ASIC suspends Perth-based AFS licence

ASIC managed investment scheme AFS license

4 August 2023
| By Jasmine Siljic |
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NWQ Capital Management’s Australian financial services (AFS) licence has been suspended due to unmet financial requirements as ASIC cracks down on market misconduct. 

The Perth-based investment firm failed to hold sufficient net assets which were required to meet the licence conditions. ASIC’s suspension would last until 25 January 2024.

After acquiring its AFS licence in January 2008, NWQ Capital Management offered portfolio management services and was the trustee of two wholesale unregistered managed investment schemes: the NWQ Global Markets Fund and the NWQ Diversified Equity Fund.

The suspension of its licence, which previously allowed it to deal in financial products, provide financial advice and custodial or depositary services to wholesale clients, prohibits NWQ from offering financial services, including any new interests in their schemes. 
 
Financial services relating to day-to-day operations, winding up or appointing a replacement trustee of the schemes were allowed to continue. 

NWQ Capital Management is able to apply for a review of the court’s decision to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.

The news followed after ASIC recently revealed its enforcement statistics relating to financial advice misconduct in the first half of 2023. 

As of 30 June 2023, more than $109 million in civil penalties were issued, alongside 125 individuals who were prosecuted with criminal charges.

“Strong, targeted enforcement action” against market misconduct was pledged by ASIC.

“Promoting market integrity and addressing misconduct that places consumers and investors at risk are enduring priorities for ASIC,” said Sarah Court, the regulator’s deputy chair.

“Our commitment to insider trading and market manipulation deterrence continues and we expect further action for related misconduct in the coming months.”

Investment management misconduct received the highest number of enforcement actions, which saw 18 administrative enforcement outcomes, six civil ones and one criminal outcome.
 

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