Reasons to be cheerful.......Part 1
Sat in a busy Cafe in Little Collins Street, Melbourne, contemplating the past week in Australia on behalf of SuiteBox Ltd. If you've been somehow indisposed for the past few months, and haven't come across SuiteBox for some strange reason, check out this innovative technology - you'll soon wonder how you ever functioned without it.
In Sydney Monday and Tuesday, and the reasons to be cheerful were manifest. Apart from teaming up with ex-AIG colleagues, Brett Clark and Noel Condon, I was lucky enough to meet up with some outstanding people at the function SuiteBox held for the burgeoning number of clients, subscribers, and supporters - all excellent representatives of their respective roles in the Australian financial services industry.
The flow of information, news, views, and opinions for the industry is well-served by a number of good, competent, and worthy outlets - primarily online.
However, head and shoulders above the crowd is AdviserVoice- a standout by any benchmark measurement you care to apply.
Susie Newham, the publisher of AdviserVoice is a fearless, dynamic, and dedicated exponent of integrity, transparency, and truth - untrammelled and completely immune to influence from "interested parties" that may mistakenly feel that their size, status, or money deserves special treatment in the media.
Many such online entities will lay claim to unblemished integrity, but anyone who has been around the industry anywhere for more than a few weeks, knows full well that punches can occasionally be pulled when advertising dollars are at risk, or other sponsorship support might be prejudiced by publication of an item that may be too "direct" or otherwise critical of said advertisers/sponsors interests.
Not so with AdviserVoice.
Warning to any naive or unsuspecting entities, organisations, or individuals who may be harbouring illusions that AdviserVoice and/or its publisher can be compromised.
Do not, under any circumstances, even consider exerting influence on the publishing integrity of AdviserVoice. You will be promptly referred to an activity associated with what happens to turkeys at Christmas time, usually with sage, onion, and other seasoning.
Reasons to be cheerful?
a) That this excellent online publication exists,
b) That NZ financial services people can access AdviserVoice with a free subscription.
Listening to a range of financial advisers and industry participants at the several functions I attended this past week in Sydney and Melbourne, it struck me that the same or similar conversations are taking place on both sides of the Tasman. Many of these discussions are around the presence of the regulator and the impact on our respective industries - some good, some bad, some downright ugly.
So, much of what is happening in Australia has significance and relevance to NZ.
Another reason to be cheerful - at least for Kiwis? ASIC doesn't exist in NZ - for which every industry practitioner in whatever capacity they operate in Aotearoa, should drop to their knees and offer eternal gratitude to whichever deity they hold dear.
The FMA has reached a milestone in its evolution with the enactment of the Financial Markets Conduct Act and the completion of the providers licensing exercise.
The unfortunate delay in the Exposure Draft of the FAA review may be causing some angst, but whatever is released it is likely to be better than anything the regulatory regime in Australia has dished up.
Will the NZ regime be perfect? No - but another reason to be cheerful is that the imperfections will give me something - and AdviserVoice - to write about for years to come.
My thanks to Ian and the SuiteBox team for a great trip.