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FPA accused of disciplinary double standard

FPA accused of disciplinary double standard

A former FPA member disciplined by the association has echoed concerns that Henderson Maxwell CEO Sam Henderson was shown preferential treatment.

At last week’s royal commission hearings, FPA chief executive Dante De Gori faced questioning about the association’s handling of a client complaint against former member Sam Henderson.

Counsel assisting Rowena Orr QC asked Mr De Gori whether interactions between him, his staff and Mr Henderson who once emceed the association’s national conference – during the disciplinary proceedings were inappropriate.

Ms Orr also pressed the association chief over whether the decision to keep Mr Henderson’s matter confidential was in the public interest.

“How can members be held accountable?” Ms Orr asked.

While Mr De Gori vehemently denied that the former TV show host was shown preferential treatment, another former member has come forward to accuse the association of the same.

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Speaking to ifa on condition of anonymity, a former financial adviser with experience of an FPA disciplinary proceeding says Mr Henderson’s treatment greatly differs from his own.

“Despite the crap advice [given by Mr Henderson] and the complaint against him, he was not sanctioned by the FPA, the matter was not brought to the public and ASIC [has] not been involved,” the former adviser said.

“Henderson was allowed to negotiate his punishment through a lawyer. I was interrogated with no lawyer present and was not afforded anything like this,” he added.

Mr De Gori also faced questions over the FPA’s business model, rejecting the suggestion that the association is conflicted in trying to both regulate and represent advisers.

“The FPA has a dual purpose,” Mr De Gori responded.

The FPA has been contacted for comment on this story.

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