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Adviser banned for life

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has issued a permanent ban on Perth-based former financial planner Marion Pearson for improper conduct in relation to advice provided to SMSF clients.

Pearson’s banning is the result of an ASIC investigation into her activities between 1 November 2007 and 30 October 2013.

During the above period, Pearson was an authorised representative of Ballast Financial Management, a position that was revoked on 30 October 2013.

The corporate regulator’s investigation found Pearson engaged in dishonest conduct whereby she created documents disguising the fact clients’ money was paid into a company called Colisa, of which she was the sole director and shareholder, without the clients’ knowledge or authority.

ASIC also found Pearson engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct in misleading Ballast and clients into believing customers’ funds were being allocated to particular investments when they were not.

Pearson is currently residing in New Zealand and ASIC is continuing its investigation into her conduct. The activities of Ballast are not being brought into question.

“If a financial adviser engages in dishonest conduct, ASIC will remove them from the industry,” ASIC commissioner John Price said.

Pearson can appeal to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal for a review of the regulator’s decision.

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