The collapse of Dover Financial Group last Friday came as a surprise to almost everyone in the industry, despite the scrutiny the company was under prior to the royal commission. Further examination came from media observers following the dramatic collapse of Dover founder Terry McMaster during questioning at the commission, but the speed and timing of the closure has stunned many, not least the 400 advisers who have been told they can offer no new advice from June 8th and that the license would cease to operate from July 6th.
Support For Advisers
Adviser Ratings has been in contact with hundreds of advisers regarding the collapse and acknowledges the high stress environment it has created for those advisers with their livelihoods on the line and the thousands of clients at risk of being unadvised in the short and medium term.
In spite of this pressure, our conversations indicate there has been an outpouring of support from segments of the industry, including advisers and licensees sympathetic to the situation. Individual advisers have offered all types of help from lending an ear, to free use of office and boardroom space, to offering a reciprocal book sale arrangement till the adviser concerned finds a new licensee.
To be sure, there are licensees that, for various reasons will not entertain taking on ex-Dover advisers at this point. However, many have indicated they will gladly accept advisers they deem a good fit for their business. Those still interested will no doubt engage in a rigorous validation process regarding their due diligence and ASIC have indicated they will engage further scrutiny on both advisers and licensees involved.
Time For Calm Heads
The more experienced advisers we have spoken to have indicated now is a time for calm heads. Whatever the feelings are regarding the sudden closure of Dover and the reasons behind it – the fact is it is happening and the “why” is less important now than the “what next”.
The experienced heads have counselled those advisers seeking a new licensee from jumping at the first offer they receive, and encourage advisers to do their own due diligence on licensees. The last thing you would want is to be stuck in a licensee that was not a good fit for you, or to find yourself in this position again – which could be a possibility given ASIC’s response to Dover and further calls for action regarding revelations from the royal commission.
Discretion should also be exercised for advisers looking to sell their business or book. We have been made aware of several (particularly younger, less experienced) advisers who have been approached by businesses trying to buy their book, who have been told “it’s a one-time offer” and “if they don’t sell in the next few days, no one will be interested”. The best thing one could say about this behaviour is that there are vultures at every carcass. There are a few other ways to describe this type of behaviour.
The message we would like to get out is that despite the current turmoil there are possibilities and workable solutions out there for advisers. Advisers may have to jump through an extra hoop or two but good advisers will find a home.
For our part, we offer a service that is free for advisers looking for a new licensee called, Adviser Connect and also a service those looking to sell their business called Business Connect. Through Adviser Connect, Adviser Ratings is committed to assisting financial advisers in finding licensees which might better suit their needs. For more information on either of these services, just click on the link or contact Rudi Loggenberg at email@example.com or 0418 450 679.
If you feel stress is getting too much for you, talk to your doctor or another trusted health professional and discuss your situation and how you are feeling. You can also call:
- beyondblue (anyone feeling depressed or anxious) – call 1300 22 4636 or chat online.
- Lifeline (anyone having a personal crisis) – call 13 11 14 or chat online.
- Suicide Call Back Service (anyone thinking about suicide) – call 1300 659 467.
- Black Dog Institute (people affected by mood disorders) – online help.