Fraser Jack: 00:09 Welcome to the goals based advice podcast where we are still on tour at the FPA Congress in Melbourne. Coming to you from inside the Kombi van and I’ve grabbed Dante. Dante, welcome to the Kombi.
Dante de Gori: 00:23 Thanks for having me. It’s great to be here in this historical vehicle.
Fraser Jack: 00:27 It’s fantastic, isn’t it?
Dante de Gori: 00:29 Oh, it’s great. It smells old and it looks great.
Fraser Jack: 00:31 And there’s people walking around and looking in and going, “What the heck’s going on over there?”
Dante de Gori: 00:35 Yes. Yeah, that’s right. You are getting a few looks. No, it’s brilliant. It’s great to have you here. And it was great to be here and it’s a bit of a unique setting, but it’s brilliant.
Fraser Jack: 00:44 Yeah, yeah. Now it’s day three, coming towards the end of the Congress. Let’s give it a bit of a wrap.
Dante de Gori: 00:51 Yeah, look, can I just say it’s the best Congress ever, if I can announce it. For us, the participation has been outstanding. I think we’ve ticked over 1500 delegates, I mean officially, and that is just for us an amazing achievement. And considering the environment we’re in, a great testament to the financial planners who have decided to choose the FPA’s Professionals Congress is the place to go to get their information and engage. so that’s a great testament to them and all the supporters as well that are around, and those who are supporting financial planners that are here in great numbers as well. So great numbers but also great feedback. I’ve been luckily enough now and members as you would probably appreciate, don’t hold back and I don’t expect them, but to give me honest feedback.
I honestly can say that the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive and which is, again, I’m very appreciative that one, they would come to the conference, to the Congress I should say sorry. And also secondly that they have enjoyed it as much as they have. The sessions, but just the vibe as well. The positivity and the community feel has been outstanding. I’m genuinely blown away and humbled by the fact that it’s been such a great Congress, and that people have actually said so, which is amazing.
Fraser Jack: 02:35 Yeah, fantastic. And now there was a lot of speakers, a lot of speakers and Michelle Tate-Lovery, I know, put a lot of work into sourcing high and low throughout the country and making sure that the speakers were quality and prepared and all that sort of stuff. I think I went up to her last night and said, “Congratulations.” I think she’s done a great job.
Dante de Gori: 02:57 You’re spot on. Preparation’s massive, and I think a lot of people have sort of hinted that there’s a lot of effort gone into these. It’s well run, it’s scale is quite large. And this is a 12 month exercise. Once this closes, technically we’ve commenced 2020’s Congress. So it’s a lot of effort goes into it. Michelle in particular has done a stellar effort and the Congress team. The FPA team, I’ve got a really take my hat off to the FPA staff who make this place run, we’ve got staff, a majority of the staff are down here and taking on roles and responsibilities completely out of their comfort zones.
They’ve all stepped up. No one’s saying no. Everyone’s saying, “Yes, how can I help?” It’s brilliant and they’re all doing it with a smile, so I couldn’t be more proud of the team as well, in terms of the way they’ve backed up and the way they’ve supported the Congress.
Fraser Jack: 03:57 Yes I can vouch for that. They’re out there running around and organizing people to be in the right place at the right time. There’s so much to organize. Now, last night we had the Future2 event. You want to talk about the money raising efforts and what we’ve been able to do there?
Dante de Gori: 04:12 Throughout the Congress, of course, the Future2 Foundation is the FPA’s foundation and I believe over 20,000 was raised last night, which is amazing. And again, just the generosity from delegates and financial planners to come here in this environment and also give, physically give money towards Future2.
We saw at the start of the Congress, the Wheel Classic riders, Future2 riders, the bike riders. We also had the hikers who came in together and again, who have gone and done extraordinary athletical things in order to raise money, and we showcase them on the first day. And then this morning we ran a barbecue as well and fed everyone from the the morning after the night before. And again, I’m not sure how much we’ve raised from that at this stage, but anything we raise is amazing and it all goes to a great cause. And again, very humble and appreciative of the fact that so many people here at Congress have chosen to give back and donate to Future2 over and beyond what they’ve already donated, because many of our members actually do pay through their membership fees, they choose to donate as well. So it’s an amazing effort.
Fraser Jack: 05:32 Yeah, I saw you there early this morning with the apron on, helping out with the barbecue.
Dante de Gori: 05:36 I don’t know how much I hoped out, but I thought I’d dress the part at least and try and drum up some business at the barbecue stand. It went fantastic and everyone got involved in the spirit that it was and enjoyed the sausage sandwich and the bacon and egg roll. So like I said, all in a good cause, but I think deep down people love the barbecue.
Fraser Jack: 06:02 Yeah. It was a great night last night as well with some awards being handed out.
Dante de Gori: 06:05 And it’s important to acknowledge it. As I was trying to say last night, one of the things we served, very, very noisy venue, but it’s important to recognize and acknowledge the meaningful positive work that people do every day.
And in fact, if I give an award to every advisor, because I mean, every advisor has done great advice. 99.9% of every piece of advice is written, is good advice and leads to meaningful, positive outcomes and everyone deserves an award for it. But we can’t do that. We were able and fortunate to recognize some exceptional individuals and a practice as well who have done outstanding things for 2019, which is great and we should remember that because as much as we should also concentrate on when bad things happen and how to fix it and correct it so it doesn’t happen again, we should also laud and applaud the great work that people do, and the best practice that’s out there. Because there is, it’s undeniable that there is great quality advice going on and if we don’t recognize it and acknowledge it, I think that we’re not providing that sense of hope and optimism for people to say that what you’re doing is worthwhile. Keep it up.
I hope the winners last night felt that they are acknowledged are delighted with getting the award.
Fraser Jack: 07:39 Absolutely. In the end, everybody that was nominated for those awards can feel extremely proud of themselves.
Dante de Gori: 07:44 Absolutely.
Fraser Jack: 07:45 Now it’s coming to the end and I guess what happens now is the preparation for next year’s starts. Have you finalized the plans for next year yet?
Dante de Gori: 07:54 We will be announcing the venue for next year, very shortly, at the close of Congress. So that’s been locked in and the preparation will start in earnest after today.
Fraser Jack: 08:07 Fantastic. And speaking of 2020, what’s the plan for you with 2020 with [inaudible 00:08:11] what’s your focus?
Dante de Gori: 08:13 Well, I think firstly, I’ll try and take a bit of a break during Christmas. I think we all do and I hope our members do as well, and the financial planning community can, though I do appreciate there’s quite a number who have registered themselves to sit the exam and so probably study’s in order over that Christmas period and good luck to those by the way, who have chosen to sit the exam in the next couple of rounds. But 2020 is hopefully, in my opinion, going to be a much more positive year. I think there’s an opportunity, we’ve had, I think, one of the final clouds that was sort of hovering over the year was the code of ethics. And this week alone we’ve had ASIC come out and announced their facilitated compliance approach for 2020 on the code of ethics.
We had the session yesterday with Daniel Press from ASIC and again reconfirm the fact that look, ASIC’s not going to come down and start coming in and checking whether you complying with this code. We realized that it’s still an ongoing development and we recognize the fact that’s the case. We’re going to be quite reasonable about this. We’ve got for [FCSA 00:09:32] saying that they’re still consulting and we’re going to be rebuilding, sorry, we’re working the guidance on that as well, which again is very positive. And today from AFCA, they’ve just announced that they are also going to be taking a wait and see approach on this and they’re going to wait and see for the code to actually be continued to be finalized and worked through, and aren’t going to be actively looking at breaches against the code.
So, again, these are real positive announcements and they should reassure us and financial planners and licensees about the fact that you can continue running your business, providing the advice you provide, without worrying about tripping up over code. I think that’s really important. So I suppose the message really for 2020 is, concentrate on your business, concentrate on your clients. There are some practices and licensees who have to transition because the grandfather commissions are in, the legislation’s in, and you have 12 months to do it and you need to start now, if you haven’t already started. So that’s your focus, for some people’s focus. It’s the exam and education. But our focus is really getting on with business and basically ensuring advisers can continue to give advice. There’s this final cloud, I think that enables us to do that and everybody can just concentrate on what they do best.
I suppose from my perspective, that’s all I can really ask for, is just to ask members to do what you do best and give advice, concentrate on that. Not to say, trust me, everything will be OK. But let us, let the FPA, on your behalf, advocate for what needs to be advocated for and you concentrate on your... What makes our job easy is that you do your job well. Now, you do your job well, then that makes our job easier, because the better relationship, the better advice you give, the happier the client is. That’s going to be a better outcome for us in terms of advocating what we need to advocate for in order to make your life better.
Fraser Jack: 11:50 Now last time you were on the podcast, we talked about the one message, many voices coming out and I saw Phil [Kewan 00:11:56] yesterday from the AFA here and participating in the Congress. How’s that been going? Obviously there’s been a few announcements being made and changes have been made and that that tends to be resonating.
Dante de Gori: 12:09 Yes it is. And I think hopefully today and for the Congress members and the financial advice community, is seeing that we are working collaboratively, not only with the AFA and it’s great to have Phil Kewan here, we’ve also got John Moroney from the SMSF Association here as well. Judith Fox from the Stockbrokers And Financial Advisors Association here as well, but also been working with FINSIA. And also we have a couple of the accounting bodies here as well represented with the CPA Australia and the Institute of Chartered Accountants, Australia and New Zealand. But also I’ve been in dialogue with the Institute of Public Accountants as well.
So we are continuing the dialogue and expanding it with other associations. We’ve got to remember they’re part of the ecosystem as well. And if we are going to look at ow, what’s best fit for giving financial advice to Australian mum and dads going forward, we need to remember there are a lot of participants in this ecosystem. And so therefore what role does an accountant/financial advisor play? And from the accounting body’s perspective, what is it that they are interested in and are we aligned, can we be aligned? How can we work together?
One of the things that is universally accepted I think, across any association and across all sectors is regulatory burden and red tape and everyone’s that listening to this podcast is going to be be nodding their head vigorously, because it’s the one thing that we all agree is a killer around cost and inefficiencies, it just gets in the way of doing real client outcomes and client engagement. So what is it exactly, and how do we eliminate it? I think there is real appetite to work together, across border in terms of... I don’t want to say across border, in terms of from the advisor associations and the accounting bodies, to look at those and say, “How do we eliminate them? How do we work together and advocate that these things need to be removed?”
That’s working really well. I won’t lie, it’s an effort to keep us all together. I mean, the one message, many voices is a concept that we actually want, not just for the associations, but we want it more broadly across the whole financial planning community. You know, licensees, advisors themselves, because I think that’s really important. We’re not the only ones going down to Canberra. Licensees and product manufacturers and even FinTech companies now. Everyone’s will have a vested interest at some point in time, through the year, to need to go and want to make representation to either a regulatory body, Treasury or to a politician. And that’s great, but where possible, and depending on what the issues are, is there a one message in there that could be used, because otherwise, again, we’re potentially falling into the traps of fracturing. So that that mantra still continues, but it’s a lot of effort to keep it going.
Fraser Jack: 15:30 Fantastic. Well, thank you for coming and hanging out in the back of the Kombi van and wrapping up the Congress. We’ve just got a keynote to go now, haven’t we?
Dante de Gori: 15:38 Yes, we do.
Fraser Jack: 15:40 And then look forward to next year.
Dante de Gori: 15:41 Yes, we will. We will absolutely. And thanks for having me.
Fraser Jack: 15:44 Yeah, thank you all. Enjoy your time off over Christmas and the new year and we’ll see you all fresh and vibrant in the new year. 2020.
Dante de Gori: 15:52 Yes, very much so. Thank you.
Fraser Jack: 15:54 Thank you. If you haven’t already, I’d love you to subscribe to the podcast on your podcast platform of choice, and to continue the conversation, head over to our social media channels. We’ll catch you next time.
Disclaimer: This document is a transcription obtained through a third party. There is no claim to accuracy on the content provided in this document, and divergence from the audio file are to be expected. As a transcription, this is not a legal document in itself, and should not be considered binding to advice intelligence, but merely a convenience for reference.