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Former Centrepoint-aligned firm gets wind-up order

A former PIS licensed firm, which saw its director agree to an enforceable undertaking last year, has now received a winding-up order from the Australian Taxation Office. 

According to an ASIC insolvency notice, the ATO filed an application to wind up Victoria-based Cambridge Financial Planning earlier this month. The Supreme Court of Victoria will hear the order on 16 September, the notice said.

The ATO declined to comment about why the order was submitted.

Speaking to ifa, a Centrepoint Alliance spokesperson said Cambridge Financial Planning was licensed under PIS until the firm's director Seamus O'Brian was found to be giving advice on products outside of the APL.

"PIS reported [to ASIC] that Mr O'Brien provided advice to clients about products that were not on PIS's approved list of products, that he did not consider alternate products or strategies when providing advice to clients and that he demonstrated a poor level of record keeping and collection of client details," the spokesperson said.

"PIS terminated the authorisation of Mr O'Brian on 16 December 2013."

Late last year, ASIC announced it had accepted an enforceable undertaking from Mr O'Brian, after "he failed to meet his obligations as a financial adviser".


According to an ASIC statement, the regulator was concerned that Mr O'Brian failed to demonstrate a reasonable basis for the advice provided and failed to adequately provide replacement product advice to clients.

Further, ASIC found Mr O'Brian did not comply with the record-keeping obligations relating to personal advice or comply with the State of Advice requirements.

As part of the enforceable undertaking, Mr O'Brian had agreed not to provide financial services in any capacity for a minimum of one year.

If he decides to re-enter the financial services industry after this period, Mr O'Brian will have to adhere to strict supervision requirements for one year and have each piece of advice audited by his new licensee before it is provided to clients.