Danni Visser has just been appointed to the newly created role of head of growth at XY Adviser. The appointment is further confirmation of the social network’s standing amongst financial advisers and its exponential growth since launching as a finance and lifestyle blog in 2013.
Visser joins the group from Zurich, where, as a strategy specialist, she was very familiar with what XY were doing.
“XY Adviser started as a bit of a passion project and because it has become so popular with advisers it has grown into a fully functioning business model,” she says.
“At Zurich my role was strategy specialist which was essentially building useful tools and content for financial advisers. I watched XY Adviser network and their exponential growth over many years. XY’s increasing popularity is largely a by-product of its culture. It’s a refreshingly positive space where advisers encourage one another to grow and foster collective professional improvement by sharing the best of what they do and know. Peer to peer forums have always been popular and XY is a global amplification of peer development – we now have advisers from South Africa, the UK and South East Asia contributing to the conversations.
“My role as the head of growth [at XY] is a huge opportunity to contribute to the positive evolution of financial advice because there is nowhere else in the market where financial institutions can tap into to the real-time native language of financial advisers. If the organisations that offer services to advisers can understand the hurdles financial advisers face, they will be much better positioned to offer the right solutions to dissolve those barriers. We believe if we can shine a light on advisers’ pain points, it will result in solutions that gain better traction with the desired audience . It’s a win – win”
What is XY?
XY Adviser is a dedicated social network for financial advisers where advisers can freely share information. They can dial into peer insight sessions or ask questions of other advisers who may have experienced similar situations and crowdsource solutions.
It currently has 4,000 adviser members who are collectively responsible for $100 billion in funds under management. The average age of the XY audience is 42.
“We’re the only dedicated social network for financial planners in Australia where everyone is striving towards the positive evolution of financial advice. It is really unique,” Visser says.
The network organises virtual education events and social tours as well, where advisers can meet up with like-minded professionals in person.
“We are just a network for advisers who want to tap into the wisdom of their peers. We aren’t tied by the same protocols that financial service companies and industry bodies are bound by,” Visser says.
“We’ve got about 4000 members inside the network and so we do also have the ability to understand what the aggravations are for advisers,” Visser said.
“We’ve recently launched a market intelligence tool called ‘Pulse’ and basically that tool dissects some data points on advisers that join the network. The information we collect is all de-identified, so the users remain private, but it means XY is able to use this information gathered from the platform at a persona level to collaborate with service and product providers to help them come up with solutions that actually solve pain points for advisers. In a nutshell, we take the costly guess work out of building strategy and delivering solutions for our corporate partners.
The Lego of financial advice
Visser also hopes she can apply some of the knowledge she learned from Conny Kalcher, former vice president brand development and marketing management at Lego and current chief customer officer at Zurich in Switzerland.
Kalcher is credited with the brand rejuvenation of Lego.
“She helped reinvigorate the popularity of Lego through a better understanding of their customer and implementing the experience that the customer desired. The path to creating raving fans in any industry often resides in having the courage to get business aims out of the way, genuinely listening to the voice of your niche and vaporising their hair on fire problem,” Visser says.
“One of the things I had exposure to at Zurich was how effective customer ecosystems can be. And XY is really that ecosystem within financial advice; refreshingly we’re making significant inroads alongside our corporate partners towards the positive evolution of financial advice.”