Our Disclosures
Defining our areas of advice, and how we handle complaints.

 

Stratus Group of Companies.

Stratus companies have a range of specialist advisers who provide Financial Advice on behalf of a number of organisations that hold Transitional Financial Advice Provider Licenses, the relationships to the organisations are outlined below. The advantage of this structure is we can access a wider range of product providers than Stratus would normally be able to manage and by using differing organisations we have access to specialist providers and products. However it is important you understand it may not be all provider and products available in the market, we access can those the Licensee has deemed represent the widest range within a criteria of scale, specialty and willing to enter a relationship.

Product providers pay commission or allow us to include fees for business written and retained. Commission is based on premium or regular and lump sum amounts invested. They may include taxes and levies, etc.

How we ensure your interests are our priority.

There are a number of factors that can influence advice if they are not successfully mitigated. Conflicts can occur when an adviser or business have a greater vested interest in any particular aspect of that advice over another. In our industry this can be the difference in remuneration paid by providers, funds within a provider, quota, ownership of the business, other services the business offers, relationships with service or product providers.

At Stratus we try to manage any conflicts of interest as best we can.
1. We are regulated by The Financial Markets Authority to adhere to the Financial Markets Conduct Act and an Advice Code,
2. We have specialist advisers in all areas we offer advice,
3. We follow an advice process,
4. We receive at least 20 hours additional training per year,
5. We belong to the relevant professional bodies for our skill sets, which hold us to higher level of conduct, Financial Advice,
6. We are not subject to any quota from Dealer groups or product providers,
7. We are subject to quality assurance processes by dealer groups who ensure a third party endorsement in behaviour,
8. Advisers are on retainers and are paid bonuses for client retention and bringing in new business,
9. If clients request, they can have a relationship based on fees only,
10. Life, Disability and Health illustrations are calculated across the various companies for comparison (unless a client wants to increase an existing policy),
11. The Stratus companies are owned by family trusts rather than the advisers themselves.

Defining our areas of advice.

Co-operative Insurance based products

Brokered Insurance based products

Investment based products

Fees for advice paid directly to Stratus Financial Services Limited

Adviser Remuneration.

All Stratus advisers are paid a retainer, this is based on the number of days worked and the monthly rate determined for their work load, skill and qualification. The rates are similar across specialist adviser roles. They are also paid a fee for liaising with clients, of between 10% and 20%, which is based on workload and the value of the relationship with the client. They receive a bonus of 20% for new income they bring to Stratus Group of companies. The bonus is at risk based on how much the adviser prepares the advice, complaints received about the service they deliver, quantity and quality of notes kept on advice given.

Advisers are expected to take 4 weeks of leave each year and allocated an additional week for continuing professional development, this enables them to maintain and improve their skill, competence and qualifications. Advisers may receive subsidised professional training from financial providers.

Reliability Statement.

Neither IANZ, WP, Stratus companies or our advisers and directors have NOT been disciplined by a professional or Public body for their advice or adjudged bankrupt.

Duties Information.

Stratus Companies and anyone who give financial advice, have duties under the Financial Markets Conduct Act 2013 relating to the way that we give advice. The set out a code of Professional Conduct for Financial Advice services (Code of Conduct) The code requires the following;

Part 1 – Ethical Behaviour, Conduct, and Client Care
• Treat clients fairly
• Act with integrity
• Give financial advice that is suitable
• Ensure the client understands the financial advice, and
• Protect client information

Part 2 – Competence, Knowledge and Skill
• Have General Competence, Knowledge and Skill
• Have Particular Competence, Knowledge and Skill for designing an investment plan
• Have Particular Competence, Knowledge and Skill for product advice
• Keep Competence, Knowledge and Skill up to date.

These are the Code of Conduct Standards, more information is available by contacting us or by visiting the Financial Markets Authority website at https://www.fma.govt.nz

Privacy Information.

This statement relates to the personal information that you provide now and in the future. The personal information collected will be held by SFSL, SIBL, WPL and/or IAN to identify service and products that may be suitable for your needs. These organisations can access this information to assist you to provide financial services to you, to administer and service any products you have, to identify other services or product available that may be suitable to your needs, to provide quality control and to manage complaints.

I may disclose your personal information to other relevant product providers within these relationships to enable them to assist me to provide financial services to you. You have the right to ask to see and request correction of any personal information these organisations hold about you. We hold information about you securely. If you transfer to another business or I sell my relationship to another business, I will transfer a copy of that information to the new business or Adviser, if you or they request it.

How we handle Complaints.

If you express dissatisfaction to us we will treat it as a complaint.
If it is about another provider, such as an insurance provider, we will pass it on for them to work through their complaints process. Each provider will have slightly different process, we can copy you into our notification if you desire.
If the complaint is about one of the Stratus Financial Services Limited or one of its advisers then you can phone (04 499 6500) or email (contact@stratusnz.nz) and tell the adviser, tell another adviser, tell our staff, ask for the directors or a complaints officer. You can also write to us at Stratus Financial Services Limited, PO Box 10-337, Wellington, 6143, New Zealand. Stratus has allocated a director from the associated company to act as complaints officer for the other company. This way it is unlikely they were involved in giving the advice.
We are also obliged to inform the WPL if the services are part of their offering. The complaints process includes;
Letting you know how we intend to resolve the complaint, as part of this we may ask for more information about the complaint,
We aim to resolve complaints within 10 working days of receiving it. If that is not possible we will contact within this time frame to update you by phone or email.
If your complaint is not resolved with 8 weeks, or you are not satisfied with our proposal, you can contact Insurance & Financial Services Ombudsman (IFSO)
IFSO provides a free, independent dispute resolution service that may help investigate or resolve your complaint, if the complaint has not been resolved to your satisfaction. You can contact IFSO by emailing them on info@ifso.nz or by calling 0800 888 202, you can also write to the at Insurance & Financial Services, Ombudsman Scheme, PO Box 10-845, Wellington, 6143, New Zealand.
If the complaint is about one of the Stratus Insurance Brokers Limited or one of its advisers then you can phone (04 499 6500) or email (contact@stratusnz.nz) and tell the adviser, tell another adviser, tell our staff, ask for the directors or a complaints officer. You can also write to us at Stratus Insurance Brokers Limited, PO Box 10-337, Wellington, 6143, New Zealand. Stratus has allocated a director from the an associated company to act as complaints officer for the other company. This way it is unlikely they were involved in giving the advice.
We are also obliged to inform the IANZ if the services are part of their offering. The complaints process includes;
Letting you know how we intend to resolve the complaint, as part of this we may ask for more information about the complaint,
We aim to resolve complaints within 10 working days of receiving it. If that is not possible we will contact within this time frame to update you by phone or email.
If you do not want to speak to SIBL then you may contact IANZ directly – Complaints Officer, Insurance Advisernet New Zealand Ltd, PO Box 37670, Parnell Auckland, 1052, 0800524 760, www.insuranceadviser.co.nz/compliments-and-complaints
If your complaint is not resolved with 8 weeks, or you are not satisfied, you can contact Financial Services Complaints Limited (FSCL), of which IANZ is a member.
FSCL is an approved dispute resolution scheme which handles complaints against financial service providers, including insurance brokers. FSCL is free to consumers and its decisions are binding on IANZ and SIBL and it’s advisers (but not you). Further information is available about FSCL from IANZ and/or www.fscl.org.nz . You may contact FSCL directly on 0800 347 257.