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18-142MR ASIC permanently bans financial adviser for providing false evidence to ASIC
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has permanently banned financial adviser Ezzat-Daniel Nesseim from providing financial services. ASIC found that Mr Nesseim engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct, that he was not of good fame or character, and that he was likely to contravene a financial services law.
In the course of an ASIC investigation into advice provided by Mr Nesseim, he provided three wholesale client certificates that he had backdated (or caused to be backdated), in the hope that they would cause ASIC to cease or modify its inquiries.
In response to questions regarding these certificates, Mr Nesseim gave false answers to ASIC under oath. Further, Mr Nesseim affirmed that a written statement he provided to ASIC was true, when it contained statements by him that were false.
ASIC Senior Executive Leader Louise Macaulay said that this kind of behaviour will not be tolerated by ASIC. "Providing false evidence to ASIC in an attempt to avoid scrutiny by the regulator is reprehensible and does not uphold the attributes of honesty and integrity required of a financial adviser."
Mr Nesseim was an Executive Business Financial Adviser at Westpac Banking Corporation from 1 August 2006 to 22 March 2013. He was an authorised representative of Fortnum Private Wealth Pty Ltd from 13 June 2013 to 9 June 2016 and, most recently, he was an authorised representative of Libertas Financial Planning Pty Ltd from 22 June 2016 to 1 March 2018.
Mr Nesseim's banning will be recorded on ASIC's Financial Advisers Register.
ASIC's MoneySmart website has useful information for clients of advisers to help them understand what to do if their adviser has been banned.
Mr Nesseim recently withdrew his appeal to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal for a review of ASIC's decision.
The banning of Mr Nesseim is part of ASIC's Wealth Management Project. The Wealth Management Project was established in October 2014 to lift the standards of major financial advice providers. The Wealth Management Project focuses on the conduct of the largest financial advice firms (NAB, Westpac, CBA, ANZ, Macquarie and AMP).
ASIC's work in the Wealth Management Project covers a number of areas including:
- working with the largest financial advice firms to address the identification and remediation of non-compliant advice; and
- seeking regulatory outcomes, where appropriate, against licensees and advisers.
As part of its Wealth Management Project, ASIC has banned 46 advisers and one director from the financial services industry. Five adviser bannings are the subject of appeals, with a further banning stayed pending the outcome of an appeal.