to maintain a sustainable licence with a competitive remuneration structure for our advisers.
“The second was a significant investment in technology with the migration of all our practices to a highly configured version of advice software, XPLAN. Technology plays an increasingly important role in building successful, sustainable advice practices. In the current regulatory environment, it is more important than ever for licensees to support advisers to deliver, efficient and cost-effect advice within a robust compliance framework. XPLAN supports our ongoing strategy to integrate and transfer mutual client data with the mortgage broking side of the business, which will ultimately serve to enhance business efficiencies and the client experience.
Growing our support
“We have also expanded our team at the licensee level with the appointment of new staff members to support our adviser network and facilitate the business’ growth plans.
“We have appointed Stephan Mariani, an XPLAN Implementation Specialist to assist our advice franchisees and their staff to embed efficient and effective advice delivery. Stephan has extensive experience within the financial planning industry, as an XPLAN software specialist.
“Stephan joins Joseph Raad, Manager - Advice Solutions. Joe drove the delivery of the Company’s XPLAN and CommPay software solution and is responsible for designing, developing and optimising end to end advice processes used by all franchises within Mortgage Choice Financial Planning.
“We recently appointed Ray Udabage to the role of Practice Development Manager. Ray brings with him over 15 years’ experience in wealth management and financial planning. His knowledge, expertise and experience will serve to help our practices optimise their businesses and reach their potential," said Ms Mitchell.
A bright future
Ms Mitchell believes Mortgage Choice Financial Planning is well positioned for long-term growth. “We have a large scale referral opportunity, with over 500 Mortgage Choice mortgage brokers providing a strong source of leads for our adviser network.
“We recognised that in order to leverage the quality leads at our disposal, we needed to enhance our systems and support model before we embarked on an aggressive adviser recruitment strategy.
“The restructuring of wealth businesses across a number of Australia’s financial institutions provides Mortgage Choice with the opportunity to attract quality advisers who are seeking the backing of a national brand and the opportunity to leverage best-practice systems and a strong referral network.
“Looking ahead, we remain committed to making advice accessible to all Australians. At a time when regulatory scrutiny and change are raising advisers’ cost to acquire and serve clients, we will continue to invest in technology and best practice systems to support our advice franchisees to build stronger, more sustainable businesses,” concluded Ms Mitchell.