Commonwealth Bank of Australia CEO apologies for financial planning scandal

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Ian Narev, the CEO of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, this morning “unreservedly” apologised to clients who lost money in a scandal involving the bank’s financial planning services arm.

Last week, a Senate enquiry found financial advisers from the Commonwealth Bank had made high-risk investments of clients’ money without the clients’ permission, resulting in hundreds of millions of dollars lost. The Senate enquiry called for a Royal Commission into the bank, and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).

Mr Narev stated the bank’s performance in providing financial advice was “unacceptable”, and the bank was launching a scheme to compensate clients who lost money due to the planners’ actions.

In a statement Mr Narev said, “Poor advice provided by some of our advisers between 2003 and 2012 caused financial loss and distress and I am truly sorry for that. […] There have been changes in management, structure and culture. We have also invested in new systems, implemented new processes, enhanced adviser supervision and improved training.”

An investigation by Fairfax Media instigated the Senate inquiry into the Commonwealth Bank’s financial planning division and ASIC.

Whistleblower Jeff Morris, who reported the misconduct of the bank to ASIC six years ago, said in an article for The Sydney Morning Herald that neither the bank nor ASIC should be in control of the compensation program.

Commonwealth Bank of Australia CEO apologies for financial planning scandal

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Ian Narev, the CEO of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, this morning “unreservedly” apologised to clients who lost money in a scandal involving the bank’s financial planning services arm.

Last week, a Senate enquiry found financial advisers from the Commonwealth Bank had made high-risk investments of clients’ money without the clients’ permission, resulting in hundreds of millions of dollars lost. The Senate enquiry called for a Royal Commission into the bank, and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).

Mr Narev stated the bank’s performance in providing financial advice was “unacceptable”, and the bank was launching a scheme to compensate clients who lost money due to the planners’ actions.

In a statement Mr Narev said, “Poor advice provided by some of our advisers between 2003 and 2012 caused financial loss and distress and I am truly sorry for that. […] There have been changes in management, structure and culture. We have also invested in new systems, implemented new processes, enhanced adviser supervision and improved training.”

An investigation by Fairfax Media instigated the Senate inquiry into the Commonwealth Bank’s financial planning division and ASIC.

Whistleblower Jeff Morris, who reported the misconduct of the bank to ASIC six years ago, said in an article for The Sydney Morning Herald that neither the bank nor ASIC should be in control of the compensation program.

Brie Burkeman Agent

Brie Burkeman – Agent



How long have you been agent and how did you get your start Brie?

I started as a secretarial assistant at Curtis Brown (UK) thirty years ago, learnt the trade and after three years left and helped set up the Directors Guild of Great Britain. I then joined Jonathan Clowes Ltd and for sixteen years was a director there before taking a short break and setting up my own agency nine years ago. Having worked in tandem with Serafina Clarke for many years, we this month decided to consolidate our companies and so have just embarked on the next stage of life with Brie Burkeman & Serafina Clarke Ltd.

What makes your agency different than any others?

Our agency is a small, boutique agency, but we still work in all mediums; book, film, theatre and television. Being our own agency and small means the list can be as eclectic and, within commercial boundaries, as subjective as we like. I love finding that new voice but I also love the challenge of a well published or produced author who needs a new look at their career. We take the long view with our clients rather than looking at the short term.


What are you looking for specifically that you wish you would see more of?

The same thing were always looking for; original, commercial ideas combined with beautiful writing. The combination often feels like looking for the philosophers stone.

Brie what are you tired of receiving?

Badly conceived, unfinished material that isnt suitable for our agency in the first place. For instance, all the guidelines say we dont handle musicals. Does that seem to stop people sending them to us? Unfortunately no. There is so much good advice out there for writers now, not least on this site and your YouTube tips, on how to approach agents, how to prepare your material and what not to send that if a writer ignores all this information it doesnt encourage an agent to respond in the positive.

How can a new writer get your attention in a good way?

Follow the guidelines I mention, and these are available in free form in libraries, on the web etc. Get as much advice before approaching myself or another agent about the genre youre writing for and see if, for instance, the length is right. If you are writing a commercial novel for todays market and your book is only 35,000 words, its not long enough. If youre writing an authoritative book on, say, the mating habits of the American eagle, research your subject. Tell me why you are the person to write this book and what else is on the market that would be competition but why this book would be better. A new author doesnt have to be an expert in the publishing world but if they are interested in becoming a published author then some homework wouldnt go amiss.

How can a signed writer stay in your radar without driving you insane?

Im pleased to say that because our list is so small, we dont have a problem staying in touch with our clients. The beauty of email is that a short note saying hello can be replied to with an equally short note. Email is also great for helping to be in touch around the world quicker, cheaper and easier than in the past; our clients are spread around the world; they currently live in the USA, Britain, Ireland, Japan and France and we have no problems being in constant touch.

What do you wish more writers understood about you as an agent Brie that they don’t seem to?

Although being a small agency has many benefits it also of course means that we dont have the manpower to deal with the level of submissions that some of the larger agencies do. For instance a writers group in Arizona recently recommended us to their attendees and we received two hundred emails over four days. In that instance we just had to do a mass rejection as we couldnt deal with each proposal individually. As an agent, I am dependent on writers for my livelihood and I love nothing more than finding a new writer and working with them to build their career. That takes time and dedication and doesnt happen overnight. It also means reading a great deal of material and that also takes time.

What are your submission guidelines?

Our basic guidelines are available in all the good trade directories and on many of the good writers sites, but for our more detailed guidelines please visit:

This article is courtesy of

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Brie Burkeman – Agent

Rachel Weisz wants Botox ban for actors

Tuesday, July 7, 2009 

English actress Rachel Weisz thinks that Botox injections should be banned for all actors.

The 39-year-old actress, best known for her roles in the Mummy movie franchise and for her Academy Award-winning portrayal in The Constant Gardener, feels facial Botox injections leave actors less able to convey emotion and that it harms the acting industry as much as steroids harm athletes.

In an interview with UK’s Harper’s Bazaar, coming out next month, Weisz says, “It should be banned for actors, as steroids are for sportsmen,” she claims. “Acting is all about expression; why would you want to iron out a frown?”

Currently living in New York, she also mentions that English women are much less worried about their physical appearance than in the United States. “I love the way girls in London dress,” she claimed. “It’s so different to the American ‘blow-dry and immaculate grooming’ thing.”

Acting teacher and director Milton Katselas dies at age 75

Tuesday, October 28, 2008 

Acting teacher and director Milton Katselas died Friday at age 75, after suffering from heart failure at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, California. He began the Beverly Hills Playhouse in 1978 and taught acting classes there to noted actors including George Clooney and Gene Hackman. Katselas is survived by a sister and two brothers.

Katselas directed an off-Broadway production of Edward Albee’s The Zoo Story, and received a Tony Award nomination for his 1969 direction of Butterflies are Free. Actress Blythe Danner won a Tony Award for her role in Butterflies are Free under Katselas’ direction. He moved to California to direct the film version of that play, and went on to direct films and television movies. Actress Eileen Heckart received an Academy Award for her role in the film version of Butterflies are Free.

Katselas directed the San Francisco and Los Angeles productions of the play P.S. Your Cat Is Dead! by playwright James Kirkwood, Jr. In his author’s notes in the publication of the script, Kirkwood acknowledged Katselas, and wrote that the plays were “directed with incredible energy and enthusiasm by Milton Katselas, to whom I am extremely indebted”.

Katselas directed the television movie Strangers: Story of a Mother and Daughter, and actress Bette Davis received an Emmy Award for her role in the movie. Katselas taught many famous actors including Michelle Pfeiffer, Richard Gere, Robert Duvall, Jack Lemmon, Al Pacino, Goldie Hawn, Christopher Walken, Burt Reynolds, George C. Scott, Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Alec Baldwin, and Patrick Swayze. Katselas was credited with being able to nurture actors with raw talent so that they could develop strong Hollywood careers. He utilized innovative techniques in his courses – one course called “Terrorist Theatre” had a simple premise: successfully get an acting role within six weeks or leave the course.

He grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to parents who had immigrated from Greece, and graduated from Carnegie Mellon. He studied acting with Lee Strasberg in New York at the Actors Studio, and received advice from directors Joshua Logan and Elia Kazan.

Katselas was a prominent Scientologist, and a July 2007 profile on Katselas in The New York Times Magazine observed that some of his students stopped taking courses at the Beverly Hills Playhouse because they felt they had been pressured to join the Church of Scientology. According to the article, Katselas credited Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard “for much of his success in life”, and one of his students works at Scientology’s Celebrity Centre. The article commented that some in Los Angeles view the Beverly Hills Playhouse as “a recruitment center for Scientology”.

Katselas met L. Ron Hubbard after moving to California, and began studying Scientology in 1965. The New York Times Magazine reported that he had reached the level of “Operating Thetan, Level 5, or O.T. V.” in 2007. According to The New York Times Magazine when Scientologists proceed up the “The Bridge to Total Freedom” they learn the story of Xenu, and that: “75 million years ago the evil alien Xenu solved galactic overpopulation by dumping 13.5 trillion beings in volcanoes on Earth, where they were vaporized, scattering their souls.” A Church of Scientology publication, Source, lists Katselas as reaching O.T. V. in 1989.

Though some actors felt pressured to join the Church of Scientology after taking courses at the Beverly Hills Playhouse, at least one individual felt Katselas was not active enough with the organization. Actress Jenna Elfman left the Beverly Hills Playhouse because she felt Katselas was not committed enough to Scientology. Katselas had previously directed Elfman in half of Visions and Lovers: Variations on a Theme, two one-act plays about relationships that he had written himself. In 1999 Katselas had planned to adapt the script of Visions and Lovers to a film version, and Elfman was set to reprise her role from the play. In an article in Variety about the project, Elfman commented on her experience working with Katselas: “He is brilliant, and knows me so well as a person and an actress that he gets the most out of me.”

Other prominent Scientologist actors who have studied under Katselas include Giovanni Ribisi, Jason Lee, and Leah Remini. According to Rolling Stone, Katselas also recruited actress Kelly Preston to Scientology. Actress Nancy Cartwright (the voice of Bart Simpson), told Scientology publication Celebrity that Katselas motivated her to get more active in Scientology, and she stated she took the organization’s “Purification Rundown” and her life “took off completely”.

Anne Archer was introduced to Scientology while studying at the Beverly Hills Playhouse, as was former Scientologist and now outspoken critic actor Jason Beghe. Beghe told Roger Friedman of FOX News in April 2008 that “He [Katselas] gets kickbacks”, and that he was brought to a Scientology center by fellow Beverly Hills Playhouse classmate Bodhi Elfman, Jenna Elfman’s husband. In a 1998 article for Buzz Magazine, Randye Hoder wrote “In his class, Katselas is careful not to label anything as a tenet of Scientology, but there is no question that the church’s influence seeps into the playhouse.”

Anne Archer’s husband and fellow Scientologist, producer Terry Jastrow, commented to The New York Times Magazine that Katselas changed the way he experiences life on a day-to-day basis: “I go out in the world and look at human behavior now. I see a woman or man interacting with a saleslady, and I see the artistry in it. Life is an endless unspooling of art, of acting, of painting, of architecture. And where did I learn that? From Milton.”

Actor Anthony Head of Buffy the Vampire Slayer spoke highly of Katselas in a 2002 interview with San Francisco Chronicle: “He’s this wonderfully intuitive teacher and his premise is basically: The only real barriers are the ones we put in front of ourselves. If you say, ‘My character wouldn’t do that’ — bollocks! Ultimately it’s you who wouldn’t say that. Who knows what your character might do.” In the acknowledgements of her 2004 autobiography Are You Hungry, Dear?: Life, Laughs, and Lasagna, actress Doris Roberts wrote: “I thank my friend and acting teacher, the incredible Milton Katselas, for his insights, wisdom, and inspiration, which have helped make me the actress that I am.”

Katselas authored two books: Dreams Into Action: Getting What You Want, first published in 1996 by Dove Books, and Acting Class: Take a Seat, which came out earlier this month. Dreams Into Action, a New York Times Bestseller, sought to modify motivational acting exercises to the field of business.

In an interview in the 2007 book Acting Teachers of America, Katselas commented on his experiences as an acting teacher over the years: “I have very special teachers here at the Beverly Hills Playhouse—some have been with me for over twenty-five years. I believe that to make a difference over the long haul, we need to train teachers. I really care about the craft of acting. It’s absolutely necessary to take the time and patience to really develop an actor.”

Church Playground Equipment: Because All Pray And No Play Makes Church A Dull Place

Submitted by: Nicolas Breedlove10coi

With children clustering the church regularly, a well equipped playground offers a visible vicinity to gather around before and after services and socialize with peers who share similar values. Also this will keep them away from parking areas or roadways that increase their chances of getting injured. To minimize these incidences and to ensure kids have fun socializing, opt for installing playground equipment.

To kids, a playground is the most craved for and exciting area; with equipment like swings, slides, monkey bars etc.. It is one place they can never get enough of. It’s where they learn to enhance their social skills. However, in order to attract the kids towards the playground, it is essential that it is kitted with exciting and colorful equipment which the little ones can’t wait to get on.

With kids and parents frequenting the church building, having a well equipped church playground has numerous advantages:

* For the parent members of the church, it will provide a feeling of stability as they invest in a fun and safe environment for their kids to play in.


* Church playgrounds will ensure that the kids will indulge in constructive and safe activities, before and after the service rather than wandering off to the roads.

* An attractive and well equipped play space attracts families that are in search of a new church community. Thus providing an additional opportunity to reach out to more families through church-led events which in turn will help build a more cohesive community.

As you set out to place your equipment, make use of the natural elements, the property offers like the trees or boulders that make the play area even more appealing. Consider opting for brightly colored church playground equipment that can be themed. This can create a staring off point for the kids imagination. For example a jungle-themed monkey statue that can be seen from a distance lures the child towards itself and can also work as an icon to represent the structure as a whole. Or perhaps you could also incorporate interesting lines and colors that blend with the architecture of the church building, thus giving a whimsical feeling to the playground.

You can adorn your church playground with the following equipment:

* Play systems: They are devised to be an ideal fit for any location and are fairly inexpensive. They come in both the recycled plastic and plastic material. In addition to that, their vibrant colors and numerous play activities offered, makes them a popular choice amongst kids.

* Swings and seats: A playground is practically incomplete without swings, little ones simply adore them! Commercial grade playground swings make a fun and safe activity as they are strong and long lasting. These swings come in a number of designs like, arch post, tires, tripod etc..

* Independent play equipment: At a playground, individual games are just as important as playing group games. Equipment like, funnel ball, tether ball, climbers, slides, merry go rounds etc. are few of kids’ all time popular individual activities.

* Surfacing: The rubber play mulch ensures the safety of children. So, if a child was to fall off an equipment, there would be safer platform to land on, thus reducing injuries.

So, kick start looking for a supplier of church playground equipment online that offers you all of the above and much more at reasonable rates. Also ensure the equipment they offer you, are manufactured using the highest quality ADA compliant material, thus guaranteeing the longevity of your playground equipment.

About the Author: This article is written by a play system expert associated with

, a leading supplier that offers discount playground equipment.


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Vintage Wedding Cake Toppers

By Bill Hansen

Together with the guests, the best part of any party or wedding is always the cake and its decorations. So try your level best to make it memorable with vintage wedding cake toppers. Vintage wedding cake toppers are whimsical, charming, and utterly unique. Really, you could easily capture the romance of your wedding day with an heirloom vintage wedding cake topper. Opt from the most astute compilation of excellent vintage wedding cake toppers. You might get it in various forms as from Kewpie to contemporary, Fancy Flours all these are special toppers. You will surely get the widest selections of vintage toppers in the world as all toppers are truly unique pieces.

Vintage 1920s Kewpie toppers are fabulous celluloid Kewpie bride and groom wedding cake topper. This vintage cake topper dates from the early 1920s in which the pair is dressed in fantastic crepe paper finery. In this topper, the bride contains an aged white crepe paper dress with crepe paper flowers to one side. Her curtain along with veil is antique lace while the groom is dressed in a wonderful crepe paper tux, complete with bow tie. In this vintage wedding cake topper, both have string jointed arms but the groom’s arms are little loose.


Vintage 1930s cake topper might easily be said as a very elegant vintage wedding cake topper. You will notice this piece as a fantastic example of plaster with no damage. You will find this piece is in excellent condition. On the other hand, vintage 1950’s toppers are coveted vintage wedding cake topper which features the handsome groom in navy dress blues. In this vintage wedding cake topper, the bride and groom are made of bisque and hand painted.

Vintage Ethnic Toppers include a massive ivory netsuke traditional Japanese bride and groom. This awe-inspiring pair would make an exquisite wedding cake topper and a true heirloom as these pieces are intricately hand carved and signed by a master carver. This wonderful vintage wedding cake topper includes pair of netsuke which has wonderful craftsmanship with quality ivory graining. French wedding cake toppers are charming vintage wedding cake topper which is handmade in France. The particular piece is enamel over bronze and can be positioned as desired on the cake top.

If we go further, we will get the circa 1950’s-60’s vintage wedding cake topper, which will be a wonderful addition to any collection of cake toppers. In this cake topper, the vintage bride and groom are constructed out of vintage plastic and are dressed in wedding attire of the period. With a grand retro looking, the bride has a faux peal tiara with a vintage wedding dress, culminating in a gorgeous fully intact off-white vintage fabric lace wedding dress.

About the Author:

Vintage wedding cake toppers

– Stunning monogram and unique wedding cake toppers for all wedding and anniversary occasions.


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Top Hotels And Nightlife Venues Which Attract Flights To Phuket

Submitted by: Johncrystal Travel

Phuket is a very lively island set on the coasts of Thailand. It experiences a tropical monsoon type of climate. Since it lies in close proximity to the equator it shows very little variation in temperatures. The conurbation is well established for its fine dining opportunities, tourist destinations and nightlife fun. It is the largest island in Thailand. Many beaches also attract plenty of flights to Phuket like Patong beach, Karon beach, Kata Noi beach and Kamala beach to name just a few. The economy of the city depends chiefly on rubber plantation and tourism. People come to this destination to experience the one of a kind nightlife prevalent here. Some of them have been discussed in brief as under:


CC Bloom s Hotel


This hotel is located in an isolated and calm area near the Karon and Kata beaches. One can opt for trips on shopping, scuba diving and various shows at affordable prices. This place faces the Kata Bay and one can enjoy a panoramic view of the Andaman Sea from this destination. It offers its visitors with free shuttle to pick and drop from the three top beaches, Kata, Kata Noi and Karon. The restaurant caters Thai and Western cuisines. Other services include laundry, spa, continental breakfast, satellite televisions, etc. These amenities compel people to book cheap flights to Phuket.


Trisara literally means third garden in heaven. It is just a few minutes from the Phuket International Airport. It lies in the lush tropical jungle and provides the perfect privacy and peace which one looks for. It provides additional facilities like personal pools, sea view and private kitchens. It inhabits thirty nine pool villas each with two to five bedrooms along with impeccable staff providing Thai hospitality. It is small though warm and supreme. People must book early Phuket flights to be a part of this extraordinary resort and spa.

Nightlife Venues

Funtasia Group Theme Park

This group focuses on providing the best unmatched entertainment technology mixed with elegant designs which keep people in awe on their visit to the destination. It offers high quality entertainment along with educational content and pays attention in providing complete satisfaction to its customers by providing total value to their money. The Safari World and the Phuket FantaSea are the two affiliates of this project. They exhibit more than two hundred activities. Some of them include dolphin show, Orang Utan show, bird show, begula whale show, cowboy stunt show, etc. These nightlife allurements call for plenty of flights to Phuket.

Angus and Arfur O Tool s

It offers its visitors with cold beer, intimate rooms and hot sizzling food. One can enjoy the live music and live sports performed here. Angus O Tool s is a long stretch of white sand on the island of Phuket. It lies in close proximity to the Patong Beach and is perfect place to hang out with friends and family. One can enjoy local meals and drinks served here. South of Karon beach, Arfur O Tool s is ideal for surfing, swimming and other water sports. One can witness the spectacular sunset enjoying the fine dining at the restaurants present here. These exciting amenities invite plenty of cheap flights to Phuket.

About the Author: John is an experienced content writer for business development at Crystal Travel. For more information on cheap flights to Phuket and you can also book cheap flights to Jakarta and also we book Flights to Bali and can visit


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Gt Business Telecommunications Technology System

Submitted by: Dan Amert

The goal of Global Telecom is to help you zone in on the important things to your business so that these telecommunications consultants can clarify the ever-changing and often quite confusing technological world.

The team of telecommunications consultants at Global Telecom has the job of assessing, recommending and procuring the communications services that will satisfy your business needs. They will also introduce you to various industry leading advances, some of which you had no idea are available.

From wireless to computer equipment, we can help resolve the complexity of sourcing various technologies and then trying to make them work together. Information as well as communication technologies are able to give many benefits to businesses from increased efficiency, to a reduction in operational costs to better collaboration. However, when a business goes to implement these technologies, it can be a difficult process.

With Global Telecom’s Professional Services, you will have the availability to thousands of very experienced professionals who will work with you by consulting, integrating and providing resource services.

Global experts are skilled in providing experience, strategic insights and expertise to help you do the following:


1.Put together a plan that will fit the needs and goals of your business

2.Capitalize on new opportunities

3.Address critical business challenges

4.Help you maximize the use of your ICT infrastructure and business processes

The dedicated project managers at Global Telecom always go along with ISO 9001:2000 standards in an effort to bring your business the best methods, advanced tools and the industry’s best practices. When you employ the professional services from Global Telecom, you will be able to make use of only the most up-to-date laboratories, which will ensure that your business has the most effective solutions within your telecommunications environment.

These are the professional services that our telecommunication consultants provide:

1.Business Analysis Professional Services – These consultants will plan your ICT strategies and will analyze every area of your business in order to find the proper technological solution for your business.

2.Network Solutions Professional Services – These experts at Global Telecom will make sure that your IP convergences as well as any wireless network strategies will help meet the goals of your business. They will assess your business needs, plan an effective collaboration and communications strategy and make sure your technology matches your objectives.

3.Security Professional Services – The Telecommunication Consultants will address the strength of your security along with compliance requirements with strategy development, systems design, implementation, risk assessments as well as management services.

4.Business Transformation Professional Services – Your business should see additional growth as the Telecommunication Consultants work to create a competitive edge while sharing solutions for enterprise resource planning, performance management and improvement and assessment management.

5.Web Solutions Professional Services – Global Telecom’s professionals will make sure that your Web presence is improved as well as the delivery of electronic services that will have applications and solutions for information management, digital marketing, human capital management and more.

Global Telecom Business Telephone Systems provides “one-stop shopping” for businesses that want their technology infrastructure maximized for greatest effect. easily. Professionals will work with you to determine the best solutions for your business, which is especially helpful in a world that’s constantly changing what comes to technology.

About the Author: Website promotion with quality articles on relevant topics to ensure websites maintain a solid web presence online.For technology solutions, visit

for a reliable telecom system.


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