ASIC has banned Mr Jeffrey Worboys and Mr Matthew Barnett from providing financial services for six years following an ASIC investigation.
Mr Worboys and Mr Barnett were, until February 2018, joint chief executive officers of Australian Mutual Holdings Limited. This company is an Australian financial services licence holder and a responsible entity which operates a number of managed investment schemes, including previously managing the Courtenay House Capital Investment Fund. Mr Worboys remains as the sole chief executive officer of Australian Mutual.
ASIC found that when establishing the Courtenay House Capital Investment Fund, Mr Worboys and Mr Barnett did not exercise the degree of care and diligence required and failed to act in the best interest of the members of the fund. This included a failure to ensure that the persons responsible for trading funds had the requisite qualifications and experience to manage a foreign exchange and derivatives fund.
In summary, they:
- had not maintained the high standards expected of a financial services adviser;
- demonstrated a lack of integrity, judgment and professionalism;
- could not be relied upon to discharge the duties and obligations imposed on a provider of financial services; and
- were not competent to provide a financial service, and were likely to contravene a financial services law.
Mr Worboys and Mr Barnett both have a right to appeal to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal for a review of ASIC’s decisions.
In a separate investigation, ASIC took action to wind up Courtenay House Capital Trading Group Pty Ltd and Courtenay House Pty Ltd. The Supreme Court of NSW appointed Said Jahani and John McIerney of Grant Thornton, as joint liquidators to both companies (17-142MR).