Over 120 advisers squeezed through the gap in the dying days of the now-defunct advisory legal regime, according to new data published by the Financial Services Providers Register (FSPR).
The figures show 122 individuals were accredited as registered financial advisers (RFAs) in the two weeks prior to March 15 when the FSPR was closed for renovation ahead of the Financial Services Legislation Amendment Act (FSLAA) go-live date.
While the label, along with all previous advisory designations, has been deleted under the now in-force FSLAA, the last-minute rush for RFA status came with benefits.
“Being recorded on this register, along with confirmation of your registration on the new FSPR… will allow you to be eligible for the two-year competency safe harbour provisions offered in the new financial advice regime,” the adviser registry says.
The late arrivals join the 10,000 or so ‘financial advisers’ and 12,000 ‘nominated representatives now ensconced in FSLAA safe-houses: the regime began on March 15 with roughly 2,600 regulated entities, split between 1,600 transitional licensees and 1,000 ‘authorised bodies’.
Last Friday, the Financial Markets Authority (FMA) said in a release that it would now shift focus away from the transitional licensing phase.
The regulator says it had changed tack “to monitoring and supervising under the transitional regime, as well as full licensing” under the responsibility of James Greig, director of supervision.
Reporting to Greig, Michael Hewes, who was named FMA head of financial advice in December, would run the new FSLAA monitoring and full licence project, the release says.
Greig was recently upgraded to the FMA executive committee after reporting directly to outgoing chief, Rob Everett, since 2020. Everett tendered his resignation last week after seven years as the inaugural head of the NZ corporate cop, setting a final departure date some time near the end of this year.
“James is already making a great contribution to the FMA’s leadership as we ready ourselves for a significant expansion in our remit. In particular, we are now implementing the new regime for financial advice which came into force earlier this week,” Everett said in the statement. “In other areas, James has proven himself an effective leader and played a major role both in our response to the COVID-19 pandemic and in the Culture & Conduct reviews into banking and life insurance in 2018.”
Hired by the regulator in 2016, Greig has been for oversight of the managed investment schemes, licensed supervisors, custodians, derivatives issuers and, now, financial advice.