Colonial First State (CFS) has launched a new people and culture platform, designed in collaboration with advisers, to help the community support, develop and retain the next generation of advice professionals.

CFS Elevate offers advisers access to free training, networking events and collaboration tools, including the CFS Professional Year online community hub with XY Adviser.  

“At CFS, we believe that quality financial advice is vital to helping Australians achieve financial freedom in retirement, and we are committed to building a stronger and more sustainable advice industry,” said Bryce Quirk, CFS group executive and chief distribution officer.

According to Mr Quirk, the launch of CFS Elevate follows the company’s acknowledgement of a shrinking advice industry, with research estimating the ratio of advisers leaving the industry versus those replacing them could be as high as around six-to-one.

“Over the past decade, we have seen a significant reduction in the number of registered financial advisers and a fall in the overall number of Australians who are able to access financial advice,” Mr Quirk said.

“We see our role as identifying and addressing gaps that are making it difficult to meet the demand for quality financial advice, and we’ve been speaking to advisers about how to make delivering advice easier. That’s how we came up with Elevate.”

The resources available through CFS’s platform are expected to help advisers support employees at various stages of their careers.

“Advisers are increasingly time-poor and do not have the same access to human resources tools and resources like large organisations do. CFS Elevate seeks to address this gap by providing advisers with the support they need to successfully attract, develop and retain their people,” Mr Quirk said.

“Through education, thought leadership, advocacy and strategic partnerships, CFS Elevate hopes to contribute to a stronger advice industry and deliver better outcomes for Australians seeking financial advice.”