ASIC bans Melbourne-based adviser for three years

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission has banned Melbourne-based financial adviser David Noel Ruthenberg from providing financial services for three years.

Ruthenberg operated through his own financial planning practice, which traded as Venture Advisory Consulting, and was an authorised representative of The FinancialLink Group Pty Ltd (TFLG) at the time of the misconduct.

The three-year ban also prohibited Ruthenberg from managing, supervising or auditing the provision of financial services and from providing training about financial services and products.

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ASIC found that, between June 2015 and September 2017, Ruthenberg recommended some of his clients invested in a high-risk fund, the Investport Income Opportunity Fund. Ruthenberg had a specific interest in the fund via personal borrowings and ASIC found that he failed to prioritise his clients’ interests above his own when recommending they invest in the Fund.

Further, the high-risk nature of the investment did not match his clients’ risk profiles or experience, and Ruthenberg was found to have failed to conduct a reasonable investigation into alternative financial products that could have met the clients’ needs.

The corporate regulator said the banning of Ruthenberg was part of its ongoing efforts to improve standards across the financial services industry.

Ruthenberg’s banning, effective from 3 August 2021, had been recorded on ASIC’s publicly available Financial Advisers Register and the Banned and Disqualified register.

On 4 August 2021, Ruthenberg lodged an application for review of ASIC’s decision with the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT). On the same day, he also applied to the Tribunal for a stay of ASIC’s decision.  

Ruthenberg subsequently withdrew his application for review of ASIC’s decision, and the application was dismissed by the AAT on 10 June 2022.

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How do you think legislating the tripe out of the Financial Services industry/profession is working ?
I'd like someone to count the number of pieces of legislation since the Financial Services Reform Bill was passed in 2000, and measure that against each of those found guilty of poor or bad behaviour ever since.

Yet to meet a good financial link adviser

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