Wednesday 13 March New research from Elixir Consulting presented exclusively to the CFS 10X community has explored a number of measurable ways advisers can increase their profitability.  


Elixir Consulting founder Sue Viskovic and her colleague Lana Clark used data from a national study of back-office advice operations to explore what’s working for advice firms. The research identified numerous strategies advisers are currently using to achieve sustainable growth and success. 


"Our recent webinar highlighted a key finding: While an average EBIT (profit margin) of 23% might seem typical for financial advisers, we believe it falls short of the true potential. Our goal is to empower firms to achieve a significantly higher average EBIT, closer to 34%, to reflect the value they deliver," Ms Clark said. 


The research, which surveyed over 170 financial advice firms across Australia, found that businesses with a culture score of 5 on a 5-point scale achieved an average EBIT of 24.2%, compared to 19.6% for those with a score of 3 or less. 


Elixir Consulting’s Sue Viskovic said culture is a powerful profit driver when it comes to running a successful financial advice operations team. 


“Building a strong and empowered team is crucial for adviser success. By fostering a culture of shared ownership and appreciation, advisers can unlock significant growth potential,” she said. 


Ms Viskovic told advisers that sharing the success with your team through bonuses linked to overall firm performance and involving them in strategic planning can also boost profitability.


Elixir found that those practices that involved their team in strategy and improvement planning experienced an average of 25% EBIT compared to 20% for those practice owners who did their strategic planning on their own. 


Commenting on the research, CFS Group Executive Distribution Bryce Quirk said streamlining operations is crucial for advisers looking to free up valuable time and resources. 


He pointed to Elixir data that found businesses with documented processes achieve an average EBIT of 24.8% compared to 19.5% for those without. 


“This research is hugely valuable to advice practices that want to optimise their processes to drive profitability,” Mr Quirk said. “It is also great to see the material impact that expert support, coaching and continuous learning are having on the bottom lines of Australian advice businesses.”


The study revealed that firms who currently have or have previously had a coach achieved an average EBIT of 26.3%, compared to 22% for those without a coach.


“By implementing these key takeaways, financial advisers can create a more efficient, profitable, and rewarding work environment for themselves and their teams,” Mr Quirk concluded. 


CFS 10X is a dedicated program designed to help ambitious financial advice practices grow their business. Through a series of events, webinars, and resources, 10x provides advisers with the tools and strategies they need to achieve their goals.


The CFS 10X webinars series continues on 26 March where industry leaders will share their experiences and insights on navigating business growth through mergers and acquisitions. 


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About Colonial First State

This media release is issued by Superannuation and Investments HoldCo Pty Limited ABN 64 644 660 882 (Colonial First State or CFS). The CFS group includes Colonial First State Investments Limited ABN 98 002 348 352, AFSL 232468 (CFSIL) and Avanteos Investments Limited ABN 20 096 259 979, AFSL 245531 (AIL). CFS is majority owned by an affiliate of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. L.P. (KKR), with the Commonwealth Bank of Australia ABN 48 123 123 124 AFSL 234945 (CBA) holding a significant minority interest. This information is current as at 01 August 2023 and may be subject to change.