Something’s rotten in Denmark and it isn’t advisors

Something’s rotten in Denmark and it isn’t advisors

Something’s rotten in Denmark and it isn’t advisors The many issues plaguing the financial services business today are not the fault of advisors says one investor watchdog. The real problem lies further up the corporate ladder.

Ken Kivenko is chair of the Small Investor Protection Association’s advisory committee, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing a voice for small investors in Canada. He spoke with WP Wednesday about the many issues crippling the financial services industry.

In a previous edition of Wealth Professional magazine Kivenko had some tough words for advisors specifically and the investment industry generally. Whether we’re talking about advisor integrity or slipping standards of those same advisors, Kivenko is adamant things could be much better in the industry but not without a complete overhaul of the system.  

Systemic issues, says Kivenko, plague the investment business. Surprisingly, he doesn’t blame advisors for this dysfunction but rather places a lion’s share of the fault with upper management, the ones who’ve put into place these systems in the first place.

How’s that?

Management, not advisors, set the tone for the rest of the organization. In Kivenko’s opinion nobody is dealing with these systemic issues whether it’s dealers, regulatory bodies or even impartial organizations such as the Ombudsman for Banking Services and Investments.  

“There are regulatory issues, dealer issues, ethical issues, but it’s going to show up with the advisor getting the blame,” says Kivenko.

“Being an advisor these days, if you try to do the right thing it’s very difficult. I hate to blame them because they’re put into a framework… You keep throwing these commission grids at them [advisors], you give them big awards…”

Well, I think you get the drift.

So, advisors reading this who are frustrated with the state of affairs in your industry, know that it’s not your fault.

In Kivenko’s words, “Advisors face an impossible task.”