ASIC has permanently banned Mr Ahmed Saad of Glenroy, Victoria, from providing financial advice for dishonestly obtaining money from client retail superannuation fund accounts for the purposes of operating a scheme providing clients with illegal early access to their superannuation.
The banning follows an ASIC investigation into Mr Saad’s conduct as an authorised representative of Apogee Financial Planning Limited (Apogee) and through his business Saad Wealth Management Pty Ltd (Saad Wealth).
ASIC’s investigation found, between October 2016 and September 2017, Mr Saad had breached various financial services laws, including that he had:
- Engaged in dishonest conduct on approximately 164 separate occasions illegally obtaining funds between $1,000 and $28,000 from client superannuation accounts for a total of $1.4 million from Nulis Nominees Australia Limited (Nulis), the trustee of the MLC Super Fund, and rebated those funds to his clients;
- Engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct by falsifying figures and details in client statements of advice and adviser remuneration fee forms provided to Nulis and Apogee; and
- Failed to act in the best interests of his clients and had not provided them with appropriate advice.
On 11 December 2018, ASIC found Mr Saad breached financial services laws and was not of good fame and character.
Mr Saad has the right to lodge an application for review with the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.
ASIC’s investigation is ongoing.
In March 2017, after identifying an increase in Mr Saad’s and Saad Wealth’s revenue, Apogee and Nulis identified large adviser fees charged to the superannuation accounts of Mr Saad’s and Saad Wealth’s clients.
Mr Saad and Saad Wealth, of which Mr Saad was the sole director, were authorised representatives of Apogee from 10 April 2012 until 16 October 2017. In October 2017, their letter of authority was revoked by Apogee.
Subsequently, a report to ASIC was made about Mr Saad’s conduct.