ASIC has banned financial adviser Jihad Soleiman, of Wollert, Victoria from providing financial services for six years. Mr Soleiman was an authorised representative of Apogee Financial Planning Limited (Apogee) during the period June 2013 to February 2018.
Clients of Mr Soleiman approached him for advice about establishing self-managed superannuation funds (SMSFs) for the purposes of either investing into property or property development companies. Mr Soleiman had a conflict of interest because his clients were looking to invest through his brothers who were in the property development business.
Mr Soleiman referred his clients to an SMSF administration business to facilitate the establishment of their SMSFs without providing advice. He then provided advice to rollover their existing super funds into their recently established SMSFs.
In respect of advice provided to four clients, ASIC found Mr Soleiman failed to prioritise his clients’ interests and failed to act in the best interests of his clients because he:
- did not scope the advice to be consistent with his clients’ circumstances and subject matter of advice sought;
- failed to make reasonable inquiries to obtain complete and accurate information about his clients’ relevant circumstances;
- did not address how an SMSF property investment strategy would meet his clients’ retirement objectives;
- focused the advice to his clients on rolling over to SMSFs without adequately considering alternative options, such as whether his clients would be better off retaining their existing super funds;
- failed to adequately consider and provide information about significant risks and consequences when recommending his clients rollover their existing super funds to SMSFs for the purpose of investing into property; and
- was told by his licensee that he did not have the required expertise to advise on SMSFs generally, but still proceeded to provide SMSF advice to his clients.
‘It is essential that before consumers commit to a significant decision to establish an SMSF, that they have access to quality advice that is tailored to their personal circumstances’, said ASIC Commissioner Danielle Press.
Mr Soleiman’s banning is recorded on ASIC’s register of financial advisers.
Mr Soleiman has filed an application to review ASIC’s decision in the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.
ASIC recently published Report 575 warning consumers considering an SMSF to understand the risks and responsibilities involved. Read SMSFs: Improving the quality of advice and member experiences
In addition to an authorised representative of Apogee, Mr Soleiman was the sole director of W C R S Nominees Pty Ltd (trading as Wealth Protection Solutions), a corporate authorised representative of Apogee during the same period.
Mr Soleiman was most recently an authorised representative of Infocus Securities Australia Pty Ltd.