Financial Services Guide
This Financial Services Guide (FSG) is designed to clarify who we are and what we do, and help you decide whether to use our services.
To make things simple, this guide explains:
• the services and types of products we’re able to offer you
• how we and our associates are paid and any other benefits we may receive
• any potential conflicts of interest we may have
• how we protect your privacy and handle your personal
• how we resolve disputes, and what you should do if you
Please read through the whole FSG, as it’s full of useful information – and is also worth holding on to for future reference. And of course, if you ever have any questions, please contact us.
Other documents you may receive
In addition to this FSG, when we provide you financial advice we will also present you with a written Statement of Advice (SOA).
This will describe the strategies, products and services we recommend and outline any fees or commissions we will receive and any associations we have with financial product providers or other parties that have not already been disclosed in this FSG.
If you receive further financial advice from us, we will present you with either another SOA or keep our own written Record of Advice (ROA). You can request a copy of this by contacting us any time up to seven years from the date of the advice provided. Please refer to the “Contact us” section of this FSG for our contact details.
To help you make an informed decision about a financial product you generally will be given a Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) which outlines the product features and costs in detail. In certain circumstances it is not a requirement that you be given a PDS (including, for example, where you already have one).
Giving us instructions
If you want to make changes to your financial plan or provide other instructions, please contact us. Please refer to the “Contact us” section of this FSG for our contact details.
Generally, you will need to give us instructions in writing (eg fax, email or letter) or another method agreed with us.
About our Licensee
We are authorised representatives of Meritum Financial Group Pty Ltd ABN 93 106 888 215, Australian Financial Services Licence Number 245569 (“Meritum Financial Group”) of Level 1, 105-153 Miller Street, North Sydney NSW 2060.
Meritum Financial Group is a professional partner of the Financial Planning Association, the professional body representing qualified financial planners in Australia, and therefore adheres to set standards in terms of ethics, conduct and continuing professional development.
Our associations and relationships
Our Licensee, Meritum Financial Group is part of the National Australia Bank Limited (“NAB”) group of companies (“NAB Group”). Meritum Financial Group is a wholly owned subsidiary of the NAB Group. NAB does not guarantee or otherwise accept any liability in respect of the financial advice or services provided by Meritum Financial Group or its authorised representatives.
We may recommend financial products issued by companies within the NAB Group or companies in which a shareholding is maintained by a NAB Group member (including MLC Limited).
These include products with the following branding:
• NAB, National
• JB Were
• Pre Select Funds
• Private Investment Consulting
• WealthHub Securities
• Altrinsic Global Advisers
• Antares Capital
• Fairview Equity Partners
• Intermede Investment Partners
• Presima Inc
• Redpoint Investment Management
If we recommend a product or service issued by a NAB Group company, they will benefit from our recommendation by receiving product and management fees from you as well as fees paid by fund managers to distribute the fund manager’s product. Please refer to the relevant PDS and/or offer documents for further information.
We generally recommend products that are listed on Meritum Financial Group’s approved product list. In some categories these may be all NAB Group products. Before any products are added to this list a review process is undertaken and products are required to meet minimum standards. If these products are not appropriate for your circumstances then we may recommend a product outside of this list. At all times, we will ensure that our recommendations are in your best interests.
Meritum Financial Group maintains relationships with the following insurance providers (AIA, Zurich, CommInsure and One Path) which pay Meritum Financial Group a licensee commission payment as described in the ‘Commissions received by our Licensee from product providers’ section of this FSG.
NAB and its related bodies corporate distribute insurance products issued by MLC Limited ABN 90 000 000 402. MLC Limited is part of the Nippon Life Insurance Group and not a part of the NAB Group.
MLC Limited will pay National Wealth Management Services Limited, a related body corporate of NAB, a distribution allowance as described in the ‘Distribution Allowance’ section of this FSG. If appropriate to your requirements, objectives and circumstances then a Meritum Financial Group adviser may recommend a product issued by one of these providers.
Who we are
Excel Financial Solutions is privately owned boutique financial services firm. We have successfully helped our clients create, manage and protect their wealth through many investment cycles. Our highly qualified team is the perfect size to give our clients individual attention while drawing on a wide breadth of knowledge and experience.
The financial services are provided by Biren Joshi of Excel Financial Solutions (FP) Pty Ltd ACN 621 657 770 ATF Excel Financial Planning ABN 15 342 046 930 trading as Excel Financial Solutions Authorised Representative No. 1260403
The following financial advisers are authorised to provide the financial services referred to in the ‘What we do’ section of this FSG to you on behalf of Meritum Financial Group:
Adviser Name: Biren Joshi
Authorised Representative No. 1260405
Meritum Financial Group has authorised us to provide you with this FSG.
What we do
We are authorised by Meritum Financial Group to provide financial advice in relation to:
• Wealth Accumulation
• Income & Asset Protection
• Tax Strategies
• Retirement & Redundancy Planning • Estate Planning
• Government Benefits
• Debt Management
and to provide financial advice and deal in the following financial products:
• Basic Deposit Products
• Non-basic Deposit Products
• Non-cash Payment Facilities
• Life Products – Investment Life Insurance
• Life Products – Life Risk Insurance
• Retirement Savings Accounts
• Managed Investment Schemes, including Investor Directed
Portfolio Services (IDPS)
• Government Debentures, Stocks or Bonds
• Standard Margin Lending Facilities
• Business Insurance
Excel Financial Solutions & Biren Joshi are not authorised by Meritum Financial Group to provide financial product advice in the following financial products:
• General Insurance Products
• Managed Discretionary Accounts
We are not authorised to provide any other financial services or
financial products on behalf of Meritum Financial Group.
Where we are unauthorised to provide you with a financial service or financial product that you are interested in, we will advise you of this and refer you to an alternative source of advice.
For more information on anything you have read in this FSG or if there is anything else we can help you with, please contact us at:
Address: Level 13, 10-16 Queen Street, Melbourne Vic 3000
How we manage your personal information
Collecting and using your personal information
We need to collect and use your personal information (which may include your sensitive information, such as health information) for a variety of purposes, including to provide you with the financial services you have requested (including answering your requests and complaints, varying products and services and managing your relevant product portfolios) and to contact you about other products and services that may be relevant to you. It is also necessary for us to collect personal information in order to prevent or investigate any fraud or crime, or any suspected fraud or crime.
We’ll collect your personal information from you directly whenever we can. Sometimes we collect your personal information from other sources or third parties such as your Accountant. We do this only if it’s necessary to do so, for example where:
• we can’t get hold of you and we rely on publicly available information to update your contact details;
• we need information from an insurer about an insurance application you make through us;
• at your request, we exchange information with your legal or financial advisers or other representatives.
You may not be aware that we have done so. If we collect information that can be used to identify you, we will take reasonable steps to notify you of that collection.
We may collect information about you because we are required or authorised by law to collect it. There are laws that affect financial institutions, including company and tax law, which require us to collect personal information. For example, we require personal information to verify your identity under Commonwealth Anti-Money Laundering law.
What happens if you don’t provide your information to us?
If you don’t provide your information to us, we may not be able to:
• provide you with the product or service you want;
• manage or administer your product or service;
• verify your identity or protect against fraud; or
• let you know about other products or services that might
better meet your financial and lifestyle needs.
Protecting your privacy
Protecting your privacy is essential to our business. Your file, containing your profile, personal objectives, financial circumstances and our recommendations, is kept securely.
Disclosing your personal information
We may share your personal information (which may include your sensitive information, such as health information where we have your consent) with third parties for any purposes for which we use your information. This may include to the following types of third parties:
• those involved in providing, managing or administering the products or services you have requested, including other advisers, paraplanners and organisations who work with us, including Meritum Financial Group and other members of the NAB Group, depending on the financial services and products you have requested;
• insurance providers, superannuation trustees and product providers related to the financial services you have requested;
• professional associations and organisations that help us operate our business, such as those that provide administrative, financial, accounting, insurance, research, legal, strategic advice, auditing, computer or other business services, including our Licensee Meritum Financial Group and other members of the NAB Group;
• your representatives, service providers, or other organisations, such as your accountant, solicitor, tax agent, stockbroker or bank;
organisations involved in a business restructure or a transfer of all or part of the assets of our business; and
• government and regulatory authorities and other organisations when required or authorised by law (in some instances these bodies may share it with relevant foreign authorities)
• where you have given your consent.
We may also store your information in cloud or other types of networked or electronic storage. As electronic or networked storage can be accessed from various countries via an internet connection, it is not always practicable to know in which country your information may be held. If your information is stored in this way, disclosures may occur in countries other than those listed.
Overseas organisations may be required to disclose information we share with them under a foreign law. In those instances, we will not be responsible for that disclosure.
Sharing with MLC Limited
NAB distributes MLC Limited’s life insurance products. MLC Limited is no longer part of the NAB Group of companies. NAB and companies in the NAB Group may exchange personal information with MLC Limited or their service providers in order to administer and manage your life insurance products that are issued by them. We may also need to share information with MLC Limited so as to ensure:
• your insurance premiums are correctly calculated;
• insurance claims and benefits are paid;
• NAB and MLC Limited can both tell you about our
respective marketing and products offers (including ensuring customers who hold MLC Limited products are excluded from NAB Group campaigns marketing MLC Limited products);
Consent to marketing activity
We presume you consent to being contacted by us (including Meritum Financial Group and other members of the NAB Group) about suitable products and services via the contact details you have provided. We may continue to contact you for these reasons until you withdraw your consent. You can do this at any time by contacting us (see the ‘Contact us’ section of this FSG). We will process your request as soon as practicable.
Gaining access to your personal information
Correcting your Information
For more information about your privacy, you can also visit the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner’s website at www.oaic.gov.au
Your confidence in our advice
Your satisfaction is very important to us and we have procedures in place to resolve any concerns promptly and fairly.
Our complaints procedure
If you’re unhappy with the advice you receive or other aspects of our service, please follow the steps outlined below.
1. Please let your financial adviser know so we can act on it immediately.
2. If your adviser has not satisfactorily resolved your complaint, please contact our Advice Dispute Resolution Team on:
Phone: 1800 611 950
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org In writing to:
Advice Dispute Resolution Team Meritum Financial Group
Level 2, 105-153 Miller Street North Sydney NSW 2060
3. If your complaint isn’t resolved within 45 days or to your satisfaction, then you may refer the matter to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS), an independent complaints handling body. We are a member of FOS. FOS provides a free, accessible, fair and independent dispute resolution service to consumers. You can contact FOS on:
Phone: 1800 367 287 Email: email@example.com Website: fos.org.au
In writing to:
Financial Ombudsman Service GPO Box 3
Melbourne VIC 3001
Meritum Financial Group holds professional indemnity insurance that satisfies the requirements of Section 912B of the Corporations Act. This insurance also covers the conduct of our advisers who were authorised by Meritum Financial Group at the time of providing the advice, but are no longer authorised representatives of Meritum Financial Group at the time of your complaint.
Payments and benefits we receive
You can pay for the services you receive on a fee for advice basis. This allows you to know that you are paying for our advice irrespective of any product you use, clarifies the services you are entitled to, and ensures all recommendations are driven by your needs.
We will agree with you the amount you pay based upon:
• a flat dollar fee;
• an hourly rate;
• the amount you invest; or
• a combination of the above.
You can pay in the following ways:
• as a fee for advice that will be deducted from your investments as a one-off payment or in instalments;
• by direct invoice from us for initial and ongoing advice;
• via commission we may receive from a financial product
provider when you commence an insurance contract; or
• a combination of the above.
If you are not already on a fee for advice package, you can move to this payment at any time.
Other payments we may receive
We will provide you with details of all fees, commissions or other benefits we may receive when we provide advice to you and, where possible, will give actual dollar amounts. If we cannot provide this accurately, we will provide worked-dollar examples.
Even if you don’t receive personal financial advice from us, you can still request the details of any fees, commissions or other benefits we receive in relation to any other financial service we provide you.
Benefits we may receive
Sometimes in the process of providing advice, we may receive benefits from product providers.
We may attend conferences and professional development seminars that have a genuine education or training purpose. Meritum Financial Group, or our employer, may pay for the costs of our travel and accommodation, and events and functions held in conjunction with the conference or seminar.
We keep a register detailing certain non-monetary benefits that we receive e.g. benefits valued between $100 and $300, and those that relate to genuine education or training and technology software or support.
You can view an extract of the register by contacting us. Please be aware that Meritum Financial Group may charge you for the cost of providing this information to you.
Meritum Financial Group receives cash payments from product providers who sponsor and attend training presentations, conferences and/or professional development days. Amounts vary between product providers and your financial adviser does not directly share in the sponsorship payment; however, they may indirectly benefit as these payments subsidise the costs associated with these training and professional development events.
Commissions received by our Licensee from product providers
Meritum Financial Group has ongoing commission arrangements with a number of risk insurance providers. Where you acquire a risk insurance policy issued by AIA, Zurich, CommInsure and One Path, the insurer may pay Meritum Financial Group a commission payment which is based on total in-force premium and lapse rates for risk insurance policies as at 31 December 2017, recommended by all advisers within the Meritum Financial Group adviser network. The payments received by Meritum Financial Group may be up to 2% of the premium amounts paid by policy holders to the relevant insurer.
As this amount is calculated in the future, we cannot provide an exact amount at this time; however, as an example, if as a result of services provided to you by Meritum Financial Group, a participating insurance provider receives $5,000 in premium for policies as at 31 December 2017, then Meritum Financial Group will receive up to $100 as a commission (2% of the premiums held).
The above payments are not shared with your adviser. These payments do not represent an additional charge to you and your adviser will disclose in your Statement of Advice insurance products for which these arrangements may apply.
MLC Limited pays a distribution allowance to National Wealth Management Services Limited, a related body corporate of NAB, in respect of the distribution of MLC Limited’s insurance products by licensees in the NAB Group (including NAB). This amount is not ascertainable at this time and will depend in part on the value of MLC Limited’s insurance portfolio relating to insurance distributed through NAB and its related bodies corporate and the performance of NAB and its related bodies corporate against agreed annual performance criteria.
This allowance is not shared with your adviser, and does not represent an additional charge to you.
If you have been referred to us or we refer you to someone else, we may have arrangements in place to or receive a referral fee, commission, or other benefit.
Details of any arrangement will be provided in our advice to you.
How we charge for our services
All fees and commissions are inclusive of GST and the fees could be greater than those disclosed below in complex cases. In these instances, we will inform you of the exact fee payable promptly in writing.
At our expense
Strategy Presentation (if applicable)
If you elect to pay us a fee for advice the following fees will apply. The fees will depend on the size of the investment portfolio and the complexity of the advice:
The minimum fee charged is $1,100 while the maximum fee is $22,000.
For example complex advice that contain multiple goals, strategies and/or tax structures including but not limited to; self-managed superannuation Funds, family trusts and companies, are likely to be charged closer to the maximum. Less complex advice that addresses limited goals, strategies and tax structures are likely to be charged closer to the minimum.
If you elect to pay us a fee for advice the following fees will apply. The fees will depend on the size of the investment portfolio and the complexity of the advice:
Portfolios less than $100,000: Portfolios $100,000 – $300,000: Portfolios in excess of $300,000:
Implementation fee of between $550 and $3,300 Implementation fee of between $2,200 and $7,700 Implementation fee of between $5,500 and $22,000
Borrowed funds – if we recommend you acquire investments using borrowed funds then your implementation fee will be a minimum of $330 and a maximum of $10,000.
Ongoing fee for advice
If you elect to pay a fee for the ongoing review of your financial planning strategy, the ongoing fee is based on the complexity of ongoing advice and the services provided. The minimum fee is $550 while the maximum 0.40% of investments each year depending upon the complexity of the investments.
Borrowed funds – if we recommend you acquire investments using borrowed funds then your ongoing fee will be a minimum of $330 and a maximum of $10,000 pa.
The ongoing advice fee will be based on the level of service needed and the complexity of the advice. Complex advice requirements include the use of trusts and ownership structures, overseas assets or incomes, executive options or multiple investment entities. The frequency of the review will also impact on the fee charged.
Where you do not wish to participate in an ongoing service fee arrangement but require ongoing advice on an ad hoc basis, an hourly fee of between $350 may apply.
Execution only service
Where we provide a financial service to facilitate buying or selling of a specific financial product as instructed by you, a one-off minimum of $550 fee may apply.
Where we receive stamping fees from issuer companies for raising capital or debt on behalf of that company, we will offset this payment against the cost of our advice to you.
The relevant insurer will pay initial commission between 0% and 80% and ongoing commission between 0% and 33% of the annual premium for as long as you hold the product.
Commissions are paid to us by the product provider and are not an additional cost to you.
For existing clients already in an established commission arrangement, we may receive commission on investment products or margin lending products held. For investment products the relevant product issuer will pay initial commission between 0% and 5.5% and ongoing commission between 0% and 0.88% of the value of your investments for as long as you hold the product. For margin loans the relevant product issuer will pay an ongoing commission between 0% and 0.88% of the outstanding loan balance. Commissions are paid to us by the product provider and are not an additional cost to you.