Academic calls for heads to roll at FASEA

Financial planning academic and, according to some in the industry, “whistle-blower”, Adrian Raftery, has called for the resignation of four Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA) directors, including its former acting managing director, Mark Brimble, as well as the release of 12 months of documents and submissions relating to the Authority’s decisions.

The director of professional and executive education (domestic) at Deakin Business School alleged that FASEA’s chair, Catherine Walker, directors, Matthew Rowe and Simon Longstaff, and Brimble, all of whom had been on the Authority’s board since its inception, each had inadequately managed conflicts of interest.

He called for the release of all public submissions to the Authority and the agendas and minutes of all contributors meetings over the last year, regardless of whether suppression orders were in place. Posting on LinkedIn from Europe, he wrote “I bet they won’t” make the release, implying that not doing so would put the FASEA’s directors in breach of the Authority’s own Code of Ethics.

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“I would encourage the FASEA directors to look at their very own Code of Ethics and their inner ethical self to determine their own course of action,” he wrote, referring to standards three and 12, which respectfully ban conflicts of interest and require the upholding and promoting of the profession’s ethical standards and accountability in the protection of the public interest.

“As the nation’s leading Ethical Authority it is absolutely imperative that FASEA acts with integrity and transparency, devoid of any conflicts of interest,” Raftery believed, saying that the document release was aimed at this end.

The academic, who recently announced he was leaving Deakin University, also asked the planning industry for its support in making what he described as a “brave move”, noting that he had been called a whistle-blower for his action.

“Today I got called a whistle-blower for the first time ... sometimes you have to make a stand for what you believe is right.  Especially in such a conflicted environment,” he wrote in another LinkedIn post.

“It will become news very shortly ... I just hope others in the financial planning industry have the guts to support me. It's time to stand up for what is right because it is horrible seeing what is happening before advisers' eyes!”

At the time of writing, over a dozen advisers had offered him their support over the professional networking site.

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Excuse my ignorance but to which particular conflicts of interest do you refer. I would happily support anyone who was making a stand that impacted on me - but would first like to know what stand they are taking

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