GreenZone: Overcoming the challenges that hold back new AFSLs

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There is growing interest amongst financial planners in establishing their own financial services licence (AFSL) but many are held back by concerns that there is little information or support available to guide them on the journey, says Geoff Rimmer, co-founder of GreenZone Australia.

“We have been talking to a number of advisers who recognise that holding their own AFSL is the path to true independence and being able to provide conflict-free advice.

“But they are worried about the cost of setting up and maintaining an AFSL, and they aren’t really sure about the steps that need to be taken to get there.

“There is no doubt that moving AFSLs or establishing one from scratch is a big decision and a huge investment. Last year ASIC received over 400 applications for new AFSLs but took back just under 200. That’s a lot of very expensive mistakes.”

GreenZone is hoping to reduce this ‘fail rate’ by providing advisers with the information, practical support and advice they need to establish and manage their own AFSL.

“We believe that the industry must continue to move towards independence if it is to become a true profession and to ensure planners act in the best interests of their clients.

“Holding an AFSL is an adviser’s key to future professionalism enabling the provision of truly independent advice,” Mr Rimmer said.

GreenZone’s upcoming AFSL Masterclass for financial advisers in mid-November will canvass the biggest issues advisers face, and propose solutions, including:

  • The most expensive mistakes in running your own AFSL and how to avoid them
  • The building blocks of a great back office
  • The real cost of running an AFSL
  • Walking the PI tightrope
  • How to get the best out of your Investment Platform

In addition, attendees will receive a free survey from Coredata to use with their clients, which would usually cost $2000.

This Coredata research is designed to:

  1. Deliver advisers a clear path way to understand client needs and expectations in relation to their investments
  2. Provide the tools for advisers to have a conversation with their clients, and
  3. Protect adviser businesses from anticipated changes to the rules around suitability and matching of product.

“We believe that providing tools like this, that help advisers gauge the satisfaction of client segments, will help to substantially improve client satisfaction.

“It is also an important step to future proofing businesses from legislative impacts,” Mr Rimmer says.

More information on the Masterclass is available at, with registrations due to close on Friday 3 November.

GreenZone Australia is a consulting firm for the financial services sector that provides education and support for advisory businesses committed to providing conflict-free advice. Go to to check out Australia’s first ever AFSL masterclass.