You may be aware that a Royal Commission into the banking, superannuation and financial services industry is underway. For two weeks from 16 April, the Commission has been focusing on wealth management and financial advice. Over the past few days AMP has appeared and subsequently received adverse media attention.
What is the Royal Commission
The Commission has been asked to inquire into and report on misconduct in the banking, superannuation and financial services industry and will make an interim report later this year, with final recommendations delivered to the government early next year.
We welcome and fully support the aims of the Royal Commission. We want to help improve the community’s trust and confidence in our industry as a strong, stable, trusted financial system which is critical to our economy and all Australians.
Our relationship with AMP
It’s important to understand our relationship with AMP. Leedam Sheppard is a privately owned practice licensed through Hillross Financial Services Limited (a subsidiary of AMP). As Authorised Representatives of Hillross, Leedam Sheppard operates under strict legal and ethical obligations which include the requirement to act in the best interests of our clients at all times.
Your relationship with Leedam Sheppard
The culture within Leedam Sheppard does not reflect the behaviours described by the media this week of the various institutions that have been called to give evidence as part of the Royal Commission. Our business is built on a foundation of integrity and mutual trust with our clients over many years and we pride ourselves on placing the best interests of our clients ahead of our own at all times.
We believe that the media has not adequately distinguished the difference between Financial Services corporates who deal with clients at an institutional level and privately owned practices, such as Leedam Sheppard, that maintain close professional and transparent relationships with individual clients. We have built our reputation over many years through the provision of quality advice and ongoing services that are individually tailored to our personal clients. We are proud of this achievement and the positive outcomes we have been able to achieve for our clients.
We are not ‘one and the same’ with these corporates, although we do align ourselves with them in order to access their vast resources in areas such as technical, research and educational support. Whilst these resources are highly valued by planning practices, we along with many of our colleagues (within and beyond the AMP Group) who operate quality advice practices are deeply disappointed that our own reputations have been undermined by the misconduct and failures in regulatory disclosures by these large financial institutions.
From our perspective it remains business as usual at Leedam Sheppard and Associates and we will continue to work on your behalf as we always have.
We appreciate that you may have some concerns as to the report emanating from the Royal Commission and we invite you to raise these with us if you wish to do so.
Richard Lovell, Greg Fragoulis and the Leedam Sheppard team.