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Scale Up Series #10 – Jason Nyilas and Con Koromilas – Transcript

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Jason Nyilas and Con Koromilas

XY ADVISER

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SUMMARY KEYWORDS

clients, advisors, business, advice, people, outcomes, jason, terms, achieve, important, understand, industry, concept, deliver, goals, technology, portfolios, provide, talking, solution

SPEAKERS

Jason, Fraser Jack, Con

 

Fraser Jack 

Welcome to the x y advisor podcast. A global community of financial advisors sharing and learning with one another to drive the positive evolution of financial advice. To get involved, go to x y advisor.com. Or simply download the XY advisor.

 

 

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Fraser Jack 

Welcome back to the x y advisor podcast. I’m your host Fraser Jack. And today we are wrapping up the scale up series. This is Episode 10 in what has been a really great series I’ve really enjoyed it. And I’m joined by Khan and Jason from Aberdeen. Welcome, gentlemen.

 

Jason 

Good morning.

 

Fraser Jack 

Now I thought I might give you guys let me just give you a quick introduction to yourselves and let us know we’re about whereabouts you are or how you fit into the picture. You want to go first

 

Con 

con, thanks for that. Yeah, it’s a con Clara Millis, I hit up the wholesale sales business for everything standard here in Sydney. And I’ve been with Aberdeen for 13 years, but in the industry for 26 seen a lot of change over that period of time. And you know, we essentially we distribute our investment capabilities into the wholesale advisor, market and and family office. And we also have transitioned the business to also look from an advisory perspective in terms of pipeline firms that we’ve been talking about later in terms of helping them scale up and deliver better outcomes for their clients.

 

Fraser Jack 

Fantastic. So you’re working directly with planners around the country? Correct? Yeah. Excellent. And Jays, what are you? Where do you fit in?

 

Jason 

Hi, yeah, thank you. I’m Jason ninus. I head up the retirement and product strategy for Aberdeen standard investments. I’ve been there two years, I’ve been in industry for 30 plus years. And my role is really to bring retirement income solutions into the market and Australia. And we’re doing that in a combination of bringing digital upfront in terms of customizing those solutions and providing particular products solutions at the back end.

 

Fraser Jack 

Fantastic. I’m really keen to get into this because you know, digital, you know, biotech, let’s say solutions and how you can we can bring sort of those conversations out into the mainstream consumers within Australia, not just those that had the luxury of getting financial advice. So let’s get we’ll get stuck into that shortly. But um, to start with, I thought we might quickly wrap up the series, we’re sort of this is Episode 10 in the series. But if we go back to the first episode, released, speaking with Natasha Janssens, regarding the concept of, you know, how to scale up a business by by really developing a community and looking at ways where she can engage with people, not so much one on one, but one to many. What are your thoughts around that one, Jase?

 

Jason 

This is a really good concept, Fraser. I think in our industry, one of the things that we get insecure of is too much information or not enough information, and having peer groups where you can discuss issues and your anxieties, your fears, and what should you do next? And are you in a good zone? Or how’d you get into a good zone? That’s a really, really important thing. And I think whichever direction you go, whether it’s through focus groups, or or, or using the media or blogs, or whatever, I think this is a really powerful way of changing behavior in the industry for savings and financial outcomes.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yeah, it’s interesting, isn’t it just that support network of, you know, people, people that have been there before, people that are sort of at the same pace as you and in giving you that that encouragement is great. There’s a lot around the idea that he did around sort of values based coaching Comm. What are your thoughts? Yeah, look,

 

Con 

I agree, like Jason said there. I mean, the interesting part for me is that obviously, you know, whether you call it technology or the way we Can we indicate these, it’s a very natural place to start looking at adding value to, whether it’s in customers or our peers, etc, it just naturally leads to be able to develop something like this. And Natasha’s did a great job, obviously, in bringing it together and delivering outcomes in, in a sort of usual way now, if you like, but in a way that actually adds true value into what what we’re trying to achieve. And I think that’s that’s the important part out of what what I took from from Natasha in the sense that it really delivers through areas that that we now engage with outcomes that people can focus on and improve whether that’s their money, aspects, or how to think about their aspirations in terms of their goals for life.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yeah, that’s really interesting that that point you just made there that I picked up on which was, is actually a bit more of a usual way, these days, it was sort of a way in the past, it’s always been if you want to have a community, you really need them to gather in the same place at the same time. But now, of course, they do that online, which is fantastic.

 

Con 

It can be anywhere it can be Yeah.

 

Fraser Jack 

So this brings us to, I guess, the second episode in the series, where I spoke to sue mackovic, from Alexa consulting in around the concept of really understanding your numbers and your business, understanding your target market, understanding the business planning process, and just making sure that you’re servicing, you know, you understand your cost to serve and you’re servicing the right type of client. For both, you know, the cash flow profitability side of the business and also for higher business valuations. And then providing you what knowing what you know, now providing you that ability to grow in and scale. What were your thoughts, Jase?

 

Jason 

This, this is one I think we’ve all been part of in the in the last 12 months of the pandemic. And what we’re seeing, I think, in terms of what Sue is saying, is really coming back to what are the fundamentals of the business, when you’re in the situation where you can’t actually conduct business as normal? And what are the economics and we saw a lot of online changes and reorganization of that. I think what really happened and I think what Sue’s alluding to is this whole digital acceleration, now that’s taking place as part of the pandemic, and the need to understand the customer a lot more, and to align your strategy and your digital direction, your business direction, and integrate fully into their business. And the more connected you are, the more the economics work. And we’ve seen it, you know, in a lot of the supply chains for food and, and all sorts of things. I think this is was always on the cards, Fraser but it’s something which I think is just accelerated in the pandemic, and I think it’s good for business and good long term. And it’s something which we always wanted to do. And I think Sue’s hit it right on the head in terms of the direction it’s going and

 

Fraser Jack 

yeah, absolutely, she’s sort of loaded a little bit to also the idea of, you know, making sure that advisors and planners looked after themselves as well, from a mental health point of view, which is, which was not a bad one, not a bad advice. So what were your thoughts on that episode con?

 

Con 

Yeah, I did pick up on that, and I’ll touch on that point. But, you know, with the value proposition side of things, obviously, we deal with a lot of licensees and you know, there’s it’s been there for a while, but this is heavy focus on the businesses that they work with to make sure that they have their business and value proposition down pat so they understand what they’re trying to achieve, how they’re servicing their clients how that flows through eventual profitability in the business because as we all know, you can be fantastic at your job, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s going to transfer to a successful business. So you know, you really need to understand and get beneath the bottom of what you’re trying to achieve and that and some of that does come back to that final point you made Fraser around, you know, advisors and and just everybody looking after their their health and well being in terms of being able to execute on that that longer term goal and it’s sometimes we do forget that right we we work long hours forget to exercise you know, whatever it is that works for people to help them mentally be set to achieve their goals you know, longer term for their business and obviously for their clients. And so that is a total picture and Sue does a great job in in communicating this you know, through through many circles and is a leader in this space. But that is the one big thing that we do forget now we do forget to look after ourselves. And it does come back to you know, that is the key element to make sure you you’re successful yourself and then drive that through through your business and to the eventual benefit of your clients.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yeah, I couldn’t agree more definitely all starts with if you’re the business owner and the you know, the manager in the in the advisor, it starts with you, right, it starts with you know, making sure that you’re okay and that you’re, you’re focusing on the right things and you and you are running a sustainable, profitable business so brilliant, we we can Let’s kick into episode three We spoke with David Pettit from, from picture wealth, talking about technology. And obviously, this is, you know, we all love talking about ways and, you know, in technology and about, you know, data and structures and understanding how, you know, the client experiences wrapped around this, this, this concept of how do we, you know, make our businesses more effective, more efficient by using technology, and also making sure that we improve the client experience along the way. Jason, what are your thoughts?

 

Jason 

I think the way of the future most businesses is, whatever we’ve done, we have to become owners of data, understanding data, and communicating with data better. So for me, that’s a really key part of what David’s saying for the industry going forward. And I also like this concept of, and I think probably the last time, you might have alluded to this, the goals under management concept, which is a much more effective way, visually, I think of even saying how you actually manage money better. And traditionally, I think he’s trying to break the mold of funds under management and traditional ways of providing advice, I think he’s really got a few really good ideas about where the industry is inevitably going to go with data, and how you actually manage those goals.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yeah, yeah, I definitely love the goals and, and management. And, you know, I know you guys are doing a lot in the goals based advice space as well. And, you know, making sure that everything does align back to those, you know, those goals on the management, and I know, obviously, you know, you you work for a, you know, a fund manager, if you’re like a global fund manager. And so you do have to focus on the concept of what your, you know, your assets under management are and those sorts of things, but I think we need to break that chain, when we’re, you know, having the conversation with our clients and and on the front line with the marketing that we do outward marketing, we need to make sure that we’re actually looking after the client outcomes, not just, you know, and their goals, not just necessarily, you know, their money, in a way gone, you know, that’s the jobs of the of the, the asset managers, right to look after the money.

 

Con 

Okay. I mean, this is a really, super important concept, actually, when, you know, we as a business, you know, engage with our, you know, clients, and we’ve spoken before, we were looking for like minded firms to partner with and a very much about this goals based approach. And where we need to think a little bit differently, or how we’re executing our strategies for the end benefit of our clients. And this talks directly to them. It’s a beautiful way to put it, where we, you know, you’re right, in a lot of ways we do measure ourselves with funds under management, and so on. But you know, that, that focus around what we’re trying to achieve for our clients, and whether we’re having success or not changing that conversation. And it being more around that and close focus, because that’s really what clients are about, like they’ve got goals, aspirations, and that’s what they’re looking to achieve. And if we don’t talk the same language, along the way, we do miss the point sometimes. So when we can connect it, and this is a great way to do it, by having a target around goals under management. It’s just a twist on what we’re doing. But a really important one, I think so. So yeah, this is this great stuff that has been thought out here and stuff that we aligned with 100%, in terms of where we want to align portfolios, and so on, for what advisors will achieve for their clients.

 

Fraser Jack 

Exactly. And Jason just on this, because part of what we talked about in that series, was the concept around time saving, and using technology to, you know, free up or save time. How do you see this going with regards to you know, like, obviously, the traditional advice model has been very time consuming. And that has been something that has pushed the price up and made it less affordable for, you know, the average, you know, the average person in the street to get to get advice, or how do you see technology working in the space with regards to really reducing that time to to advice,

 

Jason 

that’s a really important question you’re raising, the way we see this going forward is, while face to face will always exist, there needs to be another mechanism for actually getting to a wider range of Australians, both in savings and retirement. And, and we believe the way to do that is to combine automation or digital automation with human advice and put it in the hands of the clients, they better understand what needs to be done. And face to face advice can be 20 plus hours, using paraplanner. To put everything together, if you provide the right sort of digital journey from the client perspective that actually builds their goal statements and allows them to model themselves and get education along the way. They can actually do all that work themselves and have a much better understanding of themselves personally. And we think if if we provide that in a way which is easy to understand, easy to use, and combine that when the client wants with advice, peace Through an advisor, we’re calling this bionic, we think there’s a great need in the industry to change the way we do things. So combining automation, with whatever human advisors needed will reduce the price points for advice, and will allow more clients to get access to the right kind of advice. So we see this as a game changer in the industry. And a way which we have to move to it’s an inevitable way we’ve got to go. And I think the points that we’re making also here is that we need to actually put it in place rather than talk about the theory of this. And that’s one of the things we’re working on. And I know we’ll come on and talk about as well.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yeah, fantastic. Yeah, there’s definitely Yeah, there’s that you’re absolutely right about putting it in place. And this has been one of the hard parts, to put it in place in a way where consumers can still engage in it and you know, in what can be quite a confronting confusing environment, and a lot of questions to be asked, it’s, it can be quite difficult to get that client experience, right as well. Now, let’s move on to episode for us, but to do to the big and we focused really on the idea or the concept around to scale your business effectively and efficiently, you sort of need to focus on getting the right people or the you know, the people with the right attitudes, or that what we call that top 10% of behaviors, what are your thoughts on?

 

Con 

Yeah, look, in terms of this particular space, it’s, when I when I think about this, I mean, we sometimes talk about, you know, thinking and acting like an owner, you know, as as employees of the firm. And, to me, that’s, that’s quite important, because you do want people that have that mindset, when they’re working within you. So they’re actually going on the journey properly, they’re not just, you know, checking in and checking out, it’s not that easy always be with the different roles that people play within within firms and organizations. But, you know, that sort of mindset for me, is quite important, because it says a lot around the direction of one where the business is going the connectedness of all the individuals within that particular firm, and what they’re trying to achieve together. And that ownership if you like, you know, permeate in a lot of benefits, you know, down the down the track for the business. So, you know, to me, that’s important. There’s also, you know, you don’t want everyone at the same level, right, you want people that are developing at different different paces, and different outcomes you want women men and women in, in role, so you can get those different perspectives and different views, you know, proper balance within an organization to deliver over the long term. So so you know, an important topic for, for us at Aberdeen standard, but also just generally to maximize outcomes within a business.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yeah, we did, she does cover a lot, a lot in her book, you know, no sex at work, which has been recently released. But that was obviously you having the conversations around, you know, how men and women do bring different things to the workforce, but also how a lot of the time, a book goes into a lot of the idea of how sometimes people self sabotage themselves, and, you know, out of some of those roles, so that was a bit of an eye opener. For a lot of people, I think, as well, just making sure that, um, as you said, you know, it’s it’s important for organizations to understand that different people have different needs, and for in how some of those organizations are going about probably your thoughts, Jason,

 

Jason 

I find this topic one of personally one of the most interesting to look at him look in the workplace, because I think as we get older, and Ken and I are getting on a bit, but not that old, when you have skills that you can provide. And you’ve learned those skills over a few years, even decades, those skills in the modern workplace with what we’ve seen with the pandemic are actually more important in the long run. And providing those skills across the organization and having the ability to to have reservoirs of huge knowledge is absolutely vital. I think we’ve always come from the perspective that, you know, as you get older, you move out with the conveyor belt, you drop off at the end as a cliff, and away you go into retirement. I know we’re going to come on and talk about that. But I think is we’re going to reshape the way things are we’re gonna live too much longer. And the older you get, perhaps the more valuable you can become if you know how to become valuable. And I think you know, as long as you understand technology and digital and your role. I think the whole idea of hierarchy within an organization and gender bias has to fade away. And we’ve got to get into an area where we’re much more driven by having a network or subject matter experts and people who have been there before who can really help and equalize I think the workforce and make it high performance by doing that.

 

Fraser Jack 

You’re absolutely right. And she certainly covers that with a lot of her passionate work that she’s done over the years with financial executive, women or few if you like if he w around that You know, that whole concept of that mentorship and understanding from people that have been through things before you just had to get the most out of it. So yeah, that was a really interesting episode I enjoyed that had a great conversation with Judith around that concept of making sure you’re getting the most out of the people that you do have with you. And if you are one of those people, then you get getting the most out of your workplace so that so that everyone can perform at a really high level. definitely enjoyed that. Now the the next episode in the series, Episode Five was with Paul Feeney, we got right back into the end geeked out on the the digital advice concept again, which we do and I know Jason, you enjoy. So I’ll let you go first on this one.

 

Jason 

Thank you. Thank you. Well, this brings together a few of the concepts we’re talking about, I think Paul’s an example of somebody who not just talked about it years before this became a hot topic, but actually did something, I take my hat off to him in terms of the timing of what he did, and how he went about it. And what he’s actually done, which, which I really admire, is he’s seen the issue in the market with high cost advice and the lack of impartial advice. And he’s created a really economic level playing field through digital technology to be able to get the information you want, and make it available to and scale up in terms of the you know, the largest group of funds or wherever, at an individual level. And he’s built on that concept, that really simple concept. And really build this into something which has incredible legs is easy to understand and is available to everybody. So I can’t take my hat off to him enough.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yeah, yeah. Now I want to also touch on the concept that building technology platforms, and we thought it did obviously in the in the in the episode, but it’s not easy. There’s a lot of different moving parts pulling you from one side to another. It all costs a lot of money, of course, to produce. And Paul sort of had to, you know, shake the can a few times, obviously, with regards to, you know, finding investors to keep putting money in. And it’s an interesting one, isn’t it, Jason when it comes to building a software, because you know, you can, you can dig a really big hole and throw lots of money in and if you’re not careful.

 

Jason 

That’s exactly right. These are not overnight successes. So the idea might be really, really revolutionary. And the timing is good. But it takes more than just a few years to get these things to a critical scale. And in Paul’s case, he was talking about this years in advance, and kept beating the traps through stone and chalk and others and talking to the industry. Unlike other platforms in the market, I can think of things like hub 24, that is a great platform, but took years to actually mature. And these things are driven by people with a vision, people who don’t give up that believe in everything and move forward. And there’s a lot of great ideas and people who started things out there that didn’t make it. And Paul’s an example of one of those who did. And you’re absolutely right, the perseverance, and the funding and ongoing belief on a day to day basis to get these things to happen is perhaps even more important in some ways, then, just the concept itself. Yeah,

 

Fraser Jack 

fantastic. What were your thoughts on?

 

Con 

Yeah, like really, my Jase covered a lot of a lot of points around it technology and why it’s important. So I mean, from my perspective with this, and having the experience as well, you know, working on our digital solution with with Jason is that, you know, regulation can make things difficult as well. So, you know, there’s good ideas, they can solve a particular problem that’s in in our market, but there’s rigidity around how you need to bring that to market, there’s a lot of compliance structure, and rightly so. But it can make it difficult for something that’s mass scale to get out into the market and the outcome that it’s designed to do. And I suspect over time, why things take a little bit longer than normal as well is that there’s a lot of navigating that side of the equation. So getting it right, and having the perseverance and all credit to pull for doing that. It takes time it you go through ups and downs, and then you have hopefully something that can be taken the market, it can be robust and deliver the outcomes. And I do like we’ve had a little bit of a theme going through some of these, but we had, you know, goals under management and the measure for success here in terms of Paul was, you know, how many people that help, you know, quite honorable ways of looking at the outcomes that you want to achieve, you know, businesses not necessarily listed on a stock exchange that has to report the shareholders can actually have a slightly more purist endeavor in terms of what he wants to try and achieve and these overtime they do Let Ben and they scale up and potentially become very, very big businesses. But early on the premise behind this is an honorable one. And this again, has that same flavor in terms of what it’s trying to achieve to get mass advice out to, to clients.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yeah. And you’re absolutely right on with that caught on the concept of the the regulation. But but not just the regulation is it’s like the regulation was one thing, because it’s in black and white, it was fairly easy. I guess not not easy, but it was like in black and white. But then the, the adoption of licensees, and, and, you know, to then to be able to allow it or bring it in, how are you? You know, obviously that’s part of being part of his struggle, not just creating the concept and getting off the ground, but also the concept of the adoption and speaking to planners in in a way we can be pretty stuck in our ways company because of the clients, the compliance regime we’ve been through, we can be pretty stuck in our ways and not not want to change too much too quickly.

 

Con 

Yeah, yeah. I mean, Jason, I know Jason is is smiling, because I can see. So he can talk to this this definitely, but but you’re absolutely right. In terms of licensees taking on the solution, they have to be comfortable from their compliance perspective, and how that’s going to roll out. So there is that dual level, right, you have that the solution that’s gone through robustness to deliver what it’s trying to deliver, and then you have to then fit it into. Yeah, the licensees or the the end group that takes up the solution that wants to deliberative eyes. And that’s not always easy to implement. From the other end, Jase. I know you’ve got some thoughts on this. So I’ll pass on to you as well.

 

Jason 

Thanks, Colin, I think Paul’s journey is also mirrors somewhat ours as well. I found that with the deployment of digital technology, in the new way of doing things, regulation, often in compliance doesn’t actually help accelerate anything, and can be very costly to be compliant. So traditionally, where the compliance is written, it’s still an expensive business to run with compliance with digital technologies as an extra risk, it’s a new dimension to the whole thing. And that’s why very few people in the market have been successful with launching advice based products into the market. And added to that, in terms of what both Yukon you Craig is talking about, is the fact that the each advice group has a different nuance for what compliance looks like, what what should be in the SLA, how to interact with the client, there’s no standardization in the industry. So when you try and look to standardize these things, it can become very, very tricky to do so. And I think every single firm has its own take on what to do for compliance. And it has its own idiosyncrasies, which does mean we don’t get consistency in the industry.

 

Fraser Jack 

Oh, yeah. I think that’s, that’s a fairly, the consistent thing is that we’re all inconsistent, I guess. Fantastic. Thanks for that. Thanks for that, Jason. And now the next thing, the next episode, we spoke to Michael laws, who is the National manager of business coaching, with the finia, looking after many of the pioneer and advisors, and we really, we really got deep into the concept of, you know, looking at business frameworks around, you know, making sure that the client experience was there, but that the the actual business was set up in a way where the, the time management was well structured, there was focused on the right things. People are advisors spending, not just time client, focus, time focus with clients, but also focusing on times working on the business, whether that be you know, practical terms of the business, or whether that be entrepreneurial, blue sky thinking, come up your thoughts on this episode.

 

Con 

Yeah, got a couple of things. To me, obviously, there’s the there’s a bit that Michael talks about in terms of how clients find you, which, you know, is quite important in the sense that your websites and how it looks and how it feels and the language that’s used, and the images that are used are quite important, you know, for a client that’s coming in a sense from out of the blue and searching for, for advice, you know, lands on web pages and looks for stuff so that that’s important. And then the ongoing relationship, for me is a big one. Because when you when you think about advisors, and they’re their clients, that that they’re going to be clients for life, hopefully. So it’s a long journey you want to build over time with with that relationship that you have with clients and the focus there to try and Make sure that you build out a robust structure there. So that, you know, clients feel, yeah, there’ll be coin, I’m gonna say but you know, part of the family in some ways, you know, that real, you know, touch that advisors can have in building out and getting outcomes for clients, right, we hear a lot of good stories, you know, long term relationships, where advisors have truly helped their clients, you know, the news always focuses on that story that’s not, you know, has not worked out as well as we all would have liked. But you know, almost all scenarios are where advisors have truly helped their clients achieve their outcomes. And you know, that that comes down to relationship and understanding what drives your clients and having, you know, connectedness in trying to achieve that together. So to me, they’re sort of two key important points. Yeah, absolutely. One at the beginning and one at the end. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

 

Fraser Jack 

And just the ongoing relationship is huge. And I think that’s, I think we’re in a relationship business. And we need to understand if you’re going to be providing, you know, ongoing financial advice that we need to. And that’s probably one of the things that consumers don’t necessarily understand when they walk in, you know, we need to qualify, whether there are you after a transaction or you after a long term, somebody a relationship with someone’s going to have your back all the way through to make you to reach your goals. So I think that’s sort of one of the qualifying questions that we need to do maybe more in the in the pre advise part that you mentioned, of just quantifying and qualifying what those things look like for consumers to be able to make that decision very early on. And also on this the pre advice piece, because I’ll get you to comment on this one. Jase is a lot of it, you know, a lot of it online, we’re now developing relationships online, especially after the last 12 months where we’ve sort of had to communicate that way. And, you know, I sort of think that relationships develop slower online, because you’re not in that proximity where you’re, you know, physically shaking somebody’s hand or sitting quite close to them across the test, small table or whatever it might be. And when you’re in that proximity with somebody, you tend to develop a relationship a little bit faster, that trust becomes a bit faster. But online, it still happens. It just takes more time. So from a you know, using technology piece, Jason, getting that stuff right at the beginning to make sure that you’re providing some sort of consistent and regular helpful process around so that they’re getting something from you to develop trust in the relationship. What are your thoughts on on this,

 

Jason 

this is something that we are we have looked at as well, and we are building a solution for because this is this is fundamental to acquiring new clients down the new world. And what we’re finding is that it’s, it’s easy once people are in the digital funnel, if I can call it that, but it’s how you initially engage with them to get them in the funnel. What is the secret sauce that does that. And this is where the I think the new if you like battleground is for new clients to get ongoing relationships it’s all about. And what we’ve focused on in this regard is really the whole behavioral aspects of how we get a particular prospective client to actually think about engaging to understand what they’re going to be talking about and simplify the whole thing up front. Very often, I think clients don’t understand advice and never had it. They don’t know what it’s about. I think you’ve made the point, you know, do they want a relationship or transaction? And they probably don’t know, because this is a big kind of black hole. So we’ve worked on what is that engagement, secret sauce to get people in? A lot of people once you know them have great ways of having relationships and building rapport. That’s what the industry is about. That said, that initial thing. I think technology then is the next generation of how you deal with volume based scaling up type of approaches. But no one’s really crappy engagement piece. Yeah, I think in terms of actually, what does that mean to do?

 

Fraser Jack 

Yeah, certainly. Right. And there’s, as you mentioned, you know, the the idea of technology is that you can engage people at scale. You know, it’s very difficult to do that, unless you’re speaking in a room full of people. But technology has allowed us to be able to speak to a roomful of people just for this podcast, you know, is a great example. We’re speaking to a lot of people who are consuming this content, in their own time in their own place, not necessarily brought together in the room at one time. But, you know, these are the sorts of things that technology can allow us to do over a long period of time.

 

Jason 

Exactly.

 

Fraser Jack 

That probably brings us to what I think one of the most important concepts around, you know, around what we talked about in this series of scale up and this isn’t in Episode Seven, where I spoke to Michael back, Michael back Of course, coach to many financial planners runs a business called human to human, but we really honed in on the concept of implementing and putting things in place because, you know, we, we, you know, Jason column we’ve we’ve all seen great ideas. We’ve all seen people talk about great things. And that would be amazing. That’d be incredible. But the, you know the the proofs in the pudding, right? It’s if you actually implement them, then they’re likely to work. It’s a bit like I suppose when financial planners give their clients financial advice. If it’s not implemented, then there’s there was actually, it didn’t help anybody so. So we really focus in on the concept of, you know, being able to find something that’s going to provide to galtee business, but then actually putting it in place. What are your thoughts on?

 

Con 

Yeah, look, this is something that a lot of people grapple with, right, in our personal lives sometimes, and obviously, in our business lives. And from our perspective, at Aberdeen standard, we, we’ve consciously taken a big focus on this because it can be, you know, when, when you’re doing your day to day, and you’re you’re, you know, dealing with your clients, if you’re a financial planner, and we’re dealing with our clients who are financial planners, you’re sort of going through the day to day, and sometimes you’re not thinking about what’s the longer term play, and what should we be delivering to the market. And this would be very, you know, JC is obviously a great example in what we’ve done to execute something from scratch in terms of the digital side that we’re bringing to market where it’s something new and to execute that, you know, great ideas, but to execute it through an organization such as, as it takes a lot of steps. And that’s a phenomenal example of how that can come together. And we’ve done the same thing at a more simple level around, you know, what capabilities Do we have, globally, that makes sense for our local market? It’s very easy to just continue on with what you’ve traditionally done in your local market and not think about, you know, how can we further assist advisors and assets, consultants and asset allocators to deliver better outcomes from an investment portfolio perspective? And if you’re not, then that the idea is always there, but the implementation is not enough. It’s not part of your I’ll say culture, I don’t mean it exactly in that way. But you know, if it’s not part of your process, and I think, you know, Michael talks about it a little bit word, you know, you need to have a clear understanding, I think he was talking about having the capability and then whether you want to do it, so you know, you really need to assess the value, it’s going to add, and then make a decision that you’re going to do it and then have the resources to be able to execute. So it’s quite an important area to really drive your business forward to achieve its outcomes.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yeah, Jason, that’s probably the process you been through as well as, you know, making sure you’re clear on what you want to deliver and finding the capabilities within the, whether that’s financial or people or humans or whatever might be, and then having the motivation to push through all the obstacles?

 

Jason 

Well, that’s exactly right. And I think the point here is that having a vision is important. Having an exciting vision is important. But knowing how to provide regular practical implementations of what that is it being agile, in a sense, changing the way you work internally to achieve that. On our own journey, I just like to give you an example, when we were building the solution, the launching in a couple of months. A lot of people we talked to the industry, these are financial planners, these licensees said to us are, we had another group come and talk to us and build this and they were building it, but they ran out of money because they didn’t know how to put it in place in time, or the compliance was so difficult that went on and on, couldn’t work out how to crack it. And in the end, they decided not to take the risk for being non compliant and launching something. So So I think there’s a trade off here between having a great vision and being practical about what it is you’re trying to achieve. And that’s something I think we’re all struggling within the industry. But the the main point is, if you don’t have anything in place, then having great thoughts knowledge, thought leadership only goes so far, it doesn’t take you to the next level.

 

Fraser Jack 

yet. He also mentioned the SME four hit the okrs system, which has objectives and key results. And really focusing on the concept that if you understand what your key results are, what your objectives are, and then just sit about, as you mentioned before that agile Why will you put a sprint down and just go right? Well, let’s just go in, make sure we focus on these things and get that in place, which I thought was fantastic. So this brings us to the episode eight and the scale up series where I speak spoke to James wordly who’s really doing something different with his thinking in the client experience base. He’s He’s adopting technology not not technology that’s not available to every single one of us. In fact, technology that is almost free, if not slightly paid. for us all to use in that video and video recording software to use a new level of thinking and saying well how can we look after our clients in a way where we provide them an experience that is is much better. But we’re also using technology. So he’s created the video statement of advice, which frees up a heck of a lot of time from their business and time and effort as well as providing a better client experience. So it’s, it’s really just taking, you know, technologies that are available to us all and is and just creating this new process around the video ting statement of advice, which, which is client to loving, which is very interesting. And I think a lot of people will start adopting in the future, what were your thoughts come,

 

Con 

I love this stuff it. To me, it’s, it’s sort of just really taking, you know, the summary that might be on paper, the statement of advice, because obviously, the statement of advice can go over many pages. And as much as clients need to read that, you know, it’s, it’s questionable that a client would spend the time here, they’ll focus on the summary and understand what, what’s been put in place, and this just brings it to life. Right, we get to give you an example, we do the same thing with our clients, where we, we engage in advisory perspective, we we do video recordings of what we would normally present in the Investment Committee meeting of how the portfolio’s perform, what the review is the outlook etc. And you do that in a in a short, you know, eight to 12 minute video. And this is, you know, in bite sizes that they can use with their clients as well. So it’s not just for the advisor, it’s delivered in a way that can push down through to clients so they can get a perspective of what’s going on. So this, this is great stuff in the sense that, you know, it just simplifies things for the client engages them a lot more, it gets them wedded, I think once to what’s being delivered, and also to that advice practice, because it’s been made as simple as possible for them to understand what’s being put in place. And then from an ongoing perspective, I’m not sure what the the ongoing perspective is, but I suspect they may do something similar, you know, in terms of messaging to their clients, what, what’s transpired, etc, they may end up adopting an approach on an ongoing basis, but that this is super powerful stuff for advisors, in terms of, you know, changing their business in a very simple way. I think you mentioned it’s not new technology in any way. It’s just using things that are at our hands to just deliver a better experience. So that’s

 

Fraser Jack 

Yeah,

 

Con 

I will start from from James Yeah, I

 

Fraser Jack 

really felt that this, this is something that that can be easily adopted, it’s not a great outline in cost, you know, you need to make sure you’ve got a camera that can capture your image, clearly, and you need to make sure that, you know, you’ve got a microphone where people can hear you properly. But that’s not a not a great outline. And con, as you mentioned, just the concept of creating short videos from an investment management point of view and sending that out to advisors for them to be able to use, but well, you know, understand what’s going on from the investment point of view. But it also related to the clients. How good is that for scale? You know, like you, you record that once and you send the same video out?

 

Con 

Yeah, exactly. Right. It’s, it is the most efficient way where we can deliver an outcome to an advisor where they can push it out as far as they want. So, you know, one of the groups that we deal with, puts it on their website provides a link to all their clients to provide to gain access to that particular update. So that that exactly right, it basically permeates through everybody, and they can consume it, as we’ve been speaking earlier, at their own time. And when they, you know, feel most a hand to to go over a video such as that, you know, when you’ve got a bit of free time, not at a time that has been set where we want to get them in a room and deliver that particular update. It’s consumed on their time. So yeah, absolutely. It’s, it’s, it’s brilliant stuff.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yeah. And, Jason, you’ve worked with a lot of licensees around, you know, structuring what what should be in in a statement of advice and, and how technology can play a part. And obviously, you know, a lot of a lot of licensees are still in the space where it’s going to be written, I guess you could say, but yeah, what are your thoughts on technology in the in the SLA,

 

Jason 

I think this is great. What I typically like, as you pointed out, it’s not new technology. But it’s the experience of using this technology in this way. And to get the parallel we do this in the UK, we do have some of our clients that we do videos for that there, they are slightly different. I’ll just explain what we’ve done. We use animation in ours. So instead of actually having a video recording of someone talking to you, the example we gave is someone’s on a bicycle. And they’re sort of going along this path in it. And the voiceover is explaining what you’ve said on your client digital journey, what you’ve put in what you want, what your goal aspirations are, and then it collects various people along the way and things and it ends up as it’s talking to you with the finishing line there and the bicycle depending on what you put in either fall short of the finishing line, or meets it. So it actually says to you give them what You’ve told us today, you’re not quite there. So if you do the following things we think you could get there. And likewise, if you’ve done all the right things, we think you’ve done the right things. And maybe there’s some other things to look at as well. So it really not only gets volume out, but it also gives incredible personalization. And in a succinct, short way,

 

Fraser Jack 

yeah, now I have this, as you say that I have this vision of, you know, the future where a lot of these animations are done in very short form, that are dynamic enough to form part of the journey. So the journey actually is co created by the client, as they’re putting the information in, co creates the journey. And the video is smart enough to dynamically change the outcome of the video, depending on on what it might be. So yeah, I can just I have this vision that in the future, that could be how statements of advice are provided to clients, which would amazingly bring, you know, the price down, you know, the whole idea of, you know, charging 1000s of dollars per year, so a fee. Could be out the window.

 

Jason 

Yeah. And a lot more exciting to

 

Fraser Jack 

Yeah, yeah, exactly. Right. And probably more engaging. Yeah, yeah, absolutely. Would you just to the episode nine in the scale up series, where we really focus, I spoke to Haley knight who runs a outsource paraplanning business. But the the main concept around this episode was the idea of, you know, outsourcing and finding the right people in that space of outsourcing. chronomite that you take this one, because you’re sort of working with a lot of advisors at the moment around, you know, when outsourcing solution?

 

Con 

Yeah. So, look, I think when I sort of think through Haley’s podcast, I think one of the things that come out that comes out is I like the concept, he talks about the first impressions, because I’m one that you know, you don’t always necessarily get it right. But first impressions are a pretty good indicator of potentially, whether you’re going to get on with someone or whether you You mean you see eye to eye, etc, you know, like there can be certain signposts in those early interactions. So I think the focus there is quite important, but, you know, in terms of when you’re looking at outsourcing certain parts of your business, I think, you know, understanding or getting that first impression, but then understanding what you’re trying to achieve, and whether you can gel with that person to generate the outcome. So we’ve spoken before and what we do with, with partners that we want to work with, you know, we’re not open for everybody, it’s we’re trying to deal with people that we have similar ideas, and what we want to try and achieve. The conversation is the same in how we want to build out those portfolios. And it’s just an efficiency gain by them partnering with us to deliver those outcomes for those for their clients. And, and that’s quite important. I think, if you, you know, you can’t go out the price necessarily only, but that’s important. You know, there’s different elements that you can focus on to make decisions, but sometimes they can send you astray because they’re not exactly the right areas to provide the decision making around there just a an input in in your decision making. So I think the key drivers for me, you know, that that initial, you know, jelling of view as individuals, and then also that you do see eye to eye in terms of what you’re trying to achieve. And then from there, I think you do get the benefits of the partner that you choose. And then, you know, you don’t have a bad experience as you flow through that because you know, you have a lion many more than trying to achieve.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yeah, exactly. Right. I was I feel I love that they have one hand he was sort of talking about was the concept around developing strong professional relationships with whoever you partner with and making sure that it’s not just, you know, like, I need you for this one thing right now. That’s again, same thing with clients and advisor relationships, it’s about finding somebody who’s going to provide that ongoing professional relationship over a long period of time, not just, you know, flash in the pan.

 

Con 

Yeah, agree.

 

Fraser Jack 

What are your thoughts? Jason?

 

Jason 

I think Khan’s really covered all the major points. I’ve really got nothing to add to this. So good job calm.

 

Fraser Jack 

Well done. Good. Anya.

 

Con 

The first time ever, you’ve said

 

Fraser Jack 

we’re breaking. So Jason, you’ve talked a lot. You’ve talked a lot about the the sort of the technology solution that you’ve been working on, perhaps if you wanted to give a bit of an overview of that, and how that’s going to look at providing scale to financial planners.

 

Jason 

Yeah, absolutely. Our overall vision and goal is to provide better financial outcomes to more Australians in retirement. And to do that we need to take a different approach then what traditionally is happening in the market. So we’ve covered a lot of interesting topics already, but we do know the price of face to face advice is going up. It’s not coming down. The people that can afford that are very, very small in number. There’s a real issue about How we provide more better outcomes to more Australians. And the way we’ve approached that is to use the digital path, through journeys, engaging with those clients on behalf of advisors to achieve that. So there’s a couple of phases we’re working on at the moment, there’s one we launched, launching in the next couple of months, which is around the looking at the advisor base and looking at the predominantly non advised clients, and how you can better engage with them. So we’re providing a digital journey and investment solution to improve retirement outcomes from them, which is largely goal based. So they can go through this journey, model their own goals and their own way, decide what they want to achieve that retirement in terms of a goal, and then execute that. And they can do that straight through processing as well, they can actually hit a button and select an investment solution, the SLA is generated electronically, and they can execute that directly without intervention from an advisor. However, our goal is to provide bionic advice. And that’s the combination of this automation I just described, and human advice from from a financial planner. And the way that happens is the it’s client driven. So the client can go as far as they want in terms of automating and then access and involve the advisor at the point that suits them. And what that means is, we believe it’s going to change the price points in the market for containing advice and making advice more accessible to a lot more Australians. So instead of the high prices of face to face, by cutting down time for 20 plus hours, we think in some cases, this can go down to two or three hours Max, and therefore the price of advice would dramatically come down as well. This also means in a sense that the advice practices might have to reorganize, instead of being all face to face, they might have to provide the left knee advice in other ways of communicating with those clients. But we think this is the way the future. And we want to be much more retail focused, you know, we’re retail environment superannuation, but we don’t have all the digital tools to enable us to do that. And that’s particularly true in retirement, where at the moment, there’s very few options to move into into retirement, the retirement advice is expensive. So we need a mechanism to actually rework the whole industry reimagine how we can better engage with clients, how we take the anxiety out of approaching retirement where you don’t have income, or you have less income, and you need to make your money last longer, you know, how do you do that? And, and that’s a very, very high stress thought for a lot of Australians. And that’s what we want to achieve. We want to we want to break through in this space and make it much easier.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yeah, exactly. So thank you. So there’s obviously a lot to this jigsaw puzzle, obviously, you know, in the overarching providing advice at scale for both, for planners to be able to offer that high touch service, where they’re, you know, they might be spending a lot of time and building and developing that long term relationship. But they’re actually in the back end, they could be using the technology notes in a way where they’re reducing a lot of their, you know, their time on the technical aspects of it, where the system actually creates the technical aspects. And they’re just delivering the relationship piece that has, I love the conversation around goals, by the way, and looking in focusing on those goal outcomes and making sure that’s a real focus for the consumer. And for them to be able to put their goals in and understand and then model the goals I think is fantastic. So congratulations on what you’re doing there. I’m looking forward to the release of that when it comes out. Now kind of what you get you to comment on because you’re sort of in a very different part of the business when it comes to what your what you’ve been working with planners and really sort of around that investment management piece around them. Helping planners set up that outsourcing of you know, their their committees and but still in a very goals based way. Don’t want to have a quick chat about what you’ve been working on.

 

Con 

Yeah, thanks. Thanks, Fraser. Yeah, it’s it’s quite exciting to have what Jace is talking about on the digital side and the solutions we’re trying to bring to market to help deliver advice a lot more easily. And then on our side, on the side that I’m more closely working with is is is really working with advisors who are looking to potentially outsource their investment capability. You know, 1010 to 15 years ago, investment capability was was generally always in house. It was tightly held, it was run by advisors. There wasn’t as much rigor around it in some cases and as technology has, has come into and afforded us the ability to automate certain aspects you has changed that landscape. And so you do see a lot of, you know, consultants and researchers, etc, providing services to advisors to create better outcomes for them as a business. And then obviously, through to the end clients. You’ve also got licensees now who are taking, you know, models that they’ve run for their own advisors. And now taking that to the external market, because there is the need, even if advisors are not aligned to a licensee, there is potential need for the expertise that’s there. And we’re coming into that that same space, or in that same space since 2017, where we’ve been working with advisors to deliver a different outcome for them. And we’re looking for advisors that have got a goals based philosophy around what they do. I think the key benefit that advisors are starting to realize, and you’re seeing over the last few years a real acceleration in advisors, one taking up managed accounts or SMEs, depending on how you want to look at it. Outsourcing that particular capability, because we’ve seen it generates value for the business in terms of valuation. Yeah, we’ve seen statistics where, you know, if a business has, you know, 75% or more of their clients in a managed account structure, an outsourced structure, profitability close that doubles in that particular firm, the early days of transition are the challenge, because you’re moving a business, and it is intensive to change from what you were doing to it and you structure but if you decided to go down that particular path, the end goal is very clear the advantage you can provide to one us business, but also, importantly to the end client and, you know, advisors, you know, in our proposition to give you an example, they’re gaining access to a global fund manager, depth of resource will rigor around risk management, in terms of what we’re trying to achieve in portfolios, they’ve got direct access to portfolio managers, you know, the portfolios have got a lot of structure around them in terms of understanding the probability of success, and we deliver ongoing analysis of that two particular clients, the portfolios of stress tested on an ongoing basis. And for us, we partner with when I when I talk about partnering with advice firms, we build out those models together with them, we launch on the platform that they’re comfortable with. And so there is that, and they can name those solutions what they want, right, so they’re not picking up these things off the shelf, it’s, it’s if the advice for them wants to have their their name on that particular solution, some do some don’t. We provide that that flexibility for us to do that. But the starting premise for us is obviously firms that want to outsource, because they’re starting to understand one that clients don’t necessarily value where the time has been spent by advisors. So you know, advisors will spend most of their time in the risk profile in the working out the portfolios, how that needs to look, manage that on ongoing basis, but the client doesn’t actually care about that. Really, when you look at, again, surveys that have been done, they’re worried about, how am I tracking? Am I going to meet my goals? You know, what do I need to do to get there, it’s not about the portfolio. And we as in this ministry has always focused on that. And that’s where advisors, in many cases added, they felt they added the most value. But it’s the area that clients value the least it’s really about the coaching and the journey. And so advisors that understand that outsourcing, today is a much easier thing to go down and also adds potentially so much value. And then from our perspective, if they’re thinking more down that goals based approach, so truly trying to understand what the client wants, and how to deliver that, then, you know, we’re looking to partner with them. And we’ve got, you know, solutions across a number of advice firms that we partner directly with to deliver better outcomes for clients.

 

Fraser Jack 

Wonderful. Thank you, COVID, for setting that up. Yeah, so certainly for covers a lot of the themes we’ve covered in this series around the idea of understanding what your business model is what you want to do, then, you know, going ahead and finding the right professional relationships and outsourcing solutions to do that. And then of course, the implementation of that, which is you know, putting it in place and going through the steps so that, you know, you have that ongoing and long term relationship. So, gentlemen, thank you so much for, for today coming on and wrapping up the series. It’s been great. And I really appreciate your comments, you know, obviously bring in different different ideas and perspectives to it all. So really appreciate it. If somebody wants to continue the conversation or find out more about what you’re doing, what’s that, what’s the best way for them to do that.

 

Con 

So from from our perspective, they can reach out to to ask their bidding standard. So the easiest way if they haven’t got our contact details is to just jump on the website and the Contact Us page. Otherwise, you know, we do have a lot of relationships in the market. So just reach out to your, your contact or come to me directly and more than happy to help.

 

Fraser Jack 

Excellent and, and Jason We look forward to, you know, looking out for when some of the products that you’ve been developing finally come to fruition and become available for financial advisors to start using

 

Jason 

x rays. And I’m happy to come back and show you what it looks like what is launched if you like,

 

Fraser Jack 

fantastic. Thank you gentlemen, really appreciate your time.

 

Con 

Thanks. Appreciate it.

 

Fraser Jack 

There you have it another episode of The X Y advisor podcast as we wrap up the scale up series, and I’m joined by him.

 

 

Hey, Fraser, Happy Thursday.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yeah, interesting, isn’t it? I could see you coming towards the end of the week end of the series, and almost time for Easter. But let’s get into this shout out.

 

 

All right, let’s round out this series. With a great shout out to x y legend and advisor Dylan Martin. He sparked a discussion on the platform which has taken off it’s by far been the most popular conversation this week. And it centers around solving the problem or cracking the code on how to deliver holistic advice to younger clients or millennials without them being turned off by the cost of traditional advice. So plenty of advisors have been jumping in giving Dylan some of their ideas or the way they’re doing it in their business. Others were jumping into agree and say, Hey, we are still trying to figure this out in our business as well. And I think this is really a problem that we need to solve as an industry, trying to work out how we can get to that middle ground to be able to deliver great advice to those especially those accumulators those people who are at the start of their journey, even with the increasing ever increasing costs to deliver that advice. So thank you for starting that conversation. Dylan, I hope you got plenty of gold nuggets out of it and I hope everyone else did too and keen to continue and see where it goes from here. Yeah, what

 

Fraser Jack 

a great conversation and certainly something that the industry is looking at at the moment the the affordability of financial advice. So great work, Dylan, what a legend.

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