First-of-its-kind advisory firm launched in SA to support the financial services sector

In what is a first for the financial services industry in South Africa, a unique and innovative new independent consulting firm has been launched which offers expert business guidance and assistance to financial institutions and advisors.

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Financial Advisors

FI Consult assists businesses within the financial services sector to unlock potential, pursue growth, streamline operations, identify and pursue effective strategies, understand compliance, embrace technological advancements, engage effectively with clients, develop new business relationships, and overcome challenges and plateaus.

This is according to co-founder Jason Bernic, a Certified Financial Planner®, Executive Coach, and former International Wealth Manager with over 20 years of experience in the financial planning profession.

How FI Consult partners with financial advisors

Bernic explains that FI Consult partners with their clients within the financial sector to identify issues and barriers to ongoing growth and success, and then help them to establish effective mechanisms and strategies to overcome these and evolve the businesses.

“We work on and in our client’s business in a partnership role that allows us to take them from where they are now to where they want, and need, to be. Our process entails asking the right questions to develop a blueprint of where a business currently is – and the challenges it may be facing – and then understanding where the business wants to go – its desired future goals. From there FI Consult identifies the gaps within the organisation that are preventing it from achieving its goals and provides a strategy on how to close these gaps, overcome the barriers, and move the business forward.”

“During our assessment, we consider factors such as an organisation’s mission, vision, strategy, business management tactics, financials, technological standing, its people, planning, advisor remuneration, client fees, the overall client experience, marketing and communications, and governance and compliance – to name a few.”

The challenges, and opportunities, faced by financial advisory firms

David Kop, FI Consult co-founder, Certified Financial Planner® and former director of the Financial Planning Institute, as well as a former financial planner and para-planner with 25 years of experience in the financial planning profession, explains that every business owner or management team comes to an inflexion point where they need to make decisions about that business’s future.

“The route can either be to grow, stagnate or become obsolete. Many times, business owners and managers get overwhelmed at this point as they are too immersed in daily operations. It helps to have someone who can look from the outside and work on the business from the inside. FI Consult helps business owners and management remove any blind spots that may be stopping them from evolving the business to where it needs to go. We do this by using our industry knowledge and experience; our research into international trends; immersion in the local environment; connection to leaders, influencers and trend-setters; and our passion for coaching and advising,” says Kop.

“Many small business owners start a business because of a passion for what they do. However, this founding reason can get bogged down in the daily mechanics of running the business. Our role is to help ensure that the operation of the business is running optimally so that the owner can free up time to focus on their passion once again. We are also moving into a new regulatory environment for financial planners that can seem daunting. However, FI Consult sees huge potential and opportunity for financial planners who adapt their processes from a compliance mindset to a client-first mindset. Added to this, we assist businesses to maintain a human-first approach to financial planning in what is becoming a technologically dominated world.”

Why FI Consult has been founded

Bernic explains that FI Consult was born out of a need for expert advice solutions to support financial advisors who want to grow and evolve their businesses.

“David and I asked the question of who is advising the advisors? Unlike other industries, there is little holistic support for financial advice businesses that are considering their future.”

“Financial advice is not the business – it’s the product. However, many business owners, leaders and managers often confuse or overlap the two, and it is our goal to help those within the financial advice industry to create a clear separation so that they can grow their businesses while providing clients with the best possible service possible.”

“FI Consult is the only end-to-end consulting partner for financial advisory businesses. We believe in an authentic and genuine approach to supporting advice businesses to protect what they have built, while at the same time, creating the next version of themselves. No one else in South Africa is supporting financial advisors in quite the same way and we saw a definite need. Our approach is unique and real and we offer proven solutions and actual strategies that are relevant, practical and executable.”

FI Consult’s services are retained on a month-to-month basis with no contracts, and no terms and conditions. “We are 100% independent and not bound by institutional red tape or legacy beliefs and thinking. We also don’t work in a vacuum – if required, we call in external specialist consultants and experts in various areas to contract and sub-contract, run think tanks, and consult as needed to provide our clients with the best-of-breed advice and business evolution strategy.”

For more information on FI Consult and the services offered visit www.ficonsult.co.za or email jason@ficonsult.co.za or david@ficonsult.co.za