Royal commission witness and former adviser Sam Henderson has been sentenced in the NSW Local Court.
Mr Henderson, former chief executive, director and senior financial adviser of Henderson Maxwell, was convicted of charges relating to issuing defective disclosure documents and dishonest conduct. He will enter into a two-year good behaviour bond.
Additionally, he was fined $7,000 and $3,000 respectively, for a total of $10,000.
The court declared that between 1 July 2010 and November 2017, Mr Henderson engaged in dishonest conduct when he made false representations that he had a Master of Commerce, when he did not hold that qualification.
ASIC also alleged Mr Henderson breached the law in two instances in 2014 and 2016 by giving two clients a Financial Services Guide containing the false representation that he held a Master of Commerce (Financial Planning).
Further, ASIC alleged that Mr Henderson made the false representation that he held a Master of Commerce in some of his professional biographies and descriptions. He was said to have made the claim in an interview conducted for the purpose of drafting a marketing profile to promote Western Sydney University’s Sydney Graduate School of Management Master of Commerce (Financial Planning) course and in his 2013 book, One-Page Financial Plan: Everything you need to successfully manage your money and invest for wealth creation.
In handing down her sentence, the magistrate, Jennifer Atkinson, noted the need for the court to send a message to the community at large that being a financial adviser is a specialist position. Marketing material and websites, including qualifications, need to be correct.
She also applied a 25 per cent discount to the sentence due Mr Henderson’s guilty plea.
Henderson Maxell and Mr Henderson were the subjects of a bad advice case study in the royal commission.
ASIC banned Mr Henderson from providing financial services for a period of three years in July 2019 after it found he failed to act in the best interests of his clients, provide appropriate advice and to prioritise his clients’ interests when providing personal financial advice.
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