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First fully licensed adviser: Process ‘easier than I thought’

New Zealand’s first fully licensed adviser under the new FSLAA regime says that advisers who are ready should go for it.

Friday, April 30th 2021, 7:09AM 1 Comment

by Daniel Smith

When Hamish Kember applied for his full licence on March 20, he was surprised to find out that he was the first person in the country to have received it.

Kember’s single adviser FAP, Optima Wealth Limited, was the first fully licensed FAP in the country following the industry wide regime change on March 15.

While Kember is honoured to be the first across the line, he says that the process was far easier than he anticipated.

“The process was actually a lot lighter than I thought.

“You and your board or committee had to sign off on certain [factors] that outlined criteria and procedures and make sure that you had key components in place.

“The application process itself probably only took 20 minutes to half an hour.”

After submitting his application, Kember says that it took four to five weeks for the FMA to get back to him with his full licence confirmed, after a series of follow up questions.

Speaking at a Financial Advice New Zealand conference on Wednesday, FMA director of market engagement John Botica revealed that so far the FMA have received 12 applications for full licences.

Of the 12, four have been approved, six are pending, and two have been denied.

One of the declined applications was turned down because, as Botica says, “they rushed in at the gate, literally read the guide and pasted our sample answers into the question set”.

Botica says the second denied application was “someone who didn’t put the homework in”.

Kember’s advice to advisers is “you should be operating now as if you have your full licence already in place”.

“Don’t wait. Get ready as soon as you can.”

This message was echoed by the FMA who stated that with over 10,000 advisers covered under transitional licences, advisers “should not leave [their full licence applications] to the last minute, as you won’t get through the door”.

From Kember’s point of view, the hardest part was getting started.

“At the end of the day, getting started was the biggest issue. Once you are in the right place, you have the right information, the whole process was quite straightforward and quite easy.

“My advice to advisers out there is if you are ready to go, go and get it done early, because if there is anything missing then you will have the time to go and get it rectified.”

Tags: FSLAA licensing new regime

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Comments from our readers

On 1 May 2021 at 11:38 am JPHale said:
Great feedback, especially for those of us that are in the single adviser FAP situation.

Nice work!

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