Advisers escaped as ASIC focused on Dixon business model
A number of Dixon Advisory financial advisers escaped proceedings being initiated by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) because the regulator was worried about the company’s business model and who was responsible for it.
Asked why six advisers it had named were continuing to practice, ASIC said the focus of its investigation and the underpinning of the subsequent civil penalty proceeding against Dixon Advisory was the business model, “and the responsibility of Dixon Advisory for that model”.
Answering a question on notice from NSW Liberal Senator, Andrew Bragg, ASIC said: “In this matter, the relevant individual advisers were acting in accordance with the guidance and procedures set by their licensees”.
“Whilst ASIC’s action relied on evidence of certain clients and instances of advice given to those clients (because each individual breach needed to be established to the Court’s satisfaction), the core regulatory concern, and focus of the proceedings was the structure of Dixon’s operation, which ASIC alleged led to advice failures across the business. As such, ASIC has not focused its enforcement efforts on individual advisers,” the regulator said.
Bragg also asked ASIC whether it had conducted investigations into any of the previous directors of Dixon Advisory & Superannuation Services and named 12 persons who had served on the board from as early as 2002.
ASIC said that its investigations “were scoped to include conduct by officers, representatives and related entities”.
“As part of those investigations we considered the conduct and role of some of the above individuals within the context of the subject matter under investigation,” it said.
“A second investigation related to decisions surrounding Dixon Advisory being placed into Voluntary Administration and commenced in March 2022. This investigation consi<lered potential contraventions of directors’ duties by officers of Dixon Advisory, Evans and Partners and related entities. As part of that investigation we considered the conduct and role of some of the above individuals Within the context of the subject matter under investigation. On 3 August 2023, we commenced proceedings against one of