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About the Adviser Research

About the Report

Understand the background of the research and a word from MetLife Australia's CEO.

About the Report

Understand the background of the research and a word from MetLife Australia's CEO.

A word from our CEO

With the financial services industry facing its share of turbulence in the past twelve months, it’s more important than ever for financial advisers to have insight into the attitudes, behaviours and expectations of their clients.

The Royal Commission into Financial Services put intense scrutiny on the sector in Australia, and negative sentiment persists despite reforms that are transforming the industry. 

MetLife continues to support advisers in their engagement with their clients, as we know from our research that regular and transparent communications help to strengthen relationships and restore trust in the sector. 

Now in its second year, the MetLife Report: Understanding the Adviser-Client Relationship explores the attitudes and behaviours of two distinct groups:

Consumers (those who have sought professional financial advice on life insurance, and those who are not currently using a financial adviser but are likely to see an adviser about life insurance in the next two years), and

Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs) with up to 20 employees who have sought professional financial advice on life insurance.

The report provides a snapshot of consumers’ and SMEs’ attitudes towards financial advisers and their level of confidence about their life insurance, along with actionable insights into how advisers can further improve the customer experience. 

The research found one third of consumers and half of SMEs are considering changing, or no longer using an adviser in the next 12 months. 

This is a concerning statistic which highlights how important it is for advisers to demonstrate the ongoing value of the service they provide. 

Advisers can’t take their clients for granted. With such a high proportion of consumer and SMEs looking for change, advisers must constantly be looking for ways to build trust and develop genuine relationships with clients. 

It’s no surprise that honesty and trustworthiness are the major factors people consider when choosing a financial adviser. 

Those advisers who take the time to have deep and ongoing conversations with their clients about their individual needs, and demonstrate the benefits of personalised and tailored advice, will likely gain a competitive advantage. 

We are proud of our association with financial advisers and we are committed to doing all we can to raise public awareness of the important contribution they make to the Australian community. 

We hope the ongoing analysis and insights we provide through this research will help advisers engage positively with clients about their life insurance needs.

Richard Nunn, MetLife CEO

Richard Nunn

CEO, MetLife Australia

Research methodology
In 2018 MetLife commissioned independent research consultants, Little Triggers to conduct the largest quantitative study of its kind to support the launch of its retail insurance offer in Australia.

We've again delivered this study in 2019 to give advisers knowledge of their clients, and potential clients, to help them better manage those relationships.

This report includes 2019 highlights from a survey of 1,298 respondents:

797 consumers who have life insurance purchased through a financial adviser;

213 Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs) with 2-20 employees who have life insurance purchased through a financial adviser; and

288 consumer potentials who are very likely to see a financial adviser about life insurance in the next two years Further breakdown of respondents can be seen on the following page.

Who took part in the survey?

Breakdown Consumer with life insurance SME with life insurance Consumer Potential
18-34 years 21% 28% 24%
35-49 years 25% 40% 18%
50+ years 54% 32% 58%
Male 56% 64% 46%
Female 44% 36% 54%
Average annual household income (before tax)
<$40k 5% 3% 9%
$40-69k 9% 9% 20%
$70-99k 17% 23% 18%
$100-129k 14% 20% 14%
$130-149k 9% 16% 8%
$150-160k 6% 6% 3%
$160k+ 27% 17% 18%
Undisclosed 13% 6% 9%
Time with current adviser
<1 year 6% 3% N/A
1-2 years 8% 13% N/A
2-3 years 11% 27% N/A
3-4 years 9% 16% N/A
4-5 years 9% 8% N/A
5+ years 41% 26% N/A
Undisclosed 16% 6% N/A
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Key Findings

The top 15 take aways from Understanding the Adviser-Client Relationship Report 2019.

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