Cbus head of advice launches firm

By Kanika Sood | Financial Standard | Friday, 17 January 2020 12:24 pm

The former head of advice of the $57 billion superannuation fund has launched a new consultancy firm aimed at working with super funds and dealer groups to develop better models of delivering advice.

Greg Harper led Cbus’ advice and retirement service for over sixteen years, before deciding to leave in in October last year to start his own firm, called FASI.

FASI will work with superannuation funds, licensees, professional associations, regulatory bodies and political stakeholders on developing better advice models.

The way Harper sees it; there are two main problems for financial advice to solve.

The first is for organisations to move away from conflicted performance measures (such as measuring an adviser’s performance by sales, FUM or the number of statements of advice) towards better performance measures, while maintaining commercial success.

The second challenge is for super funds to deliver personal financial advice services for their members, without cross-subsidising the service from the use of pooled member funds.

“The way many superannuation funds have done it is that they have used members’ pooled money to subsidise the cost of non-intra-fund advice.

“The law clearly says that members’ money can’t be used for advice other than intra-fund advice and it could be treated as fees for no service, but ASIC hasn’t held them to account for it so far,” he said.

During his time at Cbus, Harper pioneered Cbus’ adviser referral program with the Financial Planning Association of Australia in 2014 for specialised advice that went beyond the intra-fund advice remit. Many superannuation funds, including Sunsuper, have since followed the route of referring to external advisers.