ASIC cancels licence of Sydney financial services provider

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has cancelled the licence of Sydney-based Australian Mutual Holdings after the banning of its joint executive directors in April.

Joint chief executives Jeffrey Worboys and Matthew Barnett were banned from providing financial services for six years after failing to exercise the degree of care and due diligence required and failing to act in the best interests of the Courtenay House Capital Investment Fund members.

ASIC said there was also a failure to ensure that the person’s responsible for trading funds had the requisite qualifications and experience to manage a foreign exchange and derivatives fund.

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On 28 June 2019, Peter Paul Krejci of BRI Ferrier was appointed voluntary administrator of Australian Mutual.

The terms of the cancellation allowed Australian Mutual’s AFS licence to provide financial services related to the winding up of Australian Pink Diamond Fund, Grange Capital Management Growth Plus Fund and Accelerated Trend Hedge Fund. The terms of the cancellation were effective from 5 July 2019.

ASIC Commissioner, Danielle Press, said: “A key priority for ASIC is ensuring that responsible entities take their duty to act in the best interest of investors seriously. This duty of loyalty has been described as the ‘most fundamental’ rule of trust law. The community expects responsible entities to fully comply with the best interest duty and ASIC will take legal action to enforce this.”

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