WSP Licence Update
This post is the latest update for existing and prospective clients of WSP Pty Ltd on changes to the licence through which we provide financial planning services and advice. This change has been some time in the making, so for clarity here is a brief note on what is changing, and a review of our story so far.
WSP’s Licence change
As of the end of April, we will no longer be licenced with RI Advice Group Pty Ltd. For those not familiar with the licence arrangements, RI Advice Group is owned by OnePath which is in turn owned by ANZ. WSP Pty Ltd and its advisers have operated under RI Advice Group’s licence since July 2013. This will change as of the April 2017.
You may have read an earlier update (September 2016), which covered some of the reasons we were looking to move our licence away from RI Advice Group. If not, you can read the post here.
From the end of April, our licence to provide financial services and advice, will be held under the Australian Financial Services Licence (“AFSL”) of:
Australian Financial Directions Pty Ltd, Licence No 344971 ABN 14 135 004 947.
When you visit our offices or see our advisers after April 2017, you will be provided with appropriate updates on WSP’s Financial Services Guide (“FSG”) and associated documentation that will reflect the Australian Financial Directions licence.
WSP – What has changed?
From the end of April 2017 RI Advice Group Pty Ltd will no longer be responsible for the ongoing advice provided by WSP and its advisers. From that date, Australian Financial Directions (“AFD”) will be responsible for the advice provided by WSP and its advisers.
You will continue to receive the same services and level of advice from WSP Pty Ltd and its advisers. Your existing strategies, plans, policies, accounts and servicing advisers will remain as they currently are. You will continue to meet with, discuss and correspond with the adviser you have been used to dealing with – John Claessen, Simon Tomkinson, Kerry Franklin, Tania Petrilli or Michael O’Hara or Streamline Financial Planning as a corporate authorised representative.
If you have any concerns or questions about the change, please simply raise these with your adviser.
If you would like to find out more details about the specific licences involved, you are able to do a search of the professional registers on the website of ASIC – the Australian Securities & Investments Commission at www.asic.gov.au. If you wish to look for details of RI Advice Group or AFD then search under “professional registers”/ “Australian Financial Services Licencee”. If you wish to look for details of our advisers, search under “professional registers”/ “Australian Financial Services Authorised Representative”. Alternatively, you could go to the government website www.moneysmart.gov.au and click on the link “Investing”. There you will find a long list of titles with information on financial planning and dealing with financial planners – including a link to the national register of financial planners, which includes education and experience histories for all registered financial planners in Australia today.
WSP Pty Ltd and its advisers have operated in financial planning services for many years. For those who may not be familiar with our business background, here is a brief overview of the years since our founding in 1996.
WSP Pty Ltd is the holding company operating under two business names:
- Wealth & Security Planners
- Streamline Financial Planning
Our business evolved from a merger of 4 partners on the 1st July 1996. The original partners were:
- Ralph Treasure
- Michael O’Hara
- John Claessen
- Simon Tomkinson
The expanded business operated under the business name Wealth & Security Planners, which was first registered by Michael O’Hara on the 26th May 1994.
As the business grew, the partners considered obtaining a “Dealer’s Licence” to provide financial advice and services that were not tied to any particular institution or product. In 1997 WSP moved to its own licence. Over time, other financial planning businesses were merged into our operations, while the founding advisers concentrated on providing holistic financial planning services and advice to an ever-expanding group of clients.
Kerry Franklin joined WSP in 2000, bringing into the business a wealth of credit and lending experience and knowledge and expanding our range of business services.
Over time, the directors of WSP moved with changes demanded by clients, legislation and in order to prepare for proposed financial planning changes, established Streamline Financial Planning in the year 2003. As the name suggests, this part of the business offered a streamlined set of services and advice for those clients who held traditional and legacy policies for insurance, superannuation and investment. Wealth & Security Planners continued to offer a highly personalised planning service for those seeking a higher level of ongoing support and advice.
The introduction of many changes to financial planning through the “Future of Financial Advice” (“FOFA”) reforms saw the directors of WSP decide to leave their own licence and in July 2013 moved the WSP business under the licence of a larger financial planning group – specifically RI Advice Group Pty Ltd, which is owned by OnePath, which is in turn owned by ANZ.
Over time, it became clear that our business focus and direction was not aligned with that of RI Advice Group and the ANZ, and a mutual decision was made to move our licence to another licence provider. That was in November 2015. Business procedures and legislative changes impacting bank-aligned businesses held up the licence change a number of times. However, in 2017 these hurdles were overcome and WSP Pty Ltd was finally in a position to move forward towards our longer term business goals and objectives.
The key objective is the provision of a holistic financial advice based on long term relationships and as broad as possible choice in products, accounts and strategies to help our clients manage their financial planning priorities.
After considering the range of options, including re-applying for our own licence, the decision was made to join Australian Financial Directions. The directors and key people of AFD are known to the directors of WSP Pty Ltd and our future objectives and business priorities are closely aligned.