What is interesting these days following the findings of the Royal Commission, is the discovery that the professional and moral standards Pinnacle has always carried over the past 15 years or so (like many other of our peers in financial planning) are now suddenly in vogue!
A self-serving statement, yes! However, the principles of serving clients’ best interests and delivering well-conceived financial strategies and recommendations which endeavour to improve our clients’ financial welfare first and foremost, has always been a long-held cultural ethos within Pinnacle.
In the pursuit of freedom of choice and exercising a duty of care to clients, Pinnacle had the vision many years ago to distance itself from the conflicts of product ownership, rebates and incentives, by applying for, and retaining our own Australian Financial Services License (AFSL). This allowed Pinnacle the freedom to pursue its own policies and develop its own vibrant business culture, which in turn impacted on preferred client product design and investment solutions. Nothing new, just how Pinnacle (your Advisor) has endeavoured to conduct its business and remain respectful of clients’ individual needs and best interests over time!
We now know the Royal Commission noted in some detail the conflicts of interest within the larger financial institutions where the lines of accountability between ‘product’ ownership and client ‘advice’ became hazy. Our recent decision to slim down our Practice (by separating from less aligned Partners) is further evidence of our commitment to avoid unnecessary product alliances and potential conflicts as a non-negotiable business imperative.
By retaining our own Australian Financial Services License, Pinnacle has been able to mitigate/avoid inappropriate product associations, consequently is very much ‘in step’ with the RC findings. Nothing new, just how Pinnacle has operated over time.
In a recent article in the Advertiser, we read with some amusement that the particular Advisor being interviewed had suddenly discovered that the qualities of the future financial advice business model should be centred on a culture of building client relationships and embracing “honesty, transparency and trust”. Nothing new, just how we like to think Pinnacle has always behaved towards our clients!
It may be ‘waving our own flag’ but for over a decade Pinnacle has knowingly advocated strongly for a separation between the advice content and product elements when providing objective advice to clients. Hopefully Pinnacle is perceived in this light, and as also advocated by the Royal Commission, we will continue to encourage and behave with a clear intent to act in our clients’ best interests – so what’s new!