Financial Planning

SMSF advice group shuts doors

MyPlanner Professional Services

MyPlanner Professional Services, an advice group offering SMSF advice services to planners and accountant, which was under ASIC scrutiny has shut down.

Queensland-based financial advice group MyPlanner Professional Services (MPS) has gone into voluntary administration after it withdrew an appeal to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) to stop the suspension of its Australian financial services licence (AFSL).

A note sent from Anvia (Australia) chief executive James Kennett to authorised representatives of the licensee, and forwarded to selfmanagedsuper, stated it had to withdraw its appeal to the AAT, “which in effect removed the stay of the suspension handed down in February. As a result you must suspend all advice to clients immediately”.

The message added: “As a result of the impact of the ASIC (Australian Securities and Investments Commission) process, and the decisions advisers have had to make for their businesses and their clients, we have today placed MyPlanner Professional Services Pty Ltd into voluntary liquidation.”

The ASIC register of organisations and business names confirmed the licensee had entered external administration, with documents lodged with the regulator on 12 June to voluntarily wind up the business. Selfmanagedsuper has also been informed managing director Matthew Farley, who was appointed to the role in July 2019, has also left the group.

Kennett said the licensee had spoken with ASIC about the impact of the move on advisers and the regulator would contact them on a case-by-case basis to review their circumstances, and the next correspondence regarding the licensee would come from its liquidators.

The email was signed by Kennett as Anvia Holdings, a United States-based company and parent company of Anvia (Australia), holds 95 per cent of the shares of MPS after purchasing the organisation in June 2019 for $4.38 million.

At the time of purchase, MPS had around 100 financial advisers, according to an Anvia press release at the time, but according to the ASIC Financial Adviser Register, only 18 were still operating under its license by 12 June.

The MPS website states it is a privately owned licensee that offers financial planning licensee services to financial planners, accountants and mortgage brokers, including those who offered SMSF advice.

The voluntary administration is the latest in a series of actions undertaken by the group in response to ASIC, which first imposed additional conditions on its licence in late 2017 after doing the same to another licensee, MyPlanner Australia Pty Ltd (MPA), after it found MPA was giving poor financial advice and lacked adequate monitoring and supervision of its advice representatives.

ASIC stated the conditions were also applied to MPS as a large number of advisers and staff had moved to it from MPA following a sale of the advice business from MPA to MPS. MPA was placed into external administration in November 2019 and its licence cancelled on 17 March 2020.

In February this year, ASIC suspended the licence of MPS, stating it failed to adequately monitor and supervise its authorised representatives and had inadequate resources to carry out those supervisory arrangements.

The suspension was placed on hold pending an appeal of ASIC’s decision by MPS before the AAT, which was granted on 15 April 2020 but required MPS not to take on new clients and to inform all existing clients, advisers and employees of ASIC’s decision to suspend its licence and the conditions attached to the AAT’s decision to stay that suspension.

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