The financial services industry has much to recommend it; it’s complex, uncertain, frequently changing, over-regulated and highly scrutinised. These elements make it a challenging and dynamic industry, but it’s precisely these conditions that make the emergence of an advice profession both necessary and inevitable. We're mired in complexity, but perhaps by prioritising outcomes over processes we'll achieve both improved clarity and better consumer outcomes.Read More
Culture. Compliance. Misconduct. In a year of scandals, regulatory action and relentless media scrutiny, the failure of licensees – or their highly paid and well-promoted management teams – to honestly assess and check their own conduct is both incredible and disheartening, but it's not just an Australian problem. Focusing on the Wells Fargo scandal this post explores how "culture", conflicts and conformity can compromise ethics, vision and values. It also offers ten (10) tips that businesses can follow to avoid similar public scandals.Read More
The increased public focus on vertical integration and the dangers of institutional advice has, understandably, driven an increasing focus on independent advice. The challenge, for both consumers and advisers, is that “independence” is neither consistently nor effectively defined. This article considers whether "Independence" and "institutional alignment" can co-exist and asks whether the profession needs to define independence on the basis of outcomes rather than structures.Read More
If the purpose of disclosure is to ensure that clients make informed and considered decisions about the recommendations presented to them then disclosure is an inelegant and inadequate solution. This article explores the limitations of disclosure and the practical alternative embraced by advice professionals.Read More
What the 2013 ASIC Stakeholder Survey, and our responses to it, say about us.