ASIC bans Melbourne adviser for SMSF advice

Melbourne adviser Jihad Soleiman has been banned by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) from providing financial services for six years, for giving unqualified self-managed superannuation fund (SMSF) advice.

Clients had approached him for advice on establishing SMSFs to invest in property or property development companies, despite having a conflict of interest because his clients had looked to invest through his brothers who were in the property development business.

Soleiman referred clients to an SMSF administration business to establish SMSFs without advice, he then provided advice to rollover their existing super funds into the new SMSFs.

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ASIC found Soleiman failed to prioritise his clients’ interests by:

  • Failed to scope advice to be consistent with his clients’ circumstances and subject matter of advice sought;
  • Failed to make reasonable inquiries to obtain complete and accurate information about his clients’ circumstances;
  • Failed to address how an SMSF property investment strategy would meet his clients’ retirement objectives;
  • Focused the advice to his clients on rolling over to SMSFs without adequately considering alternate options;
  • Failed to adequately consider and provide information about risks and consequences of rolling over super into a SMSF for the purpose of investing in property; and
  • Was told by his licensee he didn’t have the required expertise to advise on SMSFs, but still did anyway.

Operating out of Wollert, he was an authorised representative of Apogee Financial Planning from June 2013 to February 2018.

Soleiman had filed an application to review ASIC’s decision in the Administrative Appeals Tribunal, but his ban had been recorded on ASIC’s register of financial advisers.

Danielle Press, ASIC commissioner, said: “It is essential that before consumers commit to a significant decision to establish an SMSF, that they have access to quality advice that is tailored to their personal circumstances”.

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