THE new head of embattled financial adviser Collingwood Investments has given an undertaking to resolve the investor problems that sparked a massive probe by the territory's regulators. Edward Pantani, a former Osaka branch manager for the group, also said the company would boost the range of services on offer to investors. Mr Pantani last week purchased the company from Old Mutual - South Africa's biggest life-insurance company, with assets totalling US$35 billion - for an undisclosed amount. Collingwood had been dogged by investor complaints that triggered a 10-month investigation by the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC). The company was reprimanded for mis-selling investment products. Its former managing director, Grant Wettle, was criticised for failing to enforce safeguards and alert investors to the risks of early encashment of investment-linked insurance products. The SFC probe involved the review of hundreds of files and the cross-examination under oath of past and current staff. 'I want to resolve the issues in Hong Kong. I do not know what that involves at the moment. But I know there have been problems and that there are still client complaints,' Mr Pantani said. 'I will rectify the problems of the past, and I am aware that there may be others. I have bought the company warts and all.' Old Mutual said the sale was forced because regulators insisted the company act as either broker or agent. This gave rise to a potential conflict of interest in selling Old Mutual products because Collingwood claimed it was an independent adviser. Mr Pantani said that in future the company would be an independent financial adviser and Old Mutual products would form only part of an enhanced product range. In practice, this means the adviser will be acting on behalf of the investor rather than as an agent for Old Mutual. According to the SFC, investors should query their adviser's status. Is the adviser acting on your behalf, or representing an insurance or investment company? An official for the regulator said: 'A person's business title does not indicate the class of licence that person may hold. 'A licensed investment adviser, unlike a broker, may only be authorised to give you advice, not to hold your money or assets. 'Find out what category of licence he or she holds, and check whether there are any conditions imposed on it. Do not make any financial deposits with someone who is not licensed to look after your money or securities. 'If you have any doubts about the category of licence, contact the SFC.' Investors should also remember that although some advisers offer a range of services - such as research and recommendation - others are 'execution only', which means the 'adviser' will act only upon receipt of an order from its client. 'Check that the adviser handles the investments in which you are interested, the official said. 'Also find out whether the person you are considering will offer a genuinely personal service or whether parties other than they and their direct staff could be operating your account.'