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PIS parent points to new structure

On the day Professional Investment Services entered into a nine-month monitoring of its advice processes, its parent company, Centrepoint Alliance, revealed a “new group executive team” without providing any details about its membership.

Yesterday, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) issued a statement indicating an independent expert would be appointed to PIS to monitor its “ability to identify poor advice and the effectiveness of its advice audit and pre-vet functions” for a nine-month period.

The regulator also said it still had “concerns that [PIS’s] compliance and audit functions required further work” despite an enforceable undertaking entered into by the company ending in March 2012.

Following the revelation of the additional monitoring, a statement from PIS parent company Centrepoint Alliance (CAF) alluded to “good progress” made by the company since the EU and announced the appointment of a “new group executive team”.

The statement said that the “new structure enables CAF to leverage the strengths across [its] businesses” but did not provide any information about the composition of the new team or any substantive changes to the company’s leadership.

A CAF spokesperson confirmed changes at the group but was unable to provide further information on the changes before ifa went to press.

In a separate statement, the group confirmed that an “independent expert” has been appointed to monitor its advice process, but declined to name the appointee.

However, in a third statement, made to the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX), it was revealed that PricewatehouseCoopers had been appointed to the task.

PwC declined to comment.

CAF reported a loss before tax and non-controlling interests of $14.5 million in June 2012, largely due to the payment of claims to clients of PIS and the costs of responding to the ASIC enforceable undertaking.

More than $11 million was paid out in claims settlement during the 2012 financial year, and close to $17 million was provisioned against future claims in June 2012.