Clients find ‘watchdog’ to prevent advisor abuses

Clients find ‘watchdog’ to prevent advisor abuses

Clients find ‘watchdog’ to prevent advisor abuses What do you do when a 70s-something client contacts you and informs you that their accountant has expressed concern with the way you’re handling their investment portfolio? Furthermore, what to do when the client wants to schedule a meeting to “clear the air.”

Experts suggest all investment advisors will increasingly face those questions as baby boomer clients question the number and costs associated with each and every trade made by an advisor. CRM2 will only heighten that scrutiny.

The glare of the spotlight is unheard of for most advisors.

“I personally have never had an accountant come to me asking what’s going on in my portfolios,” Vancouver-based Assante Capital Management Ltd. advisor Adrian Spitters told WP. “I work with my clients’ accountants and they don’t have to come back to me because we know what we’re doing and give them a comprehensive tax report at the end of the year.”

That kind of proactive approach has been increasingly adopted across the industry.

“Because of the infrastructures (we have) in place, we create hands-on relationships with our clients’ accountants,” RBC Dominion Securities advisor Greg Hall said. “My team has two accountants and lawyers who work in tandem with the client’s tax advisor(s) and lawyers. It is important to remember that our team is here to liaison with the client’s accountant or lawyer, not to replace them.”

But what about when an accountant starts to question the moves an advisor is making for a client? Is there a situation when an advisor should take issue with what’s being asked by the accountant or be worried?

“No, you shouldn’t be shaking in your boots should the accountant come calling,” said Spitters. “It’s just part of the business.” 
  • Barb Amsden 2015-07-28 11:33:17 AM
    It's wise to work with a client's accountant if he or she has one. There have been a number of cases where an accountant or a lawyer is actually acting as a financial advisor without an IIROC or MFDA designation and client losses have resulted. Intended to help clients, the situation can get worse for the client as the party seeks to hide losses hoping to make back the money lost.
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