Compliance is at the heart of everything Dover does. All of our systems and processes are designed to assist advisers to maintain compliance at all times.
Compliance is neatly encapsulated in the best interests duty. The best interests duty is a statutory requirement for advisers to prioritise the interests of their clients over all other interests. The best interest duty is measured by what is known as a ‘reasonable advisor test.’ Here at Dover, we believe that the best way to approach a reasonable advisor test is to review all advice before it goes to clients. Our head office applies two levels of review to all statements of advice and records of further advice prepared by our advisors. A third level of review is then provided by an independent legal firm, MLA Lawyers.
The idea is simple: have trained, qualified people agree that advice is in a client’s best interests before giving that advice to the client. Then obtain a legal opinion confirming the same thing. This allows us to be very confident that advice will meet the required standard.
This is an enormous commitment on our behalf. We have 12 staff in our Melbourne office alone dedicated to the review of statements of advice. Each of these staff holds a law degree and other relevant qualifications. We are pleased to say that our system works. Since 2012, no reviewed statement of advice or record of further advice has led to a successful client complaint. This brings great peace of mind to all of our advisors – who also appreciate the opportunity to gain an objective second opinion about their recommended strategies.
We also understand that compliance is a lot like justice: not only does it need to be done, it needs to be seen to be done. Our processes are designed to assist all advisers to be able to document their adherence to the client’s best interest duty as well as all other obligations imposed on them by the Corporations Act, the regulator and the general law. Because we review every advice, there is no need for us to conduct random site audits of client files once or twice a year. Instead, we provide all advisers with the opportunity to complete a remote audit, whereby you are prompted and assisted to ensure that all aspects of your operation comply with all aspects of the compliance regime.
In addition, we provide 20 hours of FPA accredited CPD as your way of meeting the training obligations for financial advisers. This training is delivered online and can be completed at a time and place of your choosing. Your participation in this program is automatically recorded. You are, of course, free and encouraged to complete CPD beyond this compliance requirement. There is no such thing as too much knowledge when it comes to professional services.
We also provide several technology-based resources to assist with your compliance. One of these is RODO, an SOA generating software which removes the need for you to have writing skills on a par with a journalist or a lawyer! In addition, all advisers have access to an in-house CRM, which is provided at no additional cost. This CRM allows for the efficient and easy recording of all compliance related information.
To learn more about our culture of compliance, take the time to read through this website. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.