The Principal's Community fills a niche for self-licensed advisers

By Penny Pryor

The Principal's Community, formed by Kon Costas when BT's Practice Principal's Community closed in December last year, is meeting a demand for services by self-licensed financial planners.

Managing director Costas says that more than 92 per cent of previous businesses have signed new agreements this year with The Principal's Community, which now has 122 community members who license around 1200 advisers.

The community has, and will continue to, support businesses maintaining their own AFSL or wishing to transition to their own AFSL

"You really don't know when you're leaving a big institution how it's going to go, but I think the appetite for our self-licensed community being as independent as possible is really resonating with businesses because that's why they self-license," Costas told Industry Moves.

"They want to be able to control and run their own their own show and their own destiny and they're very, very supportive of us being able to support them without any ties into institutions."

Costas is pleased to be able to run the Community's state-based forums in person again after a long break due to Covid, as these forums are key for self-licensed advisers looking to exchange ideas with other like-minded professionals.

"It's pretty special," he says.

"Also, that connectivity it enables you to get the real vibe and the body language of an individual. You're not just looking at their face on the screen, you can actually see people's body language and you can ask the right questions. People have got time for you, versus sitting on a 30-minute Zoom or Teams meeting. I think the businesses themselves, the principals are very, very, very happy to connect in person."

At the state-based forums Costas and the principals have been discussing additional services that they might be requiring in the current environment.

"We're asking our community where we should be focusing our energies to expand our services... There's some services that we've provided in the past that we're now going to revisit and have a look at that will certainly help these businesses," he says.

The Principal's Community already provides a governance service to members but is also looking at adding audit and compliance services for members who are looking to be able to meet their regulatory requirements more efficiently.

The Principal's Community operates on an annual membership-based fee and members pay extra for available services such as governance support, education and engagement.