The Value of Pro-Bono Advice


TAL’s Niall McConville is advocating the importance of pro-bono work done by advisers and is encouraging more advisers to get involved.

McConville, who is TAL’s General Manager of Retail Distribution and a Board Director of the Pro Bono Financial Advice Network says that: “To make a gift of your personal expertise is immensely empowering.”

In a statement he explains that that the Pro Bono Financial Advice Network (PFAN) was formed to help connect advisers willing to provide pro-bono financial advice to those experiencing financial hardship triggered by a personal health crisis.

Niall McConville …the personal and professional benefits of providing pro bono financial advice are endless…

McConville says the organisation is an industry wide collaboration which works with local communities and associations to offer financial support to those who need it most. It has a strong partnership with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Limited, supporting people living with MS and their families with financial guidance as they work through their diagnosis and subsequent health journey.

He says that the personal and professional benefits of providing pro bono financial advice are endless, “…and, for me personally, I feel grateful to have been involved with PFAN over the past few years and now as a Director…

… It’s incredibly rewarding to see more than 150 advisers put their hand up to volunteer …

“It’s incredibly rewarding to see over 150 advisers put their hand up to volunteer and provide their services to help those less fortunate in times of need.”

He says that if every adviser in Australia, who has the capacity or wants to do more pro bono work, saw one client a year with PFAN, that would make a huge difference and he’s encouraging advisers to get involved.

“As an advice community, I believe we can do more to give back where we can and to ensure more Australians are getting tailored financial support that is appropriate to their circumstances.”

He adds that PFAN support also goes beyond providing people with a no-cost service to plan ahead; but that the true value lies in helping disadvantaged members of the community access financial advice in general.

“Not only does participating in the PFAN program leave advisers feeling a sense of fulfilment through positively impacting the lives of people living with MS and their families, it also reinforces the value that advisers deliver to the community.”

With more advisers supporting PFAN, local awareness and appreciation for the value of the guidance that advisers provide rises too,” he says.

Click here to learn more about the Pro Bono Financial Advice Network.


  1. This network is a commendable initiative and will endow the industry with a high moral halo it deserves but is rarely seen to deserve! At this time, we at TRS are involved daily with advisers helping clients of all levels of financial strength or otherwise, with few opportunities for a revenue outcome (most are adjusting cover downwards and no fees are being charged). So while officially labeled pro-bono services are commendable, let’s not ignore the everyday incidental free help that’s going to thousands of clients from thousands of advisers. And this, during a period of stretched advice practice resources so powerfully and accurately described by both Paul Forbes and Guy Mankey in recent riskinfo articles. Any adviser with their head above the parapet this year is working for free to a greater or lesser degree. And those clients having to adjust cover downwards now have thus created an even smaller servicing stream for their adviser to be paid for looking after them next year and the years after. Heroes, all of these advisers – halo or not.

  2. On the ball as usual Sue. Lots of pro-bono going on right now keeping people in some cover.

    I have done pro-bono in the past but not anymore – LIF has killed that plan

    On a sarcastic note, advisers continually get loaded with admin work that used to be the responsibility of life offices. Never seen the dollars though!

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