New research to explore relationship between financial planner and client

Griffith Business School researcher, including Dr Katherine Hunt, are focusing on the client-financial planner relationship.
Griffith Business School researchers, including Dr Katherine Hunt, are focusing on the client-financial planner relationship.

Scott Morrison’s first budget followed swiftly by Malcolm Turnbull’s double-dissolution election have sharpened public interest in issues like superannuation, negative gearing and tax thresholds like never before.

The sustained focus on matters of money during the election campaign has also brought to the fore the challenges Australians face in gaining and maintaining an understanding of the complexities of personal finance.

Perhaps at no time before have the skills and services of financial planning been more called upon.

“Planning one’s future financial security is difficult,” Dr Katherine Hunt, a lecturer in financial planning at Griffith Business School, says.

“Personal finances are increasingly complex. There is a myriad of financial products on offer, differing tax treatment and increasing responsibility for one’s own retirement income.”

“Financial planning is a complex area, and requires planners to have a broad range of skills to successfully navigate their clients to a successful outcome.”

However, as those clients look to the future, they do so with an eye on the recent past and a decade where concerns about educational levels of financial planners, conflicts of interest and substantial losses due to the GFC have hindered the sector’s progress.

This client-planner relationship is the focus of new research at Griffith Business School.

“Financial planners are seen as a critical element in ensuring the financial security and success of many Australians,” Dr Hunt says. “However, what attributes contribute to an effective working relationship between financial planners and their clients, and is there a connection with successful planning?”

“We know little about what factors lead to good working relationships between financial planners and their clients.”

The research, which is supported by the Financial Planning Association, will also investigate if these factors have altered since 2009, with the financial planning sector affected by government reforms and continuing uncertainty with the global financial markets during this time.

“This research is important as it will bring to light whether such things as trust, education and empowerment are important to financial planning relationship – or whether it is just about the dollars achieved.”

If you would like to participate in this research, Griffith University is inviting both financial planners and their clients to undertake a short 15 minute online survey, which is anonymous. To undertake this confidential survey, click here.

For any queries about this research project contact Dr Katherine Hunt at k.hunt@griffith.edu.au or on (07) 555 27789.