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Getting to Know...Brent Sheather

In this week's Getting to Know we meet Whakatane-based financial adviser Brent Sheather.

Friday, April 24th 2015, 10:53AM

Who are you and what do you do?
I am a financial adviser, former member of the NZ Stock Exchange, and with two other advisers and a support team of five we manage $710 million for retail clients throughout New Zealand.  I have also written for the NZ Herald since about 1996.

From memory you were a sharebroker with Craigs many years ago, how did you get into the financial advice industry?
In early 1984 Neil Craig and I worked in the economics department of Tasman Pulp and Paper.  Neil had the very good idea of buying a Whakatane stockbroker.  We had both been into shares and it seemed like a good idea.  It has turned out pretty well and has been a great industry to be involved in.

You're clearly not a fan of some of the regulatory impost advisers are now burdened with, what's the worst? (and what's the best thing that could be done for clients?)
It is difficult to think of the worst regulatory impost advisers are burdened with because there are so many and I can’t think of many benefits they have for my clients.  Certainly what we do hasn’t changed much post the regulations except that we take fewer clients and enjoy our jobs less. 

If I had to pick one bad area I guess it would be CPD although wasting all that time doing stupid studies to become an AFA is up there as well.  The best thing that could be done for clients by the regulators would be to split investment banking from retail banking but with every second politician ex a stockbroker and the regulators eyeing their next career move I’m not holding my breath on that one.

Have you had a visit from the FMA? If so, what was it like?
As far as I can remember we haven’t had a visit from the FMA yet.  Someone did turn up to check we weren’t funding ISIS but we paid them a huge amount of money and they left after wasting everybody’s time.

If there is one thing you would like to change about the funds management industry, what would it be?
One  of the many things that I would like to change about the financial advisory industry is to introduce a NZ version of Glass Steagal  and split investment banking from retail banking.  Putting another person on the FMA board with a knowledge of financial advice might be helpful too.  These two moves might do something to reverse the rise of vertically integrated investment firms and the demise of independent advice.

What’s the best advice you have ever received?
The best advice I have had is “let it go”.

Outside of work what do you do?
Outside of work I like swimming, surfing and reading finance stuff.

What's your favourite television programme?
Unlike Mark Weldon I think The Bachelor and X Factor are a huge load of crap, and indeed anyone who watches those things shouldn’t be allowed to vote.  I don’t have a favourite TV programme but the History Channel is pretty good and the crime channel isn’t that bad either.

What’s one thing people may be surprised to know about you?
It’s hard to just think of one thing.

If you weren’t in this job what would you be doing?
If I wasn’t in this job I would be hanging out on the Gold Coast surfing with the unemployed.  That’s my long-term plan.

Tags: Brent Sheather Getting to Know

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