May 8, 2018
The AFA has taken steps to prevent advice practice Henderson Maxwell promoting itself as a winner of one of the Association’s flagship awards, following concerns raised at the Royal Commission about advice provided by the practice.
In a note to members, AFA Chief Executive, Phil Kewin said the recent hearings at the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry highlighted a number of issues that were wrong within the advice sector and required a collective approach to repair.
He also pointed out the Commission hearings were not designed to promote advice, and that any negative news was likely to impact the wider advice sector.
“The objective of these hearings, we need to remember, was not to highlight the incredible work that the majority of financial advisers do every day to give their client’s financial and emotional security,” Kewin said.
“Whilst it may be possible to look at this from the perspective that this does not reflect what I do and should not impact upon me, the reality is that we will all need to do more to recover from this and to regain the trust of the community,” he added.
“The objective of these hearings…was not to highlight the incredible work that the majority of financial advisers do…”
Kewin also told members the appearance of 2016 AFA Practice of the Year – Henderson Maxwell – at the hearings was of great concern to the Association (see: Award Winning Practice May Face Criminal Charges).
“On the basis of the evidence presented and after due consideration, the AFA has taken steps to prevent Henderson Maxwell from holding out or promoting that it was the winner of the 2016 AFA Practice of the Year Award,” Kewin said.
Speaking to Riskinfo, Kewin said Henderson Maxwell have been instructed that they can no longer hold out to have won the Award, and that the business had agreed to do so.
An examination of the Henderson Maxwell website also confirmed the practice had removed any mention of the Award.
The AFA will be making a written submission in response to a number of issues raised during the Royal Commission hearings and Kewin said that across many of the subjects raised during the recent hearings “…there was one key over-riding theme around corporate culture and how this may impact on the decision-making process”.
“Importantly as part of our submission, we will ensure we highlight and clearly articulate the value of financial advice and the reasons for having an ongoing relationship with a financial adviser as it is apparent from some of the questions that have been asked that there is a lack of awareness of the value of financial advice,” he added.