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Advisers have nothing to fear: Baynes

A plan by a former financial services industry heavyweight to set up an “advocacy” service for investors has ruffled a few feathers.

Friday, August 1st 2003, 2:23AM

by Philip Macalister

Peter Baynes, who in past roles has run Tower Trust and Spicers’ Assure business, is offering to help investors who have had poor advice recover their money.

“It’s not my desire to be seen as some sort of Robin Hood,” Baynes says. Likewise he says he is not trying to be “vindictive”.

His job is to represent people with grievances. People who come to him without a strong case won’t become clients of the service.

Baynes says there are various options for recovering money including taking people to court. However, he believes that by using the ombudsman schemes that exist and powers of persuasion, he will be able to get clients compensation.

He charges an initial review fee of $250, and then charges either $130 an hour or $70 an hour plus 10% of funds recovered.

He says he considered setting the business up on a recovery fee only, but felt it wouldn’t work.

“Any decent adviser has nothing to fear from this,” he says.

However, advisers who shouldn’t be in business are likely to end up on the sin-bin part of Baynes’ website.

While naming and shaming maybe one tactic Baynes is prepared to use, it won’t be used lightly. For instance heading off to the Holmes Show or Fair Go to extract money from a financial services organisation isn’t his planned mode of operation.

Baynes clearly is unimpressed with suggestions he is an “ambulance chaser” looking for business.

He says such allegations are “rude and insulting” and that he will “have a piece” of anyone he catches making such comments.

He says he doesn’t have to chase business as it will come to him.

Baynes already has his first case, which he is pushing through the Financial Planners and Insurance Advisers Association.

A number of people have suggested that there is a conflict of interest between offering an advocacy service alongside an advisory service.

While Baynes acknowledges that people who have run into trouble are likely to be looking for a new adviser, the service he is offering is more “strategic” in nature.

For instance he won’t be recommending product providers or giving pure investment advice.

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