A three-month review of the FBAA Code of Ethics and membership criteria has won the required support of members when presented late last week.
Subsequent to the successful vote on the implementation of the highest standard of practice of any bloodstock agent association in the world, a change of Director roles was also confirmed.
Grant Burns has passed the role of President to Craig Rounsefell, Dave Mee of Pinhook Bloodstock will become Vice-President and Louis Le Metayer of Astute Bloodstock is now Treasurer. Suman Hedge was appointed as a director.
“The FBAA has a proud history and I’m extremely positive about the future of the association with the enthusiasm and interest shown in recent years by so many of our members, old and new,” said outgoing President Grant Burns.
“I’m proud to say that we have seen a number of new members join the FBAA in the past few years of which many are in the younger demographic. This augurs very well for a great future for the association and I feel it presents as a great time for me after three years as president, to hand over the reins.
“Incoming president Craig Rounsefell has already given so much of his own time to the FBAA as a member and I feel he is a wonderful appointment as president and look forward to working with him going forward.”
Rounsefell led the review and redevelopment of the Code of Ethics and Membership Criteria, which represents best practice in bloodstock integrity.
Rounsefell said exemplary standards of transparency and ethical conduct are now demanded for investors across businesses in almost every industry and it was time for the standards of the FBAA to be upgraded.
"A high level of accountability is what is rightfully expected of our industry and we thought the Australian federation should lead the way in setting best practice for bloodstock agents globally,” Rounsefell said.
"It was also time to conduct a thorough review of membership criteria that defines who is part of the group. The goal was to bring the membership group back to what the FBAA was originally set up for; those whose primary public-facing role is as an independent Australian-based bloodstock agent.”
To conduct the Code of Ethics review, a significant study of codes from different industries took place and reviewed against relevant bloodstock industry documentation.
"I've also undertaken significant consultation with leading figures in Australian racing and around the world, as well as many respected agents within the FBAA group,” said Rounsefell.
Among those external parties consulted on the changes were Godolphin Australia’s Managing Director Vin Cox, Arrowfield Chairman John Messara, Vinery General Manager Peter Orton, Hong Kong Jockey Club Executive Director of Racing Andrew Harding, senior representatives of Magic Millions and Inglis, as well as respected agents.
Another key output of the review was a properly constructed means of redress in the case of a dispute involving an FBAA member. A Complaints Advisory Panel will be established to create an environment for clients to raise bloodstock issues, with a proper process in place to have it dealt with in an independent and fair manner.
"To have every member held to this enforceable high standard will give clients confidence when they are engaging with an FBAA agent. Our members are required to uphold the highest standards in the world," Rounsefell said.
The FBAA will focus on ensuring all new changes are in place promptly, in preparation for the 2021 yearling sales season.
Background: The Federation of Bloodstock Agents Australia was formed in 1988 to maintain, improve and develop the standards, status and services of Bloodstock Agents throughout Australia.