Five years ago, UniSuper launched its very own financial advisory service, which was designed to provide personal advice to meet specific needs of our higher education and research sector membership. UniSuper Advice has expanded rapidly with over 70 staff located around the country—including offices across 30 university campuses. Our advisers have helped over 7,556 members achieve their financial goals through face-to-face and phone-based advice.
Q&A with Jack McCartney
Jack—Executive Manager, Advice & Employer Relationships— is responsible for managing the financial planning arm and UniSuper’s relationships with 37 universities and related research bodies. We recently asked Jack a few questions about the UniSuper advice model and the importance of providing unconflicted advice.
How would you describe unconflicted advice?
Advice that is in our members’ best interests and is supported by a structure that ensures this continues.
How does UniSuper achieve ‘best interests’ advice?
The right remuneration model is important. Our advisers are salaried and don’t receive any commissions. We charge a fee-for-service in all cases. This allows them to recommend the most appropriate product for each individual member.
Our advisers can recommend super, insurance or investments outside of UniSuper and if this generates any commission, we’ll return this to our members in full.
Any bonuses paid to our advisers must be modest and based on the quality of their advice, activity levels and their level of customer service.
How does the advice model set UniSuper apart from others?
Our service and ethical-based culture attracts some of the most experienced and qualified advisers in the industry. As at 1 February 2015, 90% of our advisers are CFP® professionals.
We operate an internal advice business, which means we have greater control over our advisers and the member-focused culture we’ve created.
It’s also important to us to provide good quality advice at a fair price. We run our advice business on a cost recovery basis, which makes our fees very competitive.
How does this model benefit our members?
Everyone’s needs are different. That’s why we provide three streams of advice—general, limited and comprehensive.
Our advisers won’t go ahead unless they’re sure their advice will deliver benefits or savings greater than the advice fee.
Sometimes it’s easier to talk to someone face-to-face—our on-campus consultants are available to our members at most universities across Australia.
No matter what your stage of life, it’s never too late to plan your financial future. To find out more about how one of our qualified advisers can assist you, please contact UniSuper Advice on 1300 331 685 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.