SMEs ‘in prime position to take advantage of SMSF trustees seeking advice’

SMEs ‘in prime position to take advantage of SMSF trustees seeking advice’


A survey that reveals self-managed super fund trustees are more likely to seek help highlights future opportunities for small businesses, according to the association behind a new report.

Released yesterday, the  Intimate with Self-Managed Superannuation report, prepared for nabtrade and the SMSF Association by Core Data, reveals a trend towards a new breed of SMSF trustees who are more open to advice when it comes to managing their funds.

It follows recent reports showing a trend towards small business owners choosing SMSFs because they wanted more control over their future.

The report describes three types of SMSF trustees and labels them ‘controllers’, ‘coach-seekers’ and ‘outsourcers’ based on their willingness to seek outside help.

It found controllers comprise around 39% of trustees and outsourcers make up 15%, while the biggest segment was coach-seekers at 46%.

SMSF Association chief executive Andrea Slattery said the findings represent a change in the behaviour of SMSF trustees.

“The early movers in SMSFs were the controllers, who largely took up SMSFs as a DIY alternative to the APRA fund sector in search of greater control and flexibility,” Slattery said.

“While controllers continue to be the biggest drivers for SMSF establishment, coach-seekers and outsourcer trustees now present the biggest growth opportunity for financial advisors given their amenability to financial advice and recognition of the viability of the vehicle as an advised proposition.”

Slattery told SmartCompany the two latter categories represent the biggest growth opportunity for financial advisors and small businesses with expertise in the area.

“Part of this report is extending opportunities for business to recognise who their clients are and to recognise they are not homogenous,” she says.

Slattery says 10 years ago most people thought the SMSF trustee was someone who wanted to do super themselves and there were not a lot of people who knew where to get information.

“What we’re seeing is as businesses are changing, people are becoming more confident and more engaged in professional services and advice and changing their business models at a more specialist level,” she says.

Slattery says while the report recognises trustees that are controllers are still interested in information, the new form of trustees coming in are “really wanting to have mentoring relationship, seeking to have people to learn and grow with them”.

“They’re looking for small businesses to set up to provide a range of opportunities for them to access,” she says.

Slattery says the growing demographic of younger trustees are increasingly coach-seekers and looking for “one-stop shops”, where people who might have expertise as a tax expert also possess expertise as an SMSF strategist, for example.

The outsourcer trustee category was at the extreme end of those needing support, Slattery says, and  these are often people who require a lot of information and services.

Slattery says the report could be an important tool for a small business in the financial services sector to assess their offerings.

“This report is really helpful for small business to reassess what their business offering is, to reassess the framework of what they provide,” she says.

“It’s a very good report to help small businesses to consider where their future should be, how to get there and how to frame their solution for their clients, to meet their needs.”


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