Steve Thaxter- Senior Partner and Principal Adviser
Sovereign Wealth Partners
Page 8 of the Royal Commission’s final report into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry contains just six simple rules for everyone in our industry to follow. They are:
- obey the law;
- do not mislead or deceive;
- act fairly;
- provide services that are fit for purpose;
- deliver services with reasonable care and skill; and
- when acting for another, act in the best interests of that other.
We happily embrace these rules as they have always underpinned our dealings with clients, each other and other industry participants.
Sovereign Wealth Partners is a private business that is fully owned by its staff. Our business is simple, we exist to bring “best in class” advice solutions to our clients. Our structure is aligned and answerable to our clients, not product manufacturers, distribution alliances, external shareholders or sales targets.
Sadly, large elements of our profession will always struggle to follow such principle based guidance without a huge and prescriptive rulebook. The larger players have layers of vested interests, multiple stakeholders and vertically integrated distribution models. It’s not surprising that the final report contained 76 specific recommendations (many likely to change the industry in a profound way) and identified 24 cases of misconduct for follow-up by the regulators. We sincerely hope the profession does indeed lift its game by prioritising client outcomes.
We observe that the pace of change in the industry is hotting up and we look forward to seeing how these proposed changes shape our environment and the future of advice.