An adviser suicide linked, in part, to stress around the Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA) exam has become a major talking point among financial advisers following the story being told as part of a podcast released by major insurer, Metlife.
The podcast, which was being widely discussed by advisers this week, involved an interview with the accountant wife of the adviser who committed suicide in the months after having sat the FASEA exam.
The podcast, which pointed to the pressure being suffered by the adviser with respect to the examination, study and compliance urges people who are facing stress and pressures to seek help from their doctors or groups such as Beyond Blue.
The adviser’s wife pointed to the fact that her husband had been running a successful financial planning business but had felt pressured by the requirements of the new FASEA regime.
The following represents a direct quote from the podcast:
“I think the pressure really built probably early last year when there was talks around education requirements coming in, that was probably what caused the majority of the stress, especially for him ... Someone with 10, 12 years’ experience, which has the qualifications they needed at the time, a successful business. And all of a sudden, you've got to pretty much go back to school, to do things that it probably doesn't teach you anything, apart from giving you a piece of paper, they say, "You're good enough to do this job." It's something that really took its toll. And my husband was one of those people that he really cared, and he wanted to make sure things were done correctly, and he was by the book, and everything was done well. So, last year alone, he said three exams, was running a business, having a family, and being able to have some sort of personal life at the same time. There was a huge 12 months for us, in our family.”
The podcast can be accessed here.
The adviser’s wife urged people who were struggling to “put your hand up, ask for help, make yourself known before it's too late”.
“You'll be amazed by how many people would just come and help, and how much help and support you will receive in drop of a hat. People are very kind, but people are busy, and they don't necessarily notice you, because everyone is just running around like crazy. So, you have to be the person that says, "Listen, I'm not well, can you please help me?" And people will help you,” she said.