The Boutique Financial Planning Principals Association Inc (BFP) originated in Brisbane, in 1996, when a band of like-minded self-licenced financial planners began meeting to share ideas and information.
The association was formally established in April 2002 and it is the only group established to specifically represent boutique independently owned financial planning firms operating under their own AFSL.
In this context, the term “independent” means that the AFSL business is privately owned and not part of a financial institution and “boutique” means that members generally have a small number of financial advisers.
The BFP is a membership association governed by our constitution, steered by members and guided by their elected Executive.
By 2020 the BFP had grown to include members from across all states of Australia.
The core aims of the BFP are:
- To provide fellowship and support to boutique self-licenced AFSL businesses while encouraging the sharing of knowledge and ideas.
- Develop public awareness of the value of advice from boutique financial planning firms operating under their own AFSL.
- Utilise our purchasing power to provide benefits to members through better pricing arrangements and training services.
- To help develop an equitable regulatory and legislative environment for our members and the financial planning industry in general.
The BFP delivers on our core aims as follows:
Providing the forum for members to communicate openly to the membership group in regard to business processes, practice management and compliance as well as technical and client aspects.
An annual conference wherein members have the opportunity to both network with other members as well as hear how other members operate or manage specific topics. The conference is designed to be for, and by, members.
Through effective relationships with financial media publications and associations that promote the advice proposition of boutique self-licenced AFSL holders.
The BFP utilises group purchasing power to broker better commercial terms and develop training webinars specific to member needs. These commercial arrangements are regularly reviewed and updated.
Commercial arrangements cover:
- Practice Support Services
- Human Resources
- Business management
Reviews are also undertaken to provide guidance on costs (e.g. Professional indemnity premiums).
The BFP seeks the opportunity to provide a direct voice to the government, regulators and other professional associations on matters that impact financial planning in general and our members in particular. The BFP also regularly liaises with FPA to promote the views and concerns of our members.
Key achievements in this area include:
- BFP submission to ASIC regarding the impact of CP200 (changes to MDA operators) on boutique licensees offering MDA services or using the “No Action Letter” to offer MDA services under a limited Power of Attorney.
- Submission made to Treasury and the Senate Economic Legislation Committee in 2014 broadly supporting the FOFA Amendments (except for commissions on general advice) and advocating refinements to the Fee Disclosure Statement requirements to exclude arrangements where clients are directly invoiced on a regular basis by their adviser.
- BFP provided a second-round submission to the Financial System Inquiry commenting on the Inquiry’s questions and observations in regard to accessibility, independence, general advice, compensation and other matters.
- 2011 Parliamentary Joint Committee submission made regarding initial 2010 draft FOFA bills and continued to advocate against the “opt in” provisions therein.
- BFP was an early advocate for simplification of the Statement of Advice requirements making numerous submissions, between 2004 – 2008, to ASIC and Treasury.
- 2003 FSR guide “Small Business and Your AFS Licence” resulted from collaboration between ASIC and BFP.