Things you may have missed: Panel to assess unethical finance behaviour

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Banking industry leaders launch ethical review panel

The Board of the Banking and Finance Oath (BFO) have formed an independent review panel to assess individual cases of unethical behaviour within the banking and finance industry.

The oath comprises of a set of ethical standards, encouraging members of the banking and finance industry to support the motion to improve ethical standards across the industry.

The BFO Panel, led by Executive Chairman of Macquarie Group in Melbourne, Simon McKeon, is made up of independent industry representatives, containing between 12 and 36 individuals, selected to sit on the Review Panel on a case-by-case basis by the Panel President.

The panel members currently include:

  • Simon McKeon - Executive Chairman, Macquarie Bank Melbourne and Director, AMP
  • Tim Bednall - Partner, Mallesons
  • Elizabeth Proust - Advisory Board Chairman, Bank of Melbourne
  • Diane Smith Gander - Deputy Chairman, National Broadband Network
  • Paul Verschuer - Managing Director, Foreign Exchange, Commodities, Carbon, Energy, Equities, Westpac Institutional Bank
  • Ilana Atlas - Director, Suncorp
  • Ian Hammond - Financial Services Partner, PwC
  • Greg Hutchinson - Deputy Chairman, The Australian Charities Fund
  • Peter Marriott - Director, ASX
  • Andrew Mohl - Director, Commonwealth Bank of Australia
  • Joanna White - General Manager SA & NT, National Australia Bank
  • Peter Annand - Chairman, Sunsuper Board
  • Michelle Tredenick - Director, Bank Of Queensland

CommInsure introduces ‘day one cover’ for CFS clients

CommInsure has introduced ‘day one cover’ as a service for Colonial First State (CFS) clients who purchase Total Care Plan Super (TCPS) policy through the Superannuation Payment Method.

This payment method utilises rollover funds from the client’s CFS account to pay for their insurance premiums.

CommInsure’s general manager of Retail Advice Tim Browne said once a policy has been underwritten, a TCPS policy can be placed in-force irrespective of whether the funds have been received.

“Previously, clients who pay for their TCPS policy through super typically had to wait an average of one week for the external super fund to rollover their funds,” he said. “The ‘day one cover’ service now means there is no disadvantage to the client or the adviser if they opt to pay with Super Payment Method.”

Tax Incentive refund of $1.1m

Investorfirst Ltd has announced that it is to receive an R&D Tax Incentive refund of $1.1 million in July in respect of the 2012 financial year related to the significant investment the company has made in the ongoing development of the HUB24 investment and superannuation platform.

Product development undertaken in the 2012 financial year included adding superannuation and pension products, as well as multiple retail and group insurance options.  In addition, the market leading managed portfolio functionality was significantly enhanced to allow fund managers to implement options within their managed portfolios.

Expenditure on HUB24 platform development has continued in the 2013 financial year with additional functionality developed including direct market trading of listed securities and the new AdviserHub portal for financial advisers.  The company expects to make a further eligible claim for that year.

Specialist financial services PR alliance formed

64 Media and Pritchitt Partners, two specialist communications firms in the financial services industry, have formed a strategic alliance to add further value to their client services.

The strategic alliance, The Value Alliance, will give both consultancies the ability to provide clients additional back-up, expand communication opportunities for them, offer additional specialist services and add synergy in areas such as crisis communication.  Each business will continue to operate separately, but The Value Alliance will allow joint approaches to client work in some areas, especially in new business development.

Both principals of the individual consultancies, Claudia Pritchitt (Pritchitt Partners) and Julie Bennett (64 Media), are highly regarded in financial services media relations. 

The principals have already worked together over several years, but have formalised a joint arrangement to strengthen their relationship so as to provide additional client benefits.

Westpac launches annuity deposits

In response to calls from financial advisers seeking alternatives to help their clients achieve retirement goals, Westpac Institutional Bank (Westpac) has launched its own annuity-styled product with a long term, guaranteed income stream.

The Westpac Annuity Deposit qualifies for the Government Guarantee provided under the Financial Claims Scheme, adding a new level of security for clients investing for retirement.

The off-platform solution is designed for advisers to meet a client-lead demand for lower risk, flexible products that provide a known and secure income at a competitive rate.

Westpac head of Capital Market Solutions, David Van Ryn said, “In simple terms, investors in the Westpac Annuity Deposit are buying a secure and guaranteed income stream.”

HLB Mann Judd appointments

Continued growth for accountants and advisers at HLB Mann Judd nationally has led to the appointment of two new partners and three new directors.

Tony Fittler, chairman of the HLB Mann Judd Australasian Association, said the appointments reflect the group’s ongoing growth and stability over the last 12 months.

In Melbourne, Darryl Smith has been made partner in the business services area and Andrew Lord has been made wealth management director. Smith has more than 25 years’ experience in business advisory and strategy, private wealth management and tax structuring. Lord has 20 years’ experience in financial services, in funds management and broking as well as financial advice.

In Perth, Danny Buckley and Kirstin Stewart have both been appointed directors in the business services division. Stewart joined the Perth firm in 2005, having previously worked with an international mining company and a not-for-profit organisation. 

In Sydney, Todd Gammel has been made a business recovery and insolvency partner.  He has over 15 years’ insolvency experience including administrations, deed of company arrangements, receiverships, property appointments, and members and creditors liquidations.

Russell appoints institutional business head in Australia

Russell Investments announced the appointment of Jodie Hampshire as its new head of Institutional Business in Australia – a key role that will drive the firm’s evolving relationship with Australian institutional investors.

According to Russell Chief Executive Asia Pacific, Alan Schoenheimer, Hampshire brings a deep understanding of the Australian institutional market and will be instrumental in building the firm’s alliance approach by collaborating with a much broader set of institutional clients.

Russell launched its alliance approach earlier this year announcing its first partnership in the retail advice market with Australian retail financial planning group Matrix Planning Solutions. Working with Russell, Matrix launched its PartnerShip Funds in February – five actively managed multi-asset portfolios designed to deliver different outcomes depending on the investor’s life stage and income needs.

Hampshire joins Russell from Mercer where she was chief operating officer, Investments Pacific. The appointment is a return to Russell for Hampshire who has a long background with the company, having served in roles in both Australia and London.

Hampshire will start with Russell Investments on 14 August.