Lisa Hamer – Compliance Director
One of the few times I have heard compliance discussed with any real enthusiasm (aside from with other Compliance professionals) was when ‘Comply or Die’ won the Grand National in 2008! Compliance is the reason we have to issue so much information to clients, and obtain so much from them in return – it is just a burden! Or is it?
Actually, Compliance is your champion and protector. In conjunction with MAM’s Management Board, it ensures that the firm meets all regulatory requirements – everything from financial solvency to suitability of advice.
Suitability is the reason that we need to ask for so much information from clients, both at the outset of our relationship and periodically thereafter. We need to ensure that our services, investment decisions and advice are suitable; that our clients understand any risks involved and have the financial capacity to bear these. We need to regularly review our clients’ circumstances to ensure any changes are considered in our on-going advice and investment decisions. In order to do this, we need a lot of information.
What may seem to be intrusive questions are extremely important. Would you trust a medical diagnosis based on your answers to a few simple questions, or would you trust the one based on a comprehensive and detailed review of your current and past history? Similarly, which analysis of your financial needs would you trust if done on the same criteria?
Yes, we have compliance obligations but primarily we want to do the very best for our clients, and this means asking for quite detailed information in order to undertake a comprehensive analysis of needs and so propose suitable, effective and tailor made solutions.
So, rather than being intrusive or inconvenient, our requests for information are the foundation for suitability.