Fund Product, Company and Regulatory Update as at 24 April


Company Updates

Colonial names board candidates and prepares IPO
Colonial First State Global Asset Management is preparing an initial public offer (IPO) and listing on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX). The IPO is expected to be completed by the end of 2018, subject to necessary approvals and market conditions. The Commonwealth Bank has approached several candidates who have agreed to be non-executive directors on the investment manager’s board following the potential IPO. Candidate directors include James Millar, Richard Wastcoat, Susan Doyle, Gail Pemberton, and John Mulcahy.

Regulatory Updates

Government heavily increases penalties, gives ASIC more power
The Government has expanded ASIC’s abilities to ban individuals from working in any role in the finance industry where they are found to be incompetent, unfit, or improper. ASIC’s power to revoke, refuse, or cancel credit or financial services licenses has also been increased, and will be given access to more telecommunications intercept material.

Individual penalties for serious criminal offences under the Corporations Act have been raised to a maximum of three times the benefits or 10 years’ imprisonment and/or $945,000. Corporations could be given a $9.45 million fine or three times benefit of 10 per cent of annual turnover. A range of other civil penalties have also been increased; maximum civil penalties for corporations are now $10.5 million (previously $1 million) and $1.05 for individuals (previously $200,000).

ASIC winds up operator and illegal investment scheme
ASIC has obtained orders from the Federal Court to wind up VKK Investment Unit Trust, an illegal investment scheme, as well as the operator and trustee of the scheme, Gem Management Group. The VKK investment scheme’s principal asset is a piece of land located in Keysborough in Victoria. Roughly 125 investors invested approximately $22 million into the scheme, which has been operating since May 2010 with the expectation the land would be re-zoned, but that never occurred.