Bruce Love's obituary to the once glittering career of bon viveur David Aaron should be a salutary lesson to other firms with big, mass-mailable client banks.
While the PIA issued no guidelines specific to the marketing of Scarps, the issue of suitable risk warnings in promotional literature has been with us for many years.
How can something as fundamental as this have been overlooked by a company of such respected and long established pedigree as David M. Aaron?
The problems that have led to the downfall of Aaron's business would very probably never have happened if the firm been a member of a (good) network.
The reason for this is that before member firms are allowed to issue any marketing and promotional material (of their own), this is subject to rigorous examin-ation prior to approval.
At the time, all the nitpicking and to'ing and fro'ing are a pain in the neck, I will admit, but those of us who have gone though the process must surely now be very glad we did.
Research bulletins are issued regularly which also include risk ratings for such products (some are firmly not approved for recommendation) and mandatory paragraphs for the relevant letters of recommendation.
Someone has to spend time (and thus be paid for) doing this kind of groundwork so why not tap into a centralised facility that does it for you?
A firm the size of David Aaron's could probably have negotiated with a network a very modest retention rate which would have been offset by all sorts of savings in-house.
It might have dented his pride and spirit of indep-endence a bit but such a price would surely have been worth paying compared with what has happened now.