Dover plays hardball on adviser dues
Dover Financial Advisers will help its advisers transition to new AFSLs and expedite commission and platform payments in the wake of its shock closure – but only if authorised representatives have settled their books with the troubled licensee.
On Friday, ifa exclusively reported that Dover director Terry McMaster has written to authorised representatives announcing that the dealer group will close its doors and cancel its licence, leaving hundreds of financial advisers urgently seeking new a new licensee.
The email claims that ASIC intervention is the primary reason behind the abrupt closure, but does not give any further information about the alleged “negotiation” with the corporate regulator.
It does, however, make clear that Dover will be enforcing its commercial contracts with advisers, despite what Mr McMaster acknowledges was “short notice” and “impersonal” method of communication.
Advisers in the Dover network will be compelled to inform their former licensee of their new AFSL immediately, notify any software or other relevant service providers, fill out a number of forms relating to consent and, notably, “pay all outstanding fees to Dover”.
“This will enable us to co-operate freely with your new AFSL,” the email explains, indicating that co-operation may be less forthcoming for advisers who have not settled their debts.
“Fee invoices for the month of June 2018 will be cancelled,” the email continues.
“If your fees to Dover are all fully paid, you will receive commission and platform fee payments from Dover on the usual dates.
“If there is currently any money owing to Dover, regardless of the due date on the relevant invoice, for simplicity commissions and similar amounts received by Dover will be used to repay or reduce your debt to us. Once that debt is fully paid, any additional commissions or platform fees received will be paid to you in the normal way.
“If you are aware that platform and commission income due to be received will not fully repay your debt, please pay the difference immediately. This will enable us to assist you to move to your new AFSL as quickly as possible.”
ifa understands that a number of licensees are in correspondence with Dover authorised representatives about onboarding.
ifa has sought clarification from ASIC and is awaiting response.
Mr McMaster confirmed the contents of the email are “sadly true” but declined a request for interview.
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