• subs-bellGet the latest news! Subscribe to the ifa bulletin

Industry rejects ASIC cold-calling claim

A number of financial advisers have taken to social media to voice concern over ASIC Commissioner Greg Tanzer's claim that ‘reputable’ professionals do not generate leads via cold calls.

In an Australian Securities and Investments Commission statement warning against an investment scam, Tanzer said consumers should immediately hang up if they receive an unsolicited call from a financial planner.

“Reputable financial services businesses do not cold call members of the public,” he said.

The comments have attracted a strong reaction from industry professionals, voicing their opinion on the Association of Financial Advisers (AFA) LinkedIn group page.

Greg Woods, director of dealer group Stratagem, said that while he personally dislikes cold calling, in business it “may be a necessity sometimes,” advising professionals using this tactic to employ manners and courtesy.

Former MLC adviser Arne Jesperson, who now runs a financial software business, said cold-calling had played an important role in his career.

“With over 40 years in the insurance and planning industry there are quite a large number of people who would not be quite so comfortable in retirement, and several families who have been able to keep their own home when their husband and father died, because I cold called,” he said.

“It is my experience and I suspect that of many others, that very few people take action without being prompted by a polite and friendly call,” he added. “I believe it would be a shame if cold calling were ever legislated against.”

A similar sentiment was expressed by Charterhouse senior financial planner Wayne Stammers, who said “most financial services organisations began with some element of cold calling”.

“Of course a regulator is going to come out and say that about cold calling,” he added.

More broadly, business consultant and former planner Manny Mezzasalma said cold calling should form a part of any good ‘practice marketing plan’.