This document is a Financial Services Guide (“FSG”) issued by Rice Warner Pty Ltd (ABN 35 003 186 883). We hold an Australian Financial Services Licence (AFSL 239 191) and this requires us to inform prospective clients of certain matters relating to our relationship with them and the services we provide, prior to us providing them with a financial service.
Who are we?
Rice Warner is an Australian firm of consultants completely controlled by its executive directors and staff, with its head office located in Sydney. We are experts in many aspects of financial services, particularly superannuation. Our consultants abide by our own Code of Conduct. Our actuaries are bound by Code of Conduct of the Actuaries Institute.
What advice do we provide?
We provide advice in the fields of superannuation, wealth management and life insurance. The advice provided ranges from general and strategic advice convering a variety of issues through to product advice whereby we provide recommendations about selecting a particular product or service or range of products/services.
Who provides the advice?
Our Authorised Representatives all hold senior consulting roles within the firm. All projects are managed by an Authorised Representative. All work is peer reviewed before it is finalised:
Each Authorised Representative will:
- Give advice only in areas where they authorised to do so;
- Follow our processes for delivery of advice; and
- Ensure that our other staff do not provide unauthorised advice to clients.
- Full details of the person(s) responsible for providing the advice, their qualifications and experience and the advice they will provide are included in any specific proposal we provide to a client.
Delivery of our Advice
We deliver our advice in many forms, including delivery of formal reports, presentations to clients, and by discussions in person and by phone or email. Whenever we provide you with advice, we will document this clearly for you.
We will typically provide a formal report (this may be in presentation format) or letter during the assignment which will fully document our advice and the basis on which it was given.
In the event that we make a recommendation to consider using a particular financial product or service, we provide our clients with the original proposals received from product manufacturers or suppliers so that they are aware of the basis on which we have made our decision.
Rice Warner carries professional indemnity insurance to protect its clients against errors and omissions causing loss to their business. We carry insurance with Vero to comply with the requirements of Section 912B of the Corporations Act 2001. The insurance complies with ASIC Regulatory Guide 126. It includes cover for work carried out by former employees of Rice Warner while they were employed by Rice Warner. Of course, we do not expect any of our clients to ever need to call on this facility. We only practice in areas where our consultants have appropriate knowledge and experience.
We have internal risk management practices which minimise the chance of an error or omission occurring. For example, we carefully screen our consultants to ensure they are competent in the areas where they are authorised to give advice. Further, all work is subject to mandatory peer review by a senior consultant.
We would normally agree to receive a fee or regular retainer expressed as dollar amounts in advance of commencing an assignment. The level of these fees is generally based on an estimate of the time that will be taken, the importance and value of the work undertaken, and the extent that we will draw on the resources and research undertaken by Rice Warner.
The details of specific fee arrangements are provided as part of all proposals for clients.
We then submit an invoice setting out our fee and fully describing the work that was done.
All work is undertaken on a fee for service or retainer basis.
Reimbursement of Expenses
In the course of an assignment, we may incur incidental expenses such as travel. Our policy is to recover these at cost. We do not normally charge for minor expenses such as local courier deliveries or office functions such as photocopying or sending faxes.
Receipt of “Soft Dollars”
We do not receive any form of indirect payment from product suppliers. We will allow our professional staff to attend seminars, training sessions or other functions where they have an educational content. We also allow our staff to accept reasonable invitations to functions as part of our normal business networking. We maintain a register of ‘soft dollar’ receipts.
Potential Conflicts of Interest
We do not have any financial association with any financial institution or other product provider. From time to time, we are appointed to provide advice to financial institutions and/or product providers on a fee for service basis. Where such an organisation submits a proposal in a tender held by us, we would disclose the business relationship to our client. We maintain a conflicts of interest register to record that we have advised of such replationships.
Our work processes include a structured approach based on our research and market knowledge. We also have compulsory peer review of all advice we provide. This ensures that all our advice is provided entirely on merit.
Information Required to Provide Advice
We take into account the circumstances of a client prior to providing advice and making recommendations. In order to undertake our work, we may require confidential information from our clients and we hold this material securely. Unless this information is previously known to us or is in the public domain, we will not disclose this information to any other party except with your consent. We retain a copy of all information for our own records and for the purposes of satisfying our professional indemnity insurance terms and conditions.
Complaints Handling Procedure
Rice Warner is a member of the Australian Financial Complaints Authority. If a client were to have any complaint about a service provided to it, they should take the following steps:
- write to the Authorised Representative if the dispute is minor and can be resolved at this level
- contact Michael Rice of Rice Warner on (02) 9293 3700 or put your complaint in writing and send it to:
M J Rice
GPO Box 5281
Sydney NSW 2001
We will seek to resolve your complaint quickly and fairly.
If the complaint cannot be resolved to your satisfaction you have the right to complain to AFCA. They can be contacted on 1800 931 678, or on www.afca.org.au. This service is provided to you free of charge.
The postal address for AFCA is:
Australian Financial Complaints Authority
GPO Box 3
Melbourne VIC 3001
This document was first produced in March 2004 and may be modified periodically.