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Senior Godfrey Pembroke figure was sacked

The identities of a number of sacked NAB advisers have been made public, including some of its “highest revenue earners” and a former president of the Godfrey Pembroke practice development group.

In 2013 the bank “moved on” former Godfrey Pembroke adviser Lawrie O’Neill for “sustained poor compliance”, according to a document penned by NAB Wealth group executive Andrew Hagger tabled in the federal parliament in recent days.

Mr O’Neill was president of the dealer group’s practice development group (PDG) and a finalist in Money Management’s Financial Planner of the Year awards in 2003.

The PDG's aim is to "keep Godfrey Pembroke at the forefront of the financial planning industry and steer the future direction of the group" according to a post on the dealer group's Brisbane office website.

ifa understands the PDG represents the member firms, has its own constitution and plays some role in monitoring of ethics and adviser professional standards. 

Mr O'Neill has since resurfaced as owner and director of Perth-based mortgage brokerage Savanna Home Loans. 

Other “high producing advisers” moved on by the bank include Storm Financial founder Emmanuel Cassimatis, former Apogee adviser Craig Stubbs, NAB FP adviser Graeme Cowper and Garvan adviser Nick Sinclair, the document reveals.

These individuals were singled out in order to demonstrate NAB’s superior advice misconduct handling policy in comparison to its competitor, the Commonwealth Bank.

“NAB Wealth has encountered, and continues to encounter, cases of inappropriate advice and occasionally, rogue advisers,” Mr Hagger wrote.

“Our approach to dealing with these situations does not differentiate based upon whether the advisers concerned are high revenue earners. NAB Wealth has a long history, going back to the 1990s, of terminating high producing advisers who do not fit its culture.”

More broadly the document – which was intended as a brief to the bank’s Group Regulatory, Compliance and Operational Risk Committee but was subsequently leaked to Fairfax Media and tabled in parliament by Nationals senator John Williams – distances NAB from the issues in CBA’s advice arm.

“The differences between NAB Wealth’s operations and CBA’s as described in the Senate inquiry are significant,” the document states.

“We have not found the sort of systemic breakdowns identified in the [Senate report], particularly in relation to the culture within NAB Wealth that the Senate inquiry and ASIC have found in relation to CBA.”

Senator Williams told ifa last week that backbench support for a Royal Commission into financial planning was growing in light of the revelations.