Placing Clients' Interests First
News out of the Hayne Royal Commission into financial services has raised concerns among many people about how they can expect to receive trustworthy, thoughtful and appropriate financial and investment advice in such a climate.
There is no doubt that the appalling behaviour of some Australian institutions and their nominal ‘advisers’ has had a devastating financial impact on some clients who had put their trust and faith in the advice they were receiving.
While this news is unsettling, you can be assured that trusted, client-centric advice does exist, both in Australia and around the world.
Stewart Partners is a founding member of the Global Association of Independent Advisors (GAIA). This is an alliance of 17 advisory firms from Australia, New Zealand, the US, UK, Germany, Sweden, Switzerland and Chile, who collectively and individually have an overriding commitment to fiduciary excellence.
A fiduciary is someone who serves as an ever-vigilant guardian of the client’s best interests. This professional focus is on the client first before making a financial recommendation.
To join GAIA, firms must achieve CEFEX accreditation. This is an independent process administered by the Center for Fiduciary Excellence to determine the trustworthiness of investment fiduciaries and their management processes. There are annual audits to maintain this accreditation, meaning the bar to become a member of GAIA is high.
This means we at Stewart Partners are part of an effort to achieve global best practices in advice by benchmarking our efforts against the best advisers in the world.