Advisers Divided Over Alternatives for Risk Specialists


As a risk specialist adviser, I’m prepared to explore alternative propositions such as consulting or general advice as a way to retain my relationship with my clients and to extend my involvement in the industry.

  • Disagree (46%)
  • Agree (37%)
  • Not sure (17%)

Advisers have delivered a mixed response on the question of whether risk specialist advisers might be open to considering related but alternative career pathways.

As we go to press, there’s an almost even split in our latest poll between those who are at least open to exploring alternative propositions such as consulting or general advice services for risk specialists who elect not to attain their minimum education standards (39%) and those who are not (40%). There is also a large group (21%) who have yet to make up their mind on this issue.

This poll has generated strong engagement between advisers, but the conversation accompanying it has concentrated as much on the reason or reasons these alternative pathways are being offered in the first place, as it has on the merits of the propositions themselves:

Alternate General Advice Proposition for Risk Specialists

‘Plan B’ Offer for Risk Specialists

Time will be the judge as to whether one or both of these alternative proposals will prove to be a success for the adviser, the advice business and the consumers they serve. But what seems apparent is that these offers re-affirm the fact that the life insurance advice sector is undergoing significant and permanent evolutionary change.

It’s perhaps too early to predict how (or whether) the specialist risk adviser will emerge from this period of change, but perhaps one or both of these offers under consideration reflects one possible avenue in the evolution of how personal life insurance advice may remain viable in the years ahead.

Our poll remains open for another week as we continue to welcome your measured and respectful contributions to this debate…


  1. The entire context of the debate around alternative career paths, is an argument the Regulators have allowed to occur, by the simple fact that they are totally out of their depth and have fallen back on the age old Public service mentality and process of delay, procrastinate and let’s have more irrelevent meetings and investigations down the black hole of no positive action.

    What is the benefit of forcing risk advisers out of the Industry through unworkable restrictions of trade, when there is a massive shortage and NIL successful recruitment to replace those who have left and the fact that the Industry needs 10 times the current numbers of risk advisers to service the huge demand, has been totally lost on ASIC, APRA, Treasury and the Government.

    The world has become an insane system of consultants and checkers, on a dwindling population of the real world practitioners, to the point where there are more checkers and consultants than the people who actually do the work to keep Industry turning.

    The lunatics have taken over the Asylum and the people in charge whose job it is to bring order, are more out of touch from reality than the inmates.

    The argument should not be about alternative careers for experienced advisers. It should be about how we can provide incentives for these people to stay as advisers and options on how they can rebuild their Risk Businesses by recruiting, which is the opposite to the current path, that is pushing the Insurance Industry over a cliff.

    • I agree with you Jeremy. As we know, it’s been over 6 years since ASIC’s flawed audit of October 2014 which set all of this nonsense in motion, and if the regulators and government haven’t recognised the existing turmoil in the retail insurance space after 6 years, then when will they? Therefore, may I suggest that because it’s unlikely these issues will be resolved anytime soon, these alternatives may encourage risk specialists to remain in this industry. Depending on how many adopt an alternative, it may even send a message to the regulators – however unlikely that may be.

  2. I find this argument about risk specialists being treated differently to full service advice practitioners to be people simply saying that I do not want to play by the best interest rules.
    Look at any recognised profession and you will fund sub specialities.
    Accountants have your Audit specialists, tax specialists, business advisory specialists ect.
    Doctors have a Who’s Who of specialist practitioners
    Lawyers are the same.
    Every one of these professional services, however, have their core education, professional standards and then sub-standards for the specialty itself.
    To give risk specialists special treatment around how they can deliver advice, what education requirements are, how they document their advice is opening a can of worms that can lead to poor outcomes for their clients.
    I am currently working on a case where the client had an unfortunate medical event as they were applying for insurance, and has been in the position of paying north of $6000 pa for an ACCIDENTIAL Death or Disablement policy for the last 3 years.
    In addition to this, how can a Risk Only Specialist truely demonstrate the outcome of the impacts on their clients super position if they do not fully know the impact themselves via clear detailed notes on the file.
    Risk is where the profession grew out of. Risk is also the biggest issue when the policy is claimed on, and poorly documented advice, poorly educated adviser in this area is only going to result in clients being worse off when they need their policies to pay.

    • This is very true. If you don’t know superannuation law in some detail you are not a good risk adviser and that is just one example. The FASEA exam shows if you understand ethics in sufficient detail to apply in your business and justify your decisions.

      I see a lot of insurance policies in my business and a large proportion of them have major flaws including the egregious one above where risk advisers sell accident only policies due to the easier underwriting process. A better educated risk adviser population is strongly needed.

    • Ronald, you are correct in that there are very expensive and badly designed Insurance contracts out in the market.

      Where your argument falls down, is the presumption that most Financial Planners with all the paper qualifications and experience in Investment advice, want to provide risk advice today, which they don’t and based on the actual New Business numbers, are no longer interested in getting bogged down with the maze, that is the current LIF regime.

      There is currently no sub-standards for specialty Risk advice and for Risk specialists to be forced to do irrelevent studies in fields they never get involved in, shows a total lack of respect for and disregard for the decades of experience that thousands of risk speciaists have provided to their clients.

      There is an old saying that still rings true today.

      Those that can, DO. Those that can’t, Teach.

      I find it interesting that people with little or nil practical experience, are very quick to push their opinions and views on how Risk Advise Practitioners should be treated and educated.

      Most of those people work in Government departments, though there are a few vested interest groups who pretend to be all knowing, with an agenda that has no positive outcome for most Australians.

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