The chairman of the Code Working Group grew up in South Africa and Zimbabwe and qualified as a chartered accountant

He moved to Australia in 1990 but initially struggled to get a job.

Eventually a recruitment agent called to ask whether he knew anything about regulation. 

“I had never heard about regulation,” he said. “It sounds a silly thing now ... but I said ‘that’s exactly where I want my career to go’.”

He took a job with what became the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), the country’s regulator, and stayed with the Australian regulator for almost 18 years.

While having dinner in Sydney, a discussion with New Zealand regulators, including Jane Diplock, former chair of the New Zealand Securities Commission, turned to whether he wanted to come to work on the other side of the Tasman instead.

“I was looking to get out of regulation and she said ‘don’t get out of regulation, get out of Australia’.”

Dale-Jones took a job as director of supervision at the New Zealand Securities Commission, which involved overseeing the implementation of the Financial Advisers Act.

After almost three years there, he realised he still had not shaken the desire to try his hand at something other than regulation.

He set up his own consulting firm, Knax. Soon, he was on the board of the PAA as its first independent board member, and a director of NZ Assets Management.

He consulted on compliance issues but worked to broaden his scope to advise firms and organisations on wider conduct considerations.

Although those roles have since finished, Dale-Jones said they helped to shape his thinking about financial advisers and funds management in New Zealand and rounded out his regulatory experience. 

When he saw the advertisement seeking members of the Code Working Group, to develop the new code of conduct that will cover all advisers under the new legislation, Dale-Jones decided to apply.

“I didn’t hold out much hope but I got an interview and got the role.”

He said he most enjoyed the policy thinking involved, looking at what the incentives were that made people act in certain ways. Most people were in business wanting to do the right thing by their clients, he said.

It was rewarding to act as a prompt, he said, to encourage the conversations that would help people discover solutions.  It was a role that involved bringing people together and looking for commonalities rather than focusing on difference.

A disparate community of financial advisers would have to operate under the new code. The Code Working Group’s focus was on consumers but involved everyone across the financial services sector working together.

December 2017

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