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Wednesday 24 August 2011

11-182MR Remaining Trio former directors excluded from financial services industry for four years

ASIC today announced it has entered into enforceable undertakings (EUs) with the remaining two former directors of Trio Capital Limited (Trio), Keith Finkelde and David O’Bryen.

Mr Finkelde was a non-executive director from April 2007. He was also a member of the Investment Committee of Trio from July 2008. Mr Finkelde has agreed not to act in any role within the financial services industry for four years. He has also agreed not to act as a director of any corporations for four years.

Mr O’Bryen was a non-executive director of Trio from June 2007. He was chairman of the Risk and Compliance Committee of Trio during 2008 and 2009. Mr O’Bryen has agreed not to act in any role within the financial services industry for four years. He has also agreed not to act as a director of any corporations for four years with the exception of a company which acts as trustee of Mr O’Bryen’s self managed superannuation fund.

ASIC Chairman Greg Medcraft said:

‘ASIC is serious about holding gatekeepers to account. Since July 2011, ASIC has entered into enforceable undertakings with each of Trio’s former directors to prevent them from operating in the financial services industry, and to deter others. Our investigations into the Trio matter continue.’

Today’s announcement follows the EU entered into with former Trio chairman David Andrews on August 11, 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 (AFS) licence suspension of Seagrims Pty Ltd and the financial services banning of the directors of Seagrims.

It also follows the recent sentencing of Mr Shawn Richard to three years and nine months imprisonment for two charges of dishonest conduct in relation to his role as a director of the investment manager of the Astarra Strategic Fund.

Background

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.

View the enforceable undertakings

Last updated: 23/08/2011 12:00