Licensee Solutions provides skilful and practical compliance solutions to the Australian financial services and credit industries.
Licensee Solutions is associated with Halsey Legal Services (Halseys), a law firm with particular expertise and experience in the financial services and credit industries; particularly in relation to ASIC enforcement actions, client disputes and structuring advice. Licensee Solutions is able to utilise the combination of its own knowledge and experience with the insights that arise from Halseys' litigation experience, to create and structure preventative measures that can proactively protect your business.
Our core compliance services include:
- Licensing - AFSL and ACL
- Compliance Committee Management
- Licensee Regulatory Reviews
- Representative Client File Reviews
- Customised Training
- Compliance Manager Course
- Responsible Manager Course
- On Demand Courses
- General Consulting
- SMSF Professionals Support
All services listed above can be packaged as part of a Consulting Program, which allows you to know upfront the services that you have signed up for and how much you will be paying for the next 12 months. The Consulting Programs are based on the number of hours required by you.
Your Licensee Solutions Consultant will be able to provide you with further guidance on which Consulting Program would suit you best.
The licence application process can be overwhelming for potential licensees. A quick glance at ASIC’s licensing kits will give you an idea of ASIC’s expectations and the documentation required from the moment you apply for a licence.
We have developed a Licensing Manual to educate you on your obligations as a responsible manager and licensee. We will go through the Licensing Manual with you during our Licensee Induction Program to ensure that any queries you may have are addressed. It is during the Licensee Induction Program that we get to know your business and how you intend to operate. We can tailor the licence application to suit your particular business needs.
We will be able to provide guidance on the types of authorisations needed to operate the business that you have envisioned.
The following will be covered during the Licensee Induction Program:
- Business Description Manual;
- Organisational Competence Manual;
- Compliance Arrangements Manual;
- Managing Conflicts of Interest Manual;
- Representatives and Human Resources Manual;
- Financial Requirements Manual;
- Technological Resources Manual;
- Dispute Resolution Manual;
- Risk Management Manual;
- Research Manual; and
- Anti-Money Laundering / Counter Terrorism Financing Manual.
Upon completion of the Licensee Induction Program, we can draft all proofs required for your licence application. Upon approval from you, we will lodge the application on your behalf and deal with all queries that ASIC may pose prior to making a decision on your licence application.
Our licensing fee will be based on the type of authorisations which you need to operate your business, and a quote can be provided upon request. The licensing fee quoted is all you need to pay, regardless of how complex the application may become.
Business changes, and your licence authorisations or responsible managers may change. You may also need to vary your licence. We can help you with this, providing our skills and experience to efficiently achieve your licence variation.
All licensees have ongoing compliance obligations which need to be managed. In our experience, it is often challenging for licensees to effectively plan, document and implement required compliance activities, as licensees typically want to focus on other aspects of their business, such as revenue generation.
Licensee Solutions has developed the Compliance Committee Management service to help you administer your compliance activities in a manageable way, ensuring that all legal obligations are met efficiently.
This service includes:
- scheduling quarterly meetings (frequency of meetings can be changed based on the nature, size and complexity of your business);
- preparing and distributing the meeting agenda;
- facilitating the meeting;
- discussing changes that may impact your business and recommending how best to tackle the issues at hand;
- recording and documenting minutes, decisions and action items;
- assisting with the completion of action items and following up with you on action items that require further work; and
- assisting you in handling issues identified through licensee review and representative review.
Further, because we have a team of dedicated individuals that monitor changes to regulation and law, Licensee Solutions’ consultants are up-to-date on legislation and compliance issues. Using the Compliance Committee Management services ensures that the most current information affecting your compliance obligations is available to you and your business. You can also be assured that meetings are tailored to meet your business needs.
Time allocation per meeting is typically 5 hours. Compliance Committee Management can be provided as a standalone service or can be packaged as part of a Consulting Program.
Licensee Regulatory Review conducted by Licensee Solutions should be treated as a health check for the licensee and is carried out on an annual basis. It focuses on the responsibilities of the licensee with emphasis on the following operational issues:
- adherence to licensee’s compliance program;
- recruitment, supervision, training and termination of representatives;
- advisory process and client service management;
- marketing campaigns;
- research process and planning tools;
- registers and record keeping;
- industry association membership and associated compliance requirements;
- complaint and breach handling procedures;
- standard documentation used;
- compliance monitoring and reporting; and
- Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Terrorism Financing provisions.
We will discuss with you any issues arising and compile a Review report which contains details of areas to be addressed and recommendations to rectify any issues.
Time allocation per licensee review is between 10 to 15 hours. Licensee Review can be provided as a standalone service or can be packaged as part of a Consulting Program.
As an Australian Financial Services licensee, you have an obligation to monitor your representatives to ensure that they comply with the law, are competent in their roles and operate efficiently, honestly and fairly.
We can help this monitoring and supervision obligation by conducting regular Representative Client File Reviews that address these areas of compliance for your representatives. These reviews can assist by identifying compliance breaches at an early stage and any operational areas that could be improved upon.
We understand that reviews are often thought of and seen as an intrusive fault-finding process. However, our approach is to work with you and your representatives to ensure that your obligations as a licensee are met and your representatives maintain the ability to operate. We treat our reviews as an education tool rather than a policing exercise.
A typical Representative Client File Review focuses on:
- the advisory process and client file management;
- registers and record maintenance;
- the reasonableness of advice;
- disclosure requirements; and
- compliance with legislative, licensee requirements and best practice measures.
The Representative Client File Review entails the assessment of approximately three client files and a debriefing meeting with the representative. A report is then compiled detailing areas to be addressed.
Time allocated for review of 3 to 4 client files of a typical sample is 4 hours on site and approximately 1 – 2 hours offsite to finalise the report. Representative Client File Review is typically provided to licensees as a standalone service. However, depending on the nature and service provided by the licensee, this can be packaged as part of a Consulting Program.
Licensee Solutions is able to develop specific training to meet your needs as a licensee. This training can be held on a one-on-one basis or as part of the licensee’s internal PD sessions. The topic of the training is determined in advance by you. Customised training can be provided as a standalone service, or it can be packaged as part of a Consulting Program.
We also conduct a Responsible Manager Course and Compliance Manager Course. The courses are designed to provide individuals with the understanding and tools required to be a Responsible Manager or a Compliance Manager.
Compliance Manager Course
The Compliance Manager Course offered by Licensee Solutions is an in-depth course on licensee obligations, and provides attendees with the knowledge and tools to create a Compliance Program which addresses ASIC’s expectations.
With guidance from a Licensee Solutions Consultant, the attendee will be assisted to consider, structure and create practical solutions to address their licensee’s obligations. This course can be provided on a one-on-one basis or within a small group at your office.
The course covers:
- compliance program;
- organisational competence;
- financial requirements;
- recruitment, monitoring and training of representatives;
- managing conflicts of interest;
- technological resources;
- risk management systems;
- complaint and breach handling procedures; and
- research process.
Responsible Manager Course
This course is designed as a refresher course for Responsible Managers or to provide an overview for newly appointed Responsible Managers. It is a condensed version of the Compliance Manager Course. This course can be provided on a one-on-one basis or within a small group at your office, and takes approximately 4 hours to complete. This course can be included as part of a Consulting Program or as a standalone service.
On Demand Courses
Sometimes you need a course to promptly address a knowledge gap in your business. We have a library of available courses we have produced for other clients. If none of these are suitable, we can create a new course for you. Our clients tell us they are surprised by how cost-effective our customised courses can be. Your knowledge needs can be efficiently addressed, often on your premises and staff down-time can be minimised
General consulting is driven by your needs as a licensee and we can address various compliance-related issues. For some licensees, this includes:
- reporting and liaising with ASIC as required by the licensees;
- providing independent expert's reports in relation to matters - including as expert witnesses in court litigation;
- conducting due diligence relating to the hiring of authorised representatives by an AFS licensee;
- conducting due diligence as part of the acquisition process. Our experience varies from small/medium client register purchases through to assisting with the due diligence related to the acquistion/merger of an entire AFS licensee business (FUA $5 billion);
- dealing with other licensees or professional bodies on an "as needs" basis;
- assisting with the management and coordination of dispute resolution;
- discussing updates relating to legislative changes and implementing practical measures and processes to satisfy the new obligations including Future of Financial Advice (FOFA) reforms;
- management of internal compliance projects and providing guidance to licensees where required;
- designing training programs, conducting training sessions and assisting with the maintenance of training records;
- documentation review (e.g. review of Financial Services Guide and Statement of Advice); and
- reviewing marketing material prior to distribution or printing.
We come from a background of SMSF understanding. We can provide licensing support which is specifically tailored for your needs.
The contents of our publications are only intended to provide a summary and general overview of matters of interest to the financial services and credit industries, and to promote broad discussion. The publication does not constitute professional advice, nor does it create an advisor-client relationship. You should seek advice appropriate to your circumstances, needs and objectives before acting or relying on any content in this publication. Licensee Solutions make no warranties or representations about the content of this publication and excludes, to the maximum extent permissible by law, any liability which may arise as a result of the use of the content of this publication.
Unless otherwise indicated, Licensee Solutions and Halsey Legal jointly own the copyright in the contents of the publications.