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Australian Unity recruits FOFA expert

Advisers need help in complying with the additional Future of Financial Advice (FOFA) requirements brought to light in recently-released ASIC guidance, dealer group Australian Unity (AU) has said.

While Australian Unity has long since implemented a fee-for-service remuneration model and welcomes most of the FOFA reforms, the licensee says many of its authorised representatives are still struggling to keep up with the changes.

“The recent release of some of the detail has made it clear there will be more work involved in complying with FOFA than the industry initially thought,” Australian Unity chief executive Steve Davis said.

“This is disappointing and is contributing to what we see as a reasonably high level of unpreparedness in the industry.”

In order to assist its advisers with the transition to FOFA, Australian Unity has announced it has appointed lawyer Ian McDermott to the new role of head of risk and compliance for the dealer group.

“Initially, Ian will assist us with the final details of the FOFA transition but more importantly, he will help Australian Unity and their advisers take advantage of opportunities arising out of FOFA and other regulatory changes as they take effect,” Davis said.

McDermott practised as a lawyer at Holley Nethercote from 2007 up until his appointment to the AU role. He was previously employed in compliance advice and management roles for financial services companies including Lincoln Indicators, IOOF and the National Australia Bank.