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Unlicensed business brokers target advice industry

As merger and acquisition activity increases in the financial advice space, the industry is being targeted by buyer’s agents and business brokers who are not adequately licensed, a former AFA director has revealed.

Former Association of Financial Advisers NSW director and Leading Minds Academy managing director Brian Boggs told ifa the prevalence of less scrupulous operators has inspired him to register himself and launch a new broking business, Adviser Asset Solutions.

While declining to name names, Mr Boggs said that several of his competitors are making misleading statements to the market about their compliance profile.

“I’ve observed there are too many people stepping up and calling themselves buyer’s agents or brokers who are not licensed or registered,” he said.

“In the general business community, buyer’s agents seem to conduct themselves in a more professional manner, but in the financial services space there seem to be a number of ‘cowboys’.

“When there are people's livelihoods at stake, businesses need to ensure that when buying or selling they are properly represented.”

Under NSW law, “business agents” are required to enter into licensing arrangements with the Office of Fair Trading under the Property, Stock and Business Agents Act 2004.


Mr Boggs said he anticipates a growth in merger and acquisition activity in the financial planning industry following implementation of the Future of Financial Advice reforms but that, for now, “buyers continue to outnumber sellers”.

Asset Adviser Solutions will officially launch in July, with Mr Boggs retaining a significant stake in the Leading Minds Academy.