Industry change is our opportunity

Industry change is our opportunity

Industry change is our opportunity 150 150 Raamy Shahien

Our industry is changing fast and many people feel threatened by that. But change doesn’t have to be a bad thing. The changes that are happening right now present a once in a lifetime opportunity for all of us here at Viridian.

Change is already here

The reality is that change isn’t new. Our industry has been changing for a long time and the industry and legislators are now just playing catch up. This catch up is why we’re seeing the environment change so rapidly.

Smaller firms just aren’t able to deal with the rate of change. New requirements to maintain compliance and educational regimes while also delivering more intensive service to clients are making it hard to compete. The elimination of trail commissions means their revenue is also taking a big hit. To survive, smaller firms will be forced to consolidate.

At the other end of the scale, the larger firms and banks have traditionally been successful because of vertical integration. Their advisors have made big margins by selling their own product. Thanks to the Royal Commission, this type of vertical integration is set to disappear. There’s simply too much risk in the vertically integrated model for the large players to stay in the advisory space.

This leaves mid-tier firms, like Viridian, perfectly positioned to take advantage of the change that’s happening all around us.

The opportunity for Viridian and our people

This industry disruption presents a really exciting opportunity for Viridian. Change gives us the ability to execute more efficiently while staying true to purpose. Our size and scale mean we can put in place the resources and processes we need to deliver to our clients and employees every day. This gives our people the scope, mental space and capacity to focus on understanding our client’s ‘why’ and helping them live the life that they choose.  

It’s likely that our footprint may increase as a result of this change. We’re already seeing more people across the industry who want to join us because they know they can’t adapt and grow fast enough to compete. As I’ve said before, we’re open to engaging with these firms if they’re culturally aligned to where we’re going. But growth isn’t our objective – the objective for us is to stay true to our purpose at whatever scale we operate at.

This next chapter will also give our people the ability to do more of what they’re passionate about. The Viridian Foundation is a good example of the kind of opportunity. When we launched the foundation we had 15 people put their hand up to join the committee because they want to give back. I’m proud to be part of an organisation that can give people the opportunity to take on roles that they’re passionate about and that are aligned to their own personal sense of purpose.

What we’re seeing today is a once in a lifetime opportunity for Viridian. We are positioned to capitalise on our scale and embrace the industry wide change. The net result will be a better offering for clients and more opportunities for our people to grow and prosper.

Raamy Shahien is Group Managing Director at Viridian Advisory

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