Former Macquarie Equities adviser banned

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has banned a former Macquarie Equities Limited (MEL) authorised representative from providing financial services for five years as part of its Wealth Management Project.

ASIC banned Nicholas Kerr from Queensland after finding he carried out unauthorised discretionary trading on his client accounts, provided inappropriate advice, and generated false records.

MEL had banned its representatives from engaging in discretionary trading on behalf of clients since 2004. Discretionary trading is where a client authorises the financial adviser to invest on their behalf without requiring their directive before each transaction.

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However, it was found Kerr, who was a representative of MEL from 2008 to 2013, engaged in discretionary trading on five client accounts, hence breaching financial services laws.

He deceived clients into believing he was authorised by MEL to run a discretionary trading account when he was not.

ASIC also found Kerr created false records that showed he had advised clients before trading when he had not.

MEL reported Kerr's conduct to ASIC.

Kerr's ban came after ASIC also banned three other MEL representatives in 2015 as part of its Wealth Management Project, including Ben Rickman, Shawn Hickman, and Brett O'Malley.

The project focused on the conduct of advisers in institutional firms, including Macquarie, AMP, NAB, Westpac, CBA, and ANZ.

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