The corporate watchdog has banned SMSF financial adviser Sam Henderson from providing financial services for three years, nearly a year after he was grilled by the financial services royal commission.
Henderson was an authorised representative, responsible manager, director and chief executive of Henderson Maxwell from June 2008 until June 2018, after which he announced his retirement from the financial advice sector.
ASIC stated the ban followed surveillance that found the Sydney financial adviser had failed to act in the best interests of his clients, to provide appropriate advice and to prioritise his clients’ interests when providing personal financial advice. The regulator said these actions led to clients either losing money or being at risk of losing money.
The regulator also found he did not properly document or investigate his clients’ existing products, failed to provide advice relevant to their goals and recommended the use of in-house products without providing product comparisons or justification as to why they were better than his clients’ existing products.
It also found, that as a director and responsible manager, Henderson was involved in Henderson Maxwell breaching its obligations as an Australian financial services licensee to disclose information about relationships or associations that could influence the financial advice provided.
According to ASIC, the breach occurred in 2013 when Henderson’s SMSF invested in Managed Account Holdings Limited (MAHL) and, subsequently, a subsidiary of MAHL provided managed discretionary account services to Henderson Maxwell, which did not disclose this interest in two financial services guides given to clients.
It said its investigation into Henderson’s conduct is continuing, however, he has a right to appeal to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal for a review of the banning decision.
Henderson is currently listed as ‘Ceased’ on the Financial Advisers Register, which will now also record his status as a banned adviser. He was also banned by the Financial Planning Association in October 2018 after it found he breached its Code of Professional Practice.