15. August 2011 09:16
ASIC has announced it has entered into an enforceable undertaking (EU) with former chairman and director of Trio Capital Limited (Trio) Mr David Andrews.
Mr Andrews was a non executive director between November 2005 and January 2006 and then again from July 2006. He was Chairman of the board of Trio from February 2007. He was also chairman of the Investment Committee of Trio and a member of the Risk and Compliance Committee of Trio. Mr Andrews has agreed not to act in any role within the financial services industry for nine years. With the exception of a small private company in which Mr Andrews is sole director, he has also agreed not to act as a director of any corporation for nine years.
ASIC Chairman, Greg Medcraft, said: ‘We believe Mr Andrews failed in his duties as officer of the responsible entity of the Astarra Strategic Fund and therefore it's inappropriate for him to be involved in the financial services industry or act as director. This is the fifth outcome arising from ASIC's investigation of Trio Capital and its related entities as we continue to hold gatekeepers in the financial services industry to account. Also, it comes on the eve of the sentencing of Shawn Richard, investment manager of the related Astarra Strategic Fund.'
The announcement follows the EUs entered into with former Trio directors Rex Phillpott and Natasha Beck last month, the EU from Kilara Financial Solutions Pty Ltd, the Australian financial services licence suspension of Seagrims Pty Ltd and the financial services banning of the directors of Seagrims.
Mr Shawn Richard has pleaded guilty to two charges of dishonest conduct in relation to his role as a director of the investment manager of the Astarra Strategic Fund.
Trio Capital was formerly the trustee of five superannuation entities and the responsible entity for 25 managed investment schemes, including the Astarra Strategic Fund. The Astarra Strategic Fund was a fund of hedge funds which in December 2009 had reported assets of $125 million. Investors in the Astarra Strategic Fund included several superannuation trusts managed by Trio Capital as well as self-managed superannuation funds and direct investors.
The Astarra Strategic Fund invested in several questionable overseas hedge funds, mostly based in the Caribbean. ASIC commenced an investigation into Trio Capital in October 2009 over concerns about the legitimacy of its investments. Trio Capital was placed into administration on 16 December 2009 and on 16 April 2010 the NSW Supreme Court ordered that the Astarra Strategic Fund be wound up. Since this time the liquidator of Trio Capital has been unable to recover the vast majority of the investments made by the Astarra Strategic Fund.
Investigations into Trio Capital are continuing by both ASIC and the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority.