The old referral model is dead. Here’s what’s next

Vanessa Stoykov,  creator,  No More Practice

I have long held the belief that the “dream team” experience of financial planning, broking, accounting and legal should all go hand-in-hand, and account-managed by the planner.

In fact, several years ago now, we hosted an NMPE live event, which was appropriately titled “Planner, Accountant, Broker”.  

Of course, many of these relationships have been developed in the past via referral agreements, where each of the parties refers to each other, and there are financial or other benefits to the relationship.

The model that is rapidly developing, however, is client-led networks of these important relationships, where the client introduces the accountant/broker and their lawyer to the adviser who can then act as the central hub for all these touch-points.

Why is the planner right in the centre? Because a financial planner should serve as the whole-of-life trusted partner to their clients. And by having a relationship with the other providers, they can truly add value to their clients in an independent, advice-driven way.

Business not going well? The accountant has sent the numbers, so the planner knows to call and ask whether they need to reassess their plans.

Legal issues to go over, like estate planning? If the lawyer updates on any developments, the planner can then be proactive in that arena.

Naturally, this model suggests that there will be higher touch points with the service providers of the clients, rather than the clients themselves. But over time there will be a pattern of service providers used, a natural alliance with some of these providers over multiple clients and a way of servicing clients that is so indispensable that your value could never be questioned.

It won’t work for every client and every adviser, but for those planners willing to adopt the service model of the future, without all the old associations of referral partners, this way of doing business will become an essential part of providing clients with a service that will be enduring and handed down for generations.

So if you are wanting to differentiate your offering with service first and foremost, then client-led partnerships are a great way to start. Getting to know your clients’ lives via their other professional relationships will be the right way to insert your advice relationship at the very centre of a client’s mind.

As always, we are searching for better ways to do things.


The opinions expressed in this content are those of the author shown, and do not necessarily represent those of No More Practice Education Pty Ltd or its related entities. All content is intended for a professional financial adviser audience only and does not constitute financial advice. To view our full terms and conditions, click here

Want more of the latest in opinions, expert insights and training?

Subscribe to our free newsletter now

/ Related content

Advisers need to change their hook

While fees used to be one of the biggest barriers to broader use of fina....

Can advisers bill less and earn more?

A new kind of advice product could solve the dillemma many advisers now fin....

How advisers can tell their story

Showing the value of financial planning using your own experiences is a ....

Leave a comment /

Related content /

27 July, 2021

Vanessa Stoykov,creator,No More Practice

Advisers need to change their hook

While fees used to be one of the biggest barriers to broader use of financial advice, people are now more willing to pay for certainty in a very un....

Read now

16 June, 2021

Vanessa Stoykov,creator,No More Practice

Can advisers bill less and earn more?

A new kind of advice product could solve the dillemma many advisers now find themselves in, where demand is higher than it has been in some time but i....

Read now

01 June, 2021

Vanessa Stoykov,creator,No More Practice

How advisers can tell their story

Showing the value of financial planning using your own experiences is a compelling strategy - here are three steps for building your story that won....

Read now