Find An Adviser

Dear Advisers,

Following our recent series of Fitzpatricks Adviser Days, I’d like to share with you a recording of the post event debrief with our Jodie Blackledge, Group CEO and myself.

We received some great feedback from the state-based days and we’d like to share this with you as we talk a little about our shared vision.

Business Coaching & Training

  • Launch of the Share Learn Grow for Support Staff – We launched our Share Learn Grow Support Staff sessions on 2nd & 3rd March and a big thank you to all 9 groups (each with 4-6 participants from around the country), for making the first session such a success. Individuals were able to share a little bit about themselves, their roles, how their practice ticks and connect with like-minded practices. We quickly identified the importance of connection and understanding the value our teams play in supporting business for growth in our community.

    Sessions will be held four times a year, each topic driven by team feedback on common challenges, inviting subject matter experts to join to enable our valued people to SHARE, LEARN and GROW together. All sessions should now be locked in calendars for the remainder of the year, and shortly dates will be loaded to the Share Learn Grow section of the Adviser Portal. If you have any questions, you can email marnie.page@ftz.com.au.

  • Lead Adviser Alumni – We are proud to consistently receive positive feedback from past attendees of the Lead Adviser two-day course. We also hear from those outside our FPW network where they need help implementing the frameworks. It is for this reason, along with our persistent desire to help elevate advice to a profession, that we have recently launch a new initiative: Lead Adviser Alumni Quarterly Newsletter.

    Already two editions in, the newsletter has been well received, with topics centered around deepening the Lead Adviser themes. As part of the Alumni offering there will be more initiatives rolled out, hence if you are interested in receiving the newsletter and other Alumni updates, please email marketing@ftz.com.au with your request and we can ensure you are added to the distribution list.

Technical & Compliance

  • RG97 Changing disclosure requirements for product and platform – You will have heard that the way in which products and platforms disclose cost is changing as a result of ASIC Regulatory Guide 97 – Disclosing fees and cost in PDSs and periodic statements (RG97). The change was an initiative introduced by the government some time ago to standardise disclosure of fees and costs across all super funds and aims to help all Australians fairly compare different investments, super and platforms. RG97 requires all product and platform providers to transition to the new disclosure arrangements which include transaction and operational costs as part of the new standard disclosure called Cost of Product.

    All products and platforms must transition to the new disclosure by September 2022. Costs disclosed are expected to increase. From now till them you may find that it is not possible to effectively compare a product or platform that has current costs disclosure against a product that shows RG97 compliant disclosure. We presented you with information on this change in the recent Technical Day.

    To assist you in this transition, we have developed a range of supporting material. This includes:
    – SOA/ROA content has been added to the Wizards,
    Frequently Asked Questions to reference, and
    Client friendly slides you may choose to use with your client to help with the explanation.If you still have any questions, please contact Research@ftz.com.au or Professional.Standards@ftz.com.au.

  • Update on product acceptance of Engagement Agreements for Consent – HUB24 and Macquarie have agreed to allow advisers to submit our completed agreements to satisfy their consent requirements. There are however some limitations as follows:

    HUB24
    CircumstanceAgreement required
    Continue or renew an existing ongoing service agreement where the fees remain unchangedFPW or HUB24
    New Fixed Term AgreementHUB24
    New Ongoing Service AgreementHUB24

    Macquarie
    CircumstanceAgreement required
    Continue or renew an existing ongoing service agreement where the fees remain unchanged in relation to IDPSFPW or Macquarie
    Continue or renew an existing ongoing service agreement where the fees remain unchanged in relation to Super AccountsMacquarie
    New Fixed Term AgreementMacquarie
    New Ongoing Service AgreementMacquarie

    BT
    CircumstanceAgreement required
    Continue or renew an existing ongoing service agreement where the fees remain unchanged in relation to IDPSBT is accepting BT Agreements only
    Continue or renew an existing ongoing service agreement where the fees remain unchanged in relation to Super AccountsAs Above
    New Fixed Term AgreementAs Above
    New Ongoing Service AgreementAs Above
  • Managing PDS provision – Ensuring your client receives access to the relevant disclosure documents at the right time is an important key requirement of what we all do. Given that PDSs can comprise a number of documents, parts, guides and updates to be complete, having an efficient way of meeting this requirement is important.

    AdviceWhenWhatHowEvidence
    New recommendationAt the same time you provide advice to invest or purchase a financial productClient has a copy of all parts of the current PDS that relate to the product• Electronically by link in an email
    • PDF Documents attached to an email or saved on a hard drive given to the client
    • Hard copy - printed for them to take away
    Records of the documents including identification in your advice document e.g. name and date of each part
    Hold recommendationWhen you provide advice to holdClient has access to the current version/s of the PDS • You can provide a copy
    • You can confirm the client has access to the website and is able to download if required, or
    • You can offer to provide a copy on request
    Record of the discussion in your file notes or copies of the documents provided in XPLAN

    Saving a copy of any PDS you provide to the client in XPlan shows that you have indeed provided the correct version to your clients and is able to be downloaded to show exactly what the client will have received at the time. Unfortunately, products and platforms can and do change and update these documents without warning so it’s important to ensure that you do provide the current versions each time you recommend a new product or platform.When providing links to PDS, ensure the client is able to view the PDS and does not require a log-in to view the document.

Investment

  • Platform features can be beneficial but be aware of any potential pitfalls – Platform ‘auto reinvest’ and similar functionality and features can be very useful tools but be aware of the dangers when volatile markets, large investment amounts and complex products combine with small mistakes in these features being accidentally triggered. It is important that you are mindful that when these features are activated, the smallest of errors can result in substantial remediation for clients affected by accidental auto reinvesting.

    Let’s take a hypothetical but plausible example of a $250,000 TD maturing, with the proceeds being deposited in a platform cash account and then accidentally ‘auto reinvesting’ in a managed account, instead of rolling into a new TD.In this case the intention was to reinvest the TD but instead, it was caught in the cash account when the platform reweighting caused an accidental investment into a managed account. Many assets are bought in the process as a managed account is not a single asset itself. There can be much complexity in trying to unwind the “accidental” trades and in the calculation of remediation necessary to put the client back into the situation they would have been in if the error had not occurred. If the reinvestment coincided with a 5% downward market movement the result in this case could be a loss of $12,500 ($250,000 x -5%), not allowing for transaction costs.The above example shows the importance of understanding how your platform operates and being vigilant of the potential for errors to occur, especially given the potential for large client balances to be involved. Further information on these functions and features can be obtained from your preferred platform provider.

  • Design and Distribution obligations – Hybrid fixed interest securities are not common in the portfolios of FPW Advisers but due to Design and Distribution Obligations (DDO) impacting this segment of the market you may notice changes to the way these securities are being marketed in the primary market (IPOs). As the banks and platforms are impacted by DDO changes, due to them being considered Distributors of securities, it appears that offers to unadvised investors may cease and for advised clients holding these securities on platforms, they may not be able to readily participate in ‘rollovers’ at the maturity of an older security. It appears that some platforms are turning off their corporate actions tools that allowed ‘rollovers’ of the hybrids into new issues under the ‘General Offer’ of the new security. The secondary market (buying and selling of Hybrids on the ASX) is not impacted by the DDO changes.

    What can I do, if I have a client that wishes to rollover their hybrid security into a new offer?

    This may still be possible but will need to be coordinated through the Research team and we will need to know about this well in advance of the security rollover. This is due to extremely tight deadlines in the primary market.You can also discuss with the Research team (Research@ftz.com.au) about other alternative investments for clients in this space e.g. diversified ‘hybrid’ managed funds or ETFs that have the benefit of professional management, diversification and ease of administration. Another alternative is buying a hybrid in the secondary market.

    For more information on the changes in the primary market for Hybrid fixed interest securities, here is a good article that was published in Firstlinks on 23 February 2022. If you have any questions please feel free to send us an email at Research@ftz.com.au.

Information Technology

  • IT on-charge NEW IT service offering – Back in October 2021, we launched a NEW Fitzpatricks IT service package offering for which a price increase is scheduled to come into effect 1 April 2022.With IT and cyber-security costs escalating globally with some 40% – 60% increase, we highlighted the importance of protecting your business and clients at the recent Adviser & Technical Day, and up until now Fitzpatricks has subsidised these costs.

    If you are currently on the Fitzpatricks IT infrastructure, you will shortly receive further communication about these changes. If you are not on the Fitzpatricks infrastructure, please keep abreast of our IT & cyber-security policy, located on the Adviser Portal. Also, if you are interested in discussing the Fitzpatricks IT service package and the benefits to your business, please contact marnie.page@ftz.com.au.

  • Adopting an enhanced cyber security position – Following the attack of Ukraine there is heightened cyber risk globally, and the threat of cyber-attacks on Australian networks, either directly or inadvertently, has increased. While the ACSC (Australian Cyber Security Centre) has no specific intelligence relating to a cyber-attack on Australia, this could change quickly and they have encouraged Australian organisations to urgently adopt an enhanced cyber security posture. This alert serves as an ongoing reminder of the value of the FTZ Cyber Security Policy for Advisers and the importance of completing the annual Adviser Cyber Survey that we’ll soon be sending to you.

  • Microsoft to disable macros by default across its products – Did you know that bad actors send macros in Office files so that end-users unknowingly enable them to deliver malicious payloads, the impact of which can be severe including malware, compromised identity, data loss, and remote access? In an attempt to eliminate this risk, Microsoft has advised that in April it will disable Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) macros by default across its products, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, and Visio, for documents downloaded from the web.

    As an example, Excel spreadsheets with an extension of .XLSM or Word documents with an extension of .DOCM and .DOTM will be affected. As part of the change, when a user opens an attachment or downloads from the internet an untrusted Office file containing macros, the app displays a security risk banner stating, “Microsoft has blocked macros from running because the source of the file is untrusted”. If a downloaded file from the internet wants you to allow macros, and you’re not certain what those macros do, you should probably just delete that file.

Adviser Services

  • 30 June 2021 ASIC Supervisory Levy – The ASIC Supervisory levy invoice has been received from ASIC in relation to all the authorised representatives register as of 30 June 2021. This year the ASIC levy has significantly been reduced from last year’s fee of $2,426.42 per adviser to $1,142 per adviser plus GST. Note, this fee is not relevant to you if were authorised through a different AFSL on this date, i.e. if you are new to the Fitzpatricks Group.Similarly to last year, this cost will be split in three equal deductions commencing April 2022 to end June 2022, deducted in the middle payment runs. Should you prefer to have the full fee deducted in April please send an email to the FPWRevenue@ftz.com.au inbox by no later than the 6th of April to nominate your request.

  • Alternative Revenue Payment Dates – Due to the Easter Holidays and Brisbane Labour Day, the following revenue payment days need to be amended:

    HolidayHoliday DatesPayment PeriodPayment Date
    Easter (Good Friday and Easter Monday)Friday the 15th of April and Monday the 18th of April1st – 15th of April revenueTuesday the 19th of April
    Labour DayMonday the 2nd of May16th – 30th of April revenueTuesday the 3rd of May

  • Summary of the FPW mailboxes – Fitzpatricks have several dedicated inboxes for various teams to ensure the correct people can respond in a timely manner. We ask that you please redirect your queries to the correct inboxes, a summary has been provided below:

    DepartmentEmail addressQuery types
    Professional StandardsProfessional.standards@ftz.com.auAll queries regarding; audits, complaints, incidents, fee refunds etc.
    RevenueFPWRevenue@ftz.com.auAll queries regarding: Direct Debit queries, commpay, BPays and alterative revenue related requests
    TrainingTraining@ftz.com.auAll queries regarding: CPD, Education, Webinars
    ResearchResearch@ftz.com.auAll queries regarding: APL, one off investment approvals, investments and investment advice policies
    MarketingMarketing@ftz.com.auAll queries regarding: branding, collateral and marketing events
    Opex Supportsupport@opexconsulting.com.auAll queries regarding: Xplan (all queries and requests)