December 9, 2021

#275 Kate Zerbst – Transcript

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Fraser Jack
Welcome back to the xy advisor Podcast. I’m Fraser Jack and today I’m joined by Kate Zerbst. Welcome to the podcast.

Kate Zerbst
Thank you. It’s a pleasure to be here.

Fraser Jack
Thank you. Fantastic. Now we are lucky enough to be recording live in person for a change, which is amazing. But we’re both living in the Gold Coast.

Kate Zerbst
Yeah, it’s pretty good spot to live just a beautiful day to day two,

Fraser Jack
it’s terrible. And tell us about what you’re doing at the moment.

Kate Zerbst
Okay, so essentially, at the moment, I’m running a back office support business for financial planners, we focus mainly on paraplanning at this point in time, and we provide a para planning service that includes a compliance overlay. So we support financial planners in making sure that they’re satisfying their best interest duty, they’ve got the correct scope in the plan, and we provide a compliance checklist. At the end of the process, it’s a little bit different to the standard power planning service where we follow a set of instructions given by the financial planner. And if we, if we notice in their in their plan request, that there is something in their final notes that’s missing or a strategy that could be further developed, then we will always go back and provide that feedback.

Fraser Jack
Yep, exactly. Now, while you probably missed in that part, that was more of a productive planning service, your your, your plenty, your advisor, planner, yourself for many years before you start this business. So you know what you’re talking about when it comes to those things. And we also want to talk about today, some of the stuff you’re working on with the professional year in the in the content you’re producing. So we’ll get to that in a second. But before that, let’s let’s shoot back in time, tell us about how you got into the profession.

Kate Zerbst
Okay, so I started out as a teacher way back in my day and then moved to a small country town and was doing relief teaching. And to be honest, it was pretty hard going every day working in schools with rowdy kids and trying to control them,

Fraser Jack
as opposed to financial planners. Yeah.

Kate Zerbst
Yeah. And clients. I mean, same, same, same, but different. So I saw a job as a trainee financial planner at the time and thought, yes, I’ve always been interested in financial planning and managing money and had read lots of books. I think back in those days, it was Paul clitheroe. And there was one other one I can’t think of his name but so I gave it a go got the job. And spent two years completing a trainee financial planning position completed my diploma studies, started with the admin worked my way through the paraplanning. And then who

Fraser Jack
was it with it was it was a globalization

Kate Zerbst
it was with MLC, Garvin. At that point in time, I had plenty of resources, they did have plenty of resources. The financial planner was an old Australian Eagle life insurance guy, so mostly focused on superannuation and insurance, which was, which was a really great, I guess, foundation for me. After that, I moved back to the Gold Coast, my husband had a teaching job to come back to with the state system. So it worked really well getting that two years of training. It was also good timing, because I felt all I’d learnt all that I could learn from that planner, and needed to go and get experience in in other areas. So that was when my career I guess took a little bit of a side step. I called up when I got to the Gold Coast to join a hockey club. The lady that I was speaking to on the phone said, Oh, you, my husband owns a financial planning licensee here on the Gold Coast. And you’re looking for work, we might be able to get you a job. So I ended up working at Fitzpatrick steel, a group on the Gold Coast here and spent a couple of years in a compliance management role. Working with an outsource compliance provider making sure we we had all of the things on our license ticked off, rolling out advisor education and induction for training, completing audits, all of that sort of stuff that goes on in operating a licensee. So that was a really, really great experience.

Fraser Jack
I would imagine that would be quite a tough gig, like experience working in a planet office. Yeah, getting your head around the corpse act and how that works for licensees, and then going out and being the person that audits financial advice. Yeah, it

Kate Zerbst
was absolutely but I had a great support structure in place. So my boss at the time was amazing. Para Jim, I think was their name back then. They I had someone I could call at any point in time and they helped supervise what I was doing. So I guess it was like a training program in the job that I was in. So

Fraser Jack
yeah, tough, but you had some good backup behind you. I did. Absolutely. Yeah.

Kate Zerbst
So after doing that for a couple of years, I, it was time to move on to something else. So I actually had a baby. And at that point, I thought it was a great idea to set up my own financial planning business because I hadn’t ever really done that part yet, I’d done the paraplanning and the admin, the compliance side and thought it was a great time with no clients, newborn baby to go and set up a financial planning business,

Fraser Jack
which which is probably doable, then it was doable, and probably not so doable. Now, I think I think we’ve absolutely done some stuff to the profession where we pushed a price range up so that that part time role of being a mom and looking after baby and looking and seeing a few clients has become almost extinct.

Kate Zerbst
And super challenging. Absolutely. I mean, the cost in in itself to be licensed, you know, I had the benefit of having a great relationship with them. So I was able to enter quite low at that price point. But now it’s quite costly to be licensed. So you need to make sure that you’re generating more revenue than it’s going to cost you to be licensed in the first place. So that just is a barrier to entry right there.

Fraser Jack
You say that was a good idea? In practice that didn’t quite work out to be

Kate Zerbst
No, no, I did like, you know, for kids later, a financial planning business later, 150 clients or so? And

Fraser Jack
that sounds good. That sound successful? Yeah. Oh, yeah, very, very much.

Kate Zerbst
So I had good work life balance. And but it did get to the point where I felt like something was going to give. So once all of the new fuzzier rules and requirements started, there was a discussion around that I thought, Oh, my goodness, how am I going to do running a business, looking after my clients, supporting my staff, and be a good mom and be a good wife, and run the household. Something’s Got to Give here. So I ended up selling my practice, back in 2016, ish. The years start to blur after a while. And within 12 months of being just a mum, I, I needed something for me that I really wanted to go and enjoy and be listened to, and not have to nag people all the time. So I got a job as in a salaried role at Centerpoint. Alliance. worked there for three years.

Fraser Jack
Can I just ask a quick question about selling your business? Because I think it’s it’s there’s a lot of this going on at the moment with regards to buying and selling, you know, taking over any tips or, or suggestions on people that are looking to sell books or sell sell their business?

Kate Zerbst
I look back in those days, it was quite a simple process, because there weren’t many books being sold. So I would just make sure that you’re compliant. Your files are schmick, you know, you’ve got a good file so that when the planners coming in to have a look at the you know, the the purchaser is coming in to have a look, they can see exactly, quite quickly at a high level that that you doing all the right things.

Fraser Jack
So it’s almost like a quick renovation before you sell? Absolutely.

Kate Zerbst
Absolutely. Because I mean, at the end of the day, no one’s going to take on a book if they’re not well serviced. Engaged clients.

Fraser Jack
Yep. Yep. Fantastic. All right. So then into a salary role. So you’re selling a business, and then moving into a role as in a salaried role. Was there any? Was there any dramas? With you, people who bought your business? Or were they were they happy with

Kate Zerbst
it? Um, to be honest, I didn’t really hear any issues. Once the transaction had taken place. I didn’t hear from him. Again. You know, I had a couple of clients call me and I pass them back over to the planner to deal with those issues. So yeah, I think that was probably the biggest one. And this is probably more for a buyer of a book, rather than the seller of the book is just making sure that you make contact, straight up, because my quality clients, you know, the ones in my gold tier, I guess, that were used to being able to call me and have contact, were feeling a little bit lost. You know, I communicated to them that I had decided I was moving out and the new plan was going to be taking over the the practice six months past, I think, and maybe they hadn’t had a phone call or any kind of communication whatsoever. So just making sure you’re keeping them in the loop and making contact and connecting as soon as possible is

Fraser Jack
slipping that relationship. Absolutely. Yeah. Very good. So you worked, you moved into a salaried role as a planner?

Kate Zerbst
Yep. That was good fun. I thought that you know, this is going to be great. I’m just going to go to work. Do my job. Go home, nine to five. Didn’t quiet ended up that way. That’s, that’s good in in, you know the thought processes there but not good in theory. So in practice, so, you know, everything I do, it’s like I’m running my own business. So that is potentially at the end of the day why I ended up leaving that business. I was doing advising, I ended up moving into an operations management role there and making sure the processes and systems were set up well, setting up a good process in AIX plan, and then decided that it was it was time for me to spread my wings and go and have a crack at this outsourced paraplanning. So solution, because what we’ve been using in our business without source providers just wasn’t working for me as a planner. So it would take me 567 hours sometimes to research the strategy that I had to send off to the power planner. And then when I get the plan back, it would take me three, four or five hours to check and fix the document, because there were mistakes. And it just wasn’t a good system. So in my operations role, I was supporting a financial planner, we had 15 plans to get out that had been in the pipeline for a long time, and we rolled those out in the space of four weeks. So by having a good system in place, Systemising everything and working through that. It’s a really effective process. And I thought it’s time to go on. Do this. For others. Yep.

Fraser Jack
So you’re clearly a systems and process human?

Kate Zerbst
I definitely am. Yes, absolutely. It just takes out the compliance risk, in my opinion. Because, you know, with a good system, you can see exactly what’s happening. You can slot people in and out of roles fairly easily. And it’s really easy to train people if you’ve got a good system in place.

Fraser Jack
Yep. Sounds like a dream. Not always. Not always the first thing advisors are good at though. I mean, I think advisors are great at speaking to people in translating complex situations. But I guess it’s difficult to be to be good at both.

Kate Zerbst
Absolutely. And to be honest, I would not rate myself as a great, fantastic financial planner. I knew what needed to be done. And I had many clients and I built up a client book but I’m so systems and processes driven that that seems to be where I keep going back to financial planners are really good at relating to people and having discussions and and when you’re really good at that stuff comes naturally to you. Not necessarily

Fraser Jack
Yeah, so good at one one’s got to be stronger than the other. Absolutely. So, so you’ve set up, you set up then an outsource power planning business. Yeah, but something that you from a different angle from obviously, from coming at this from how do I create plans, good plans that are compliant at a decent, you know, at a decent timeframe.

Kate Zerbst
100%. So the timeframe thing is something I’ve got to be honest, I’m still working on because I don’t write the plans myself, I have a team of staff, and I’ve, I’ve recruited about eight or nine staff in the space of 12 months, and I’ve been trying to train them to get them up to the standard. And again, it comes back to processes, I can fix their plans, or I can give them the feedback required for them to fix their plans so that they’re learning and getting to the right standard.

Fraser Jack
So tell us about the process of power plant itself. Because when I when I think of it in my head, there’s there’s a couple of different functions to it, there’s the research, and then there is the strategy. But then there’s also the document writing piece, which I’m imagining is not necessarily the the fun part.

Kate Zerbst
Yeah, absolutely. So we do all or just some so depending on what the planner is after, we have people who I’ve trained in the admin part to do all the data entry, the product research on the existing product, and that’s a really important part that I’m constantly supporting the planners in to get right because it forms part of the best interest duty and that existing product, you know, getting a statement from a super fund that may be nearly 12 months old, just isn’t doesn’t give you enough information. So we contact the super providers any any existing products that they have and complete that research piece find out about capital gains tax, whether the insurance is through super or you know, get all of that data that you need. We then complete we use mostly x plan only x plan. I didn’t try to go off to other providers, but you know, sometimes you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. I’m just gonna stick I’m so busy with what I’m good at that, you know getting to that’s not my best use of time. We then do the well solver and the risk researcher and the financial projections. Go back to the plan or we create the light for light quotes, the quotes for the product. So all of that research that I was talking about before that would take 678 hours for Financial Planner to do to get the plan request done, we can do that for them. So we do that piece, we communicate back with the financial planner, make sure the projections are all correct. They’re happy with the needs analysis that we’ve run through the plan or the quotes and so forth. And the products, so some planners have, you know, their model portfolios, or their preferences. So, so we tap into that and get all that research completed. And then we go off and write the plan, which is the final piece. And that takes quite some time as well to make sure that what’s in the plan matches what’s in the file note also satisfies best interest duty, you know, one of the big things we’re constantly picking up on is things that will trip you up in an audit. So we pick those things up and give you that feedback. The biggest ones are best interest duty with replacement of product, making sure you’ve had a discussion around the health and insurance if something’s being rolled out. And the planners are loving it.

Fraser Jack
Yeah. And so then you do the compliance check, or you personally do some a lot of the compliance checks on the way. Absolutely, I

Kate Zerbst
check every plan. Yep.

Fraser Jack
Now I’m imagining that every single planet is different when you rock up to a new relationship. And there’ll be different people will be at different stages and their businesses will be all different. Some will want to do the research someone, how do you how do you work through that at the beginning? Because it’s it’s it’s pretty daunting for, I guess, for that new relationship to kickoff, when you both want to be on the same page.

Kate Zerbst
Yeah, totally. So generally, most people start as just the traditional financial planner paraplanning support, and they complete what we call our high level strategy document, we set that up essentially, ideally, for us, we want planners to run their initial meeting, write a thorough file note, complete their risk profile questionnaire. And whether we do the existing product research or they do doesn’t matter. And then they complete what we call the brain dump in the high level strategy documents. So they’ve run their meeting, and then complete the the brain dump, every planner knows the things that they’re going to look at for this client after that initial meeting. So it’s like tick salary sacrifice, tick, non concessional contribution, tick consolidate into X, Y, Zed fund using our model portfolio, tick needs analysis, we run through that with them once so we know exactly what they need. And then we’ll go on and run all of that insurance research. And we know their preferred providers if they have them. And they’re in insurance philosophy. So yeah, it’s it each plan is different. But we support both, essentially.

Fraser Jack
Yeah, yeah. And so you’re then work with the planet and say, What are your what’s your process? Is there any way that we can help you, with with their existing process, just refine it?

Kate Zerbst
Absolutely. So we’ve got the file naming conventions, we tend to share their client folders, and so forth, so that we’re using one source of truth. And so when I open up the covers on how financial planners are saving their client folders, and what things look like in there, then I bring through the naming conventions and try to get them to start saving things in a methodical manner in each file, so that I can find them easily. And it also helps make sure that if they are doing the plan request and a lot of the research themselves that I can easily find things in their file as they need it.

Fraser Jack
So this is like a little practice management audit, where you go through and say, if you wanted to run a really efficient practice, do you could try these things. So okay, good. So you come in and help them not just for the paraplanning side, but actually all the parts that lead up to paraplanning. That makes the paraplanning easier.

Kate Zerbst
Exactly. And that’s win win, because it makes it so much easier for my for me when I get the plan request through and check that we’ve got everything we need to then pass straight on to the power planner to get the plan written. Yep, yeah, otherwise, they forget things. You know, I’ve got to go back for like for like quotes, and we’ve got checklists and things that support them in making sure that either they’ve given us the data, or we have to go back and get the data. So

Fraser Jack
in a way you’re managing the whole planning process from from the from the moment the client leaves the moment the adviser leaves the client meeting. through to the next meeting. Yes, yeah. Wonderful. Okay. And so there’s that business that you’ve got set up. How long has it been going for?

Kate Zerbst
started that in October last year? Right. Yeah.

Fraser Jack
Fantastic. And in already up to eight perbanas? Yeah, yeah. Well,

Kate Zerbst
yeah, I paraplanners. And I actually had to stop saying yes to financial planners, because we just weren’t quite ready in making sure we had well trained staff to roll out the plans at the appropriate level that we needed to roll them out.

Fraser Jack
Yeah, it’s interesting. interesting dilemma, isn’t it having too much business? And then and then putting on more paraplanners? And then growing? And yes, taking those stepping stones? Okay, so one of the other things that you’ve worked on up the back of that, and that’s probably come off the back of training your paraplanners. And your teaching background, obviously, was a lot of the training work that you’ve been doing. And then now, moving into the PMI candidate. Yeah.

Kate Zerbst
Yes. So we’ve spent a lot of time training in my business, the people doing the admin role, I guess, training financial planning staff that we working with, we do one on one consulting with various businesses as well, if that’s what they’re after. And and that’s really how it’s evolved is that we need to set an industry standard for the back office process and training especially now that we’re heading into financial planners, training, new entrants, graduates, students coming into the professional year.

Fraser Jack
It’s It’s funny, isn’t it? Because I think a lot of people will just assume that it’s been said, when like, fasea Come along, and they said, the here’s the guidelines, here’s the here’s what the p y, the professional year looks like the Go Go ahead and do it. No, that’s not the case.

Kate Zerbst
I’m not sure whether you’ve looked at the fasea website on the logbook and their professional year template. It’s very, very vague.

Fraser Jack
Yes, I have heard about it. So but it’s also there’s a few things I want to talk to you about the professional year itself, because it’s professional year, not a year. The professional not a year, we should call it the but also just around that training and supervision and the roles and responsibilities of everybody. Because one of the things I’ve spoken about lately was the idea of what for CSA, then licensees come in with a new stamp, like a standard over and above that. We’re gonna have all these other different things. And you said there’s, it’s good to have a standard, but I love the word standard in so many different standards. Nothing standard.

Kate Zerbst
No, no. And everyone, you know, I went to the three sessions in southeast Queensland last week with the FPA and AFA when everybody combined. And what really stood out for me is that everybody’s just making it up as they go along.

Fraser Jack
Yep, this is what you do at the beginning. Absolutely, this is what we do. That’s how

Kate Zerbst
the financial planning planning industries evolve.

Fraser Jack
That’s all just been, here’s the thing, here’s the problem, let’s it’s all solved in a slightly different way that looks, looks and sounds a little bit different. Again, nothing standardized. Talk to us about what you’ve done this base.

Kate Zerbst
Okay. So essentially, we’ve gone about creating the 100 hours of structured training for the professional year. But it’s also, you know, it’s an online program, you can sign up to the whole course, or micro credentials within the course. So it’s not just for professional year, candidates or a people completing their professional year, it can be for anyone working in the financial planning industry. So you might have an admin person who wants to progress progress, so they can tap into these, you know, you might have a paraplanner, who isn’t quite up to speed with best interest, Judy, and safe harbor steps. So there might be a course for them to go and I guess further their knowledge and tap into the little bits that they need. Overall, it’s 100 hours of structured training that covers off all four quarters of the professional, not year. Ideally, I mean, we’ve gone through and rock mapped out in its entirety. The professional year, we have the professional year template that was discussed a lot that you you need to have at the start to give to your licensee, so we can support licensees on that front. We support the planner, in what sessions the professional in candidate actually needs, you know, those soft skills that we have kind of mapped out in in quarter three and quarter four. Maybe I should start at the start. So so

Fraser Jack
let’s talk about the quarters, I think because it’s a segue to talk, start talking about the first quarter, second quarter, and then go on from there. So let’s start with the first one.

Kate Zerbst
Yeah, so quarter one is all around the admin side of things, making sure they’re across the financial planning process. They’ve got templates in place, processes in place a well structured back office process from start to finish a good foundation, a good foundation. Now we have earmarked that as something potentially we were looking at maybe totally talking with Griffith uni at the moment around the potential of looking at that as being an internship scenario where people may be in year three of their uni degree are able to be I guess, matched up with a financial planning business that that can provide them with a little little bit of real world training on that because, you know, no matter how much She learned from a technical perspective, you still need to get on apply the knowledge that you have, and get the real world experience. So

Fraser Jack
this is how trades work obviously with, with apprenticeships, they they send people off to TAFE, or something they do the education in the classroom at the same time getting a little bit of real world experience.

Kate Zerbst
Yeah, and similar to my teaching degree, you know, from from the very start, we start with a week in the first year, and it progresses to bigger chunks throughout the time. So it’s really valuable tool, I believe that that needs to be rolled out to support these students so that when they finished their degree, they’re not completely green, they they’ve had a little bit of experience already, they know the financial planning process, and that professional year, they can then fast track quarter one, if they’ve done quarter one, quarter two, which is the power planning side of things. I’ve kind of earmarked that for year four of their degree where they get more into the research and the power planning and best interest duty and all of that stuff

Fraser Jack
to stuff they should be learning in the classroom. I think they do that in their

Kate Zerbst
final subject in year four. So we’re actually writing a financial plan writing a statement of advice. Yeah, and they have access to x plan to do that. I believe. I may be wrong, but that’s what I I think I was told,

Fraser Jack
so quarter, one admin,

Kate Zerbst
quarter, one admin, all the templates, phone scripts, super inquiry forms, everything you need to be able to complete that admin process, annual reviews, what goes into an annual review FDS obligations, opt ins, all of those things. And then quarter two is the paraplanning piece, how to research how to do projections, scoping advice, what is Soa looks like, what goes what needs to be in it? And I hear you’ve been doing some pretty exciting video,

Fraser Jack
working on some videos dive into advice. Yeah, that’s exciting. Keep that one under wraps. Oh, don’t tell anybody. It’s a secret. Exciting. I mean, exciting secret. Can’t wait till Yeah,

Kate Zerbst
yeah. And so then, once that’s, you know, really, can you learn that in three months? And you professional year quarter? Well, probably not. No, no, that’s why it needs to be a longer process. And you need to get cracking on it, before you start your professional year, get that experience under your belt. Because then when you do start your professional year, it could just be a professional year, in that you’re really just fast tracking quarter one and quarter two, and you’re spending 12 months completing the financial planning training piece. And that’s all the soft skills around how to run a meeting, held account to connect with a client, how to make them feel like you’re listening to what they’re saying, and that you’re really engaging with them.

Fraser Jack
Are these are these quarters broken up into 25 hours a quarter is that we

Kate Zerbst
haven’t got that far yet. At this point, I’ve mapped out the whole program and what that looks like. I feel like I’m not sure to be too

Fraser Jack
honest. You know, I was just wondering if that whether that was a requirement or that something that they haven’t really put it in place? I’ve just hit 100.

Kate Zerbst
Just 100 hours, you’re my understanding? Yep. Yep. So they’ve lifted nice and last 1500 hours of training, yes, on the job on the job training, which is, I guess where that soft skills piece is the most important. So we support the supervisors in giving them all of this content. And checklists, you know, when they’re when they’re sitting with a professional you candidate who’s running a meeting, what things are they looking for? What feedback can they give those kinds of things, where we’re supporting them to, to complete that piece and their job

Fraser Jack
supporting the supervisor or the advisor supporting the advisor, super advisor.

Kate Zerbst
So for an advisor, exactly good man, one of the

Fraser Jack
things that one of the things that we’ll get back to the corners, but one of the things that I would expect is that a lot of advisors would know stuff in their head, and not necessarily have it on paper. And they might be very good at knowing things and being able to talk to clients, but not necessarily great at at the have the skills involved for training or teaching.

Kate Zerbst
Absolutely, it’s probably going to be the biggest struggle, I would think in terms of rolling out that professional year. Because everyone does that naturally. But then to kind of break it down and teach someone else how to do that is is going to be the challenge definitely

Fraser Jack
skill and teaching and there’s a skill in adult learning which, which probably, I think is a big part of this and will evolve over time, but I don’t know how it’s been. How well it’s been considered.

Kate Zerbst
Absolutely. Yeah, it’s it’s gonna be a challenge. But

Fraser Jack
let’s let’s get into the second quarter, the paraplanning you’ve got to let structured training How to be how to be a paraplanner. Yep. And that’s obviously something that you’ve developed for both your business as well as this year this year.

Kate Zerbst
Absolutely, yeah, it’s, you know, we follow the same process throughout. So I guess, because we’ve got that process in place already for our staff, that’s probably the easiest one, to then go and train. Now one thing I guess to note there is that it’s not, it’s very high levels. So what needs to be in a plan, it doesn’t actually, we can do this in separately, but we don’t go software specific, because there’s so many different software providers out there that are practice specific and firm Pacific specific. So they’ve chosen what they think is the best that’s going to work for them. We don’t really tap into CRMs, either, you know, we might mention broadly, a number of different options. But they’re all, you know, each practice makes their own decision on those things. So that would be impossible to roll out.

Fraser Jack
There. You got to keep it, keep it keep it up, you know, up above that level of you know, choosing specific products, don’t we? Yeah, absolutely. Software products. Okay, so you got the paraplanning that’s quarter two. There, then then I guess we have a break between quarter two and quarter three, we’ve for the for them to do the exam. Yep,

Kate Zerbst
the exam goes in between those two. So that’s a really important piece is making sure you know, when the exams are scheduled. I did look recently, but I couldn’t see exactly what’s happening in the new year with exams. It’s been fairly easy for the last couple of years because they’ve been regular. But I’m not sure what’s happening in that space now that things have changed.

Fraser Jack
Yeah, because it’s a big thing to run a national exam for a handful. Let’s let’s call it a handful of PMI people coming through in the first couple of years, there’s not going to be the numbers that we’ve seen in the past for the amount of people sitting the exam. So it’s a big effort to run the exam. So it’s it’s going to be an interesting development is to follow this to see how often that’s going to be run over the next couple of years. Yeah, totally.

Kate Zerbst
I mean, there’s nothing to stop a supervisor and a candidate from working together and like doing those soft skills and starting the structured training and getting that foundation but for them to be in a in the meeting, they need to have that cut off. So

Fraser Jack
theoretically, you can’t start quarter three until you’ve done the exam and got the results back. And we all know that takes about a bit of time as well.

Kate Zerbst
Yes, that’s assuming they pass first go Correct. Absolutely. And

Fraser Jack
but the assumption that they pass, so first quarter gets done, then a bit of a time ticking off then start the second quarter done that now we’re gonna wait to the next exam comes along, then we’ve got to get our results back then we can start quarter three. So it’s not an overnight, overnight success. Tell us about quarter three,

Kate Zerbst
quarter three and quarter four. Really we? We’ve mapped it out in its entirety. Like I said before, how to run a meeting how to answer clients questions, all of those soft skills that go into being a financial planner. It’s the bit that comes easily to most financial planners. But when you’re learning that, and and a new entrant, I think the professional year, people that spoke last week said, you know, you’ve got all this stuff going around in your head, and then you’re sitting in front of a client trying to talk to them, and it’s quite overwhelming. So I guess it’s just giving them the skills to then run a meeting and working through that process for clients. A lot of those, the concept confidence, a lot

Fraser Jack
of those skills, yet competence is a big part of a lot of those skills come come over time with experience, and learnings. I guess I always think for myself, when I put myself back there, I was like I knew the PDS is from start to finish. And I could I could read them all off and tell everybody all about what was in the PDS. And nobody really wanted to know, I just wanted to know that I knew.

Kate Zerbst
Exactly. It’s making sure you’re giving them the bits of information they care about. But also taking off the compliance list, you know, like, how to run through an FSG. You know, that’s something an advisor would take for granted, but would be quite bamboozling for a professional year person coming in. You know that as a starting point, you would think attention to detail, you’d literally be going through the whole thing. That’s not what financial planners do. So you know, being client, the client friendly approach.

Fraser Jack
Yeah, I bring it back to that client understanding or looking at the client saying, Did you understand all that? Yeah, you got everything do you need? What more do you need to know?

Kate Zerbst
Yeah, and that’s an important skill as well is constantly checking back in with the client to get them to explain what you’ve just said, you know, they’re all things that will be discussed in depth and covered off as part of that struction training.

Fraser Jack
Yeah, so quarter three, and quarter four. Yep, almost the same content.

Kate Zerbst
Yeah. Repeated over, you know, you do the structured training piece. But then the important really important part is that time spent in front of the client, getting to practice

Fraser Jack
affiliation feeling comfortable feeling confident. Absolutely. Fantastic. And so that’s a course that you’re running out. Yes. And who is that for? It’s really for who you designed to go directly to is it for the it’s really

Kate Zerbst
for the licensee, the financial planner, or supervisor as well as the professional year candidate, they will all have access by signing up to the course you will get your logbook certificates, CPD points allocated to our training programs, as well as the professional year template mapped out in its entirety. So you don’t need to then go and create your own. All of those things that you need to complete your professional year and take off a part of a provided as part of that.

Fraser Jack
Yeah. So so just go high level, if you’re a licensee in you want to produce standards, they can just dip into this. Absolutely. If an a financial adviser wants to be a supervisor, and they don’t know where to go, they can do this, but they don’t but then the candidate should be and we sort of talked about this in the in the in the roadshow that went around, should be then getting this information and taking it to an employer to say, hey, put me on as a PMI candidate. And here’s all the information that we need to make it easy on you. It’s not it’s it’s not something that you have to create.

Kate Zerbst
Absolutely, it gives them I guess it helps support the supervisors by knowing what to do for that year. Because, you know, a lot of people still don’t know what to do. There is no no program out there at this point in time that will support people to roll out the professional year. Yep.

Fraser Jack
Isn’t that crazy? Yeah. So as we as we evolve and develop over time, obviously, this course will have to keep moving

Kate Zerbst
in 100%. So every 12 months as part of the CPD accreditation, we have to resubmit all of the coursework, to the CPA CPD accreditor. And have it reassessed. Yeah, so we need to make sure that everything we’re doing is keeping up to date with legislation changes and best practice.

Fraser Jack
So you mentioned to CPD points, I’m assuming that the points need to be accredited CPD for the 100 hours. Yes. And any can just go in, you know, businesses can just go up and say we did some training over here. And if it’s not accredited, CPD doesn’t count

Kate Zerbst
doesn’t count. Absolutely, yeah. So this will have an official certificate that you’re provided at the end of the course to say you’ve completed one CPD point in practice management or whatever it is, depending on the appropriate area, CPD area.

Fraser Jack
And then the fifth the supervision hours, is up to the adviser to sign off on

Kate Zerbst
it is but again, we provide them support around giving feedback, what things need to be ticked off to make sure that they’re going to be up to speed at the end of their quarter three and quarter four.

Fraser Jack
Yeah. How long do you think it’s going to take somebody to complete the P why? They’re not they’re not year?

Kate Zerbst
Ah, had, officially or unofficially, like I

Fraser Jack
mean, if somebody is listening to this, and they weren’t actually know the real answer, what do you think in at the moment, we can speak about the future just yet? We will in a second. But yeah, at the

Kate Zerbst
bare minimum, you know, to be have enough experience going through the whole process, it really depends on the number of clients, I guess, that you experience from start to finish. But bare minimum would be 18 months, I would think, plus longer, because to be honest, every day, you hold a client meeting, you think, Oh, I could do this better. So there’s always the Lifelong Learning attached to the back of that,

Fraser Jack
of course, of course, there’s definitely, there’s definitely lifelong learning involved.

Kate Zerbst
And the confidence, I guess, you know, like, as you progress in, in the number of years that you’ve been planning, you just get more confident.

Fraser Jack
I think a lot of planners out there would would turn around and say, you know, we didn’t want to want to do too much for education, but actually, we’ve got some really good information out of it. And actually, I’m a better person for it. And, and, you know, it’s sometimes you learn stuff, and then you use it works. And then you stop doing and you forget about it, and then it comes up again, and you go Oh, that’s right. I use it and implemented again. So I think that lifelong learning is a great conversation to be had when if you are a supervisor, or a POA candidate, you’ll probably learn a lot yourself element. Absolutely. Wonderful. Now, tell us about that. So you got the course out there at the moment where like, what’s the what’s the name of the course? Where can people find that?

Kate Zerbst
Well, we’ve called it the financial planning Academy. It’s on our website, FP asst.com.au.

Fraser Jack
So it’s financial planning Academy. Yep. And FB Asst. Is your, your business name for your paraplanning business units.

Kate Zerbst
Yes.

Fraser Jack
And tell us about you’ve also got a LinkedIn group with it.

Kate Zerbst
Yeah, so I set up off the back of those sessions that I went to last week for the Christmas party, talking about the professional year, I feel like it’s gonna be an ongoing conversation. And we need to support one another in what works, what doesn’t work tips and tricks. So I’ve created a LinkedIn group called the financial planning professional year hub. And really, I’d love anyone and everyone to join that has an interest in creating fantastic financial planners for the future. Because there’s a big gap with the number of planners that are leaving over the next number of years, as we all know, versus the number of new entrants coming through. So we we all need to get involved in making sure that we have sufficient I guess, succession plans for our own businesses, but also new entrants that are coming through that are trained to a really good standard.

Fraser Jack
It’s certainly what we all need to do for the future of the profession. Absolutely. I go to the financial planning p y. Hub is the LinkedIn group. Yes, jump on LinkedIn and have a look at that. Like, how can people find you? What’s the best way for them to reach out I want to continue this conversation

Kate Zerbst
On the website or on LinkedIn. Send me a message. Kate Zerbst.

Fraser Jack
Zerbst Zed. E R BST. And ifF P assistant is your website, yes.com Today, calm day. Wonderful. Kate, thank you so much for coming and chatting to us today. Really appreciate running through all that different stuff you’re doing is super exciting.

Kate Zerbst
It is I’ve got a big 12 months ahead rolling out the program yet.

Fraser Jack
I can’t wait to see how it all unfolds over the next 12 months. I’ll be following it with interest.

Kate Zerbst
Awesome. Thanks Fraser.

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