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Another banker joins FMA board

Commerce minister Paul Goldsmith has made another appointment to the FMA board and also made to re-appointments to the Financial Advisers Disciplinary Committee.

Friday, September 30th 2016, 8:30AM 13 Comments

Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Paul Goldsmith has appointed Ainsley McLaren to the Financial Markets Authority board, as a new member for a five-year term.

“McLaren has a strong managed funds and investment background. Her practical experience of financial services in the banking sector will add value to the FMA Board,” Goldsmith says.

McLaren has more than 25 years' financial services experience including funds and investment management, fixed interest and financial markets. She has held senior investment positions at First State Investments and ASB Group Investments, where she was accountable for the performance of ASB Bank's retail managed funds and immunising the long-dated liabilities of Sovereign Assurance.

Previously she held various client-facing and leadership roles at ASB. McLaren is currently a board member of the Government Super Fund Authority and Hohepa Auckland Regional Board.

Goldsmith also reappointed Sir Bruce Robertson and Simon Hassan to the Disciplinary Committee under the Financial Advisers Act.“I am also pleased to announce the reappointment of Sir Bruce as Chair and Mr Hassan as a member of the Disciplinary Committee.

“Both appointees have been reappointed for a further five year term each and will ensure a continued presence of judicial and industry experience on the Committee,” Goldsmith says.

The Committee conducts disciplinary proceedings arising out of complaints against authorised financial advisers referred to it by the FMA.

Sir Bruce Robertson has been a member of the Committee since its commencement in 2010, and has served as Chair since 2011. He was previously a Permanent Judge on the New Zealand Court of Appeal, retiring in 2010. He continues to sit in various Pacific jurisdictions and holds a number of statutory and advisory roles. Sir Bruce was a member of the University of Otago Council for 20 years and Pro-Chancellor for six of those. He was also President of the Legal Research Foundation for ten years and President of the Law Commission for five years. Sir Bruce has held various community posts within New Zealand and has written extensively, especially in criminal law and law reform.

Simon Hassan has over 25 years’ experience as a financial adviser. He has been a member of the Committee since 2010 and is active in the financial advisory profession. Hassan is a Fellow and past President of the Institute of Financial Advisers and chaired its College of Financial Planners. He also served for five years on the Standards Committee of the International Financial Planning Standards Board. Prior to setting up Hassan & Associates with his wife Rosemary in 1995, Hassan held management and financial advisory roles with Prudential. He also mentors and consults to advisers, advisory firms, government agencies and education providers.

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Comments from our readers

On 30 September 2016 at 12:17 pm winstonkey said:
Thank goodness for this hugely amazing bigly news. Just when we are all concerned that the banks didn't have enough influence at policy level.

The lack of a voice on the FMA board that actually represents any of the independent sector of the finance industry is a shame. Is there any member of the FMA board who has actually been a principal of a small financial services business and has actually faced investors directly?

The minister has missed a chance to appoint someone from a completely unrepresented sector - the independent AFA's. Instead we get even more big end of town influence. This does nothing for the perception that the whole regulatory environment has been captured by the banks - from political/lobbying influence (post politics career path, and the lobbying abilities of the large law and accounting firms), to the career path for FMA/MBIE staff (2 years in the public sector, then off to a bank on double the salary). The missing link was at FMA board level, luckily we are now filling that in. The FMA appears to think the only policy place suitable for independent market practitioners is the code committee - independent voices cant do too much damage if they are quarantined off there.

I find it hard to be even remotely positive about this appointment. FMA spokes-people have long identified the banks sales process as being one of the greatest consumer risks out there, then recently Rob Everett says:

“It (putting clients interests first) means different things for different people in different circumstances. What it means for an AFA holding themselves out as a non-aligned individual is different to someone with an ASB polo shirt on, offering ASB products."

That is called opening a loophole for the banks that you can drive several buses through.
On 30 September 2016 at 12:46 pm winstonkey said:
This, just in from CNBC

http://www.captiongenerator.com/134282/FMA-News-Flash
On 30 September 2016 at 2:58 pm comment1 said:
winsonkey

I have no idea if you know Ainsley or not. If you don't then perhaps such an early judgement on the appointment is premature. She's a pretty sharp operator and not afraid to cause a few waves if needed.
On 30 September 2016 at 3:25 pm Graeme Tee said:
Winstonkey - Yes, sad but true. It’s now easy to see why “ASB polo shirt” sprang to mind when Rob Everett made that now (in)famous quote.
On 30 September 2016 at 3:26 pm R1 said:
It must be a pretty safe bet that Messrs Goldsmith and Everett will be on the payroll of a bank in the not too distant future.

This loading of the FMA board with industry insiders is outrageous. Talk about conflicts of interest. At what point does the investing public get representation and have confidence that the board is working in their best interests rather than those of the banks and their advisors?
On 30 September 2016 at 9:26 pm winstonkey said:
comment1

Good to see the firewall at ASB allows Goodreturns through. Maybe I wrote too much, but focus on this bit:

"The lack of a voice on the FMA board that actually represents any of the independent sector of the finance industry is a shame. Is there any member of the FMA board who has actually been a principal of a small financial services business and has actually faced investors directly?"

The real point here is not whether Ainsley is "sharp" and "not afraid to cause a few waves", it is that she comes from a whole career of not being a part of a significant sector of the industry that is and has been absolutely under-represented at the FMA board. And that every time new board members are appointed, the same oversight occurs.
On 3 October 2016 at 9:16 am comment1 said:
Winstonkey

FYI Re your ASB firewall comment - I am not nor have every been employed by ASB.

Not disagreeing that certain sectors of the industry may be under represented. Perhaps the question is what processes do FMA go through to appoint Board members. If its by selection then FMA should comment on how it does its selection to ensure balanced representation. If its by application then the "non corporate" side of the industry needs to find suitable candidates willing to put themselves forward and apply.

Also often people who have worked for corporates are the least likely to be advocates for corporates, having often seen the "darker" side of the corporate world.
On 3 October 2016 at 10:41 am Dirty Harry said:
@Wisntonkey
People in the office are looking at me funny.
Apparently I lol'ed very out loud. Twice. Couldn't help it.

You know I also wonder what process the FMA goes through to appoint board members. Hopefully a more robust process than that which led to the appointment of Benjamin Kiro....

"people who have worked for corporates are the least likely to be advocates for corporates"
bahahahahaha

Do you mean The Honourable Simon Power QSO who somehow made enough friends in the Corporate world while a minister that he got a job as Westpac's head of Private Banking. Nothing to do with Bill's threat in 2010 to put the govt banker to tender at all, though.
Or Elaine Campbell, ex Russell McVeagh and NZX, then FMA then off to AMP?
Or perhaps Kirsty Campbell who lasted a whole year and a half as FMA head of Supervision after 7 years in corporate banking with ANZ before returning the Corporate world?

I previously shared a thought about the latter two here http://www.goodreturns.co.nz/article/976502272/financial-advisers-not-up-to-scratch-yet-fma.html
On 3 October 2016 at 12:40 pm w k said:
@dirty harry: let's look on the bright side, it could have been bernie madoff ... but there again wasn't billions wiped out not too long ago? i don't recall any action taken against the old regime?
On 3 October 2016 at 4:28 pm winstonkey said:
comment1

I can tell you that several very good non-corporate people applied. Some with both corporate and non-corporate experience. Several self-employed financial advisors. Several boutique fund managers. I can also tell you that some of these people heard absolutely nothing back from the FMA during the process. Not even a "Thank you for your application, you have been unsuccessful."

Perhaps there is a story here for Goodreturns to look at which would likely be good for the FMA if it allowed them to get the facts about how their process works out in the open rather than allowing us to speculate negatively.
On 3 October 2016 at 9:46 pm w k said:
@winstonkey: thank you for letting me know that i am not alone. i can confirm 100% you are absolutely correct. i applied twice each - fma & mbie - couple of years ago. and i am not boasting: in terms of qualifications, i'm no less inferior to the ones who got the job (especially kiro but of course mine were all 100% genuine - original cert, student no & manuscript all available), in fact i think i've got more. in terms of experience, that of the combined newbies in fma or mbie are no where near mine.

from those experience i get, i can only conclude: i was wasting my time because i don't belong to the "old boys' club".

sorry for being a "broken recorder" - i have said their mind have already been made up way before anything happens. "consultations", "feedback", "submissions", and what have you, are just going through the motion to show that "something" has been done before deciding on the regulation - they are just a show in reality. i've asked this question before but never got an answer: when was the last time a suggestion given by an adviser has been adopted?


On 4 October 2016 at 2:53 pm w k said:
add to my earlier post: they check us but who check them? is it a case of "ownself check ownself?"
On 4 October 2016 at 5:10 pm blogger billy said:
We’re the FMA at our offices at Britomart
And we think that we’re pretty smart
Cowboy Hughie taught us this clever little song
It’s the NAFA’s, it’s the NAFA’s,
It’s the NAFA’s who are wrong
So we are very worried and need your help, dear Lord
To keep those blasted NAFA’s forever off our board
And we’ll never admit it but we fear things could turn bad
Coz they know all about the investor mum and dad
They just can’t have the chance to tell us how it works
Who do they think they are, those cheeky NAFA berks
Simon Power showed us the way to a Fisher salary
It’s all part of knowing how to climb the tree
Start by working at the FMA or becoming an MP,
Either will do, just make the banks your mate
And pretty soon big salary offers will eventuate
This is our cunning plan and we’re already on the bus
We won’t let those blasted NAFAs ruin it for us
Anyway everyone believes us coz we’re the FMA
We are the light, the power, and the only way
And we’ll make sure we get the champers and caviar
But for the NAFA’s its only bitter vinegar

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