Staffing and administration difficulties mean Securitor financial planners spend two-thirds of their time away from clients, an internal survey has found.

The annual Securitor ‘Dashboard’ survey reported that participating planners spent 35 per cent of their working hours giving direct advice to clients. Richard Liverpool, Asgard head of market development, said the survey was conducted to identify strengths and weaknesses in the St-George-owned dealer group’s advice services. He said appropriate measures to increase planners’ time in front of clients relied on determining the sufficient number of administration staff for each practice and speeding up the education of new recruits so they can sooner engage clients. “It’s a chance for a business development consultant (BDC) to sit with a financial planner and find the gaps, [and] where you stand in comparison to your peers.” Meanwhile, the survey also reported a 4 per cent increase in income and 35 per cent increase in profit across participating practices since the last survey was conducted. Dashboard software, which is provided by Strategic Consulting and Training, stores practices’ operational data on a central database, compiles their key performance indicators (KPIs) and, drawing on the database, benchmarks these KPIs against the top quartile of firms in the database. Cassandra Hinze, Asgard head of practice development, said the system provided a summary of information that could be used to help practices progress through Securitor’s six-phase business development program, Business Torque. The six phases identified by the program are: entry, grow, maintain, expand and exit. “It highlights the areas that we need to look at; it shows us which areas we’ve improved in,” Hinze said. In addition to other data, Securitor business development consultants draw on Dashboard survey findings when making recommendations to heads of practices within the group. Hinze said advisers wanting to spend more time with clients should consider the attention they allocate to each segment of their client base: senior advisors should concentrate on higher net-worth clients while junior advisers should focus on less wealthy clients. Securitor offers Dashboard software to all of its member firms. So far, 35 have installed the system.

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