ASIC has banned Mr Robert Patrick Marie for four years from providing any financial services. Mr Marie has also been banned from controlling an entity that carries on a financial services business and from performing any function involved in the carrying on of a financial services business in any capacity.
Mr Marie was the former managing director and responsible manager of Theta Asset Management Ltd (In Liquidation) (Theta), the Responsible Entity of the Sterling Income Trust (SIT). The SIT, a registered managed investment scheme, was placed into external administration in 2019.
Mr Marie has been banned due to contraventions of the Corporations Act stemming from the issue, by Theta, of five defective Product Disclosure Statements (PDSs) for the SIT, under which $16,710,669 in total was raised from retail investors between 20 May 2016 and 1 May 2018. Theta had previously been held by the Federal Court, in civil penalty proceedings commenced by ASIC, to have failed to comply with the duties imposed on a Responsible Entity by issuing the defective PDSs. Mr Marie was found to have failed to comply with his duties as a managing director, by failing to ensure Theta complied with the Corporations Act. ASIC’s banning of Mr Marie was based on the conduct of concern to the Federal Court (20-292MR).
Financial service licensees are required to ensure that financial services are provided to clients efficiently, honestly and fairly. ASIC may ban a person who controls an entity that carries on a financial services business for a number of reasons, including if ASIC has reason to believe that the person has not complied with a financial services law.
ASIC’s investigation into the conduct of a number of entities and officers within the Sterling Group of companies continues.
ASIC provides updates on its ongoing Sterling Group investigation at www.asic.gov.au/sterling
In making the banning order, ASIC applied its new broader banning powers, implemented by the Financial Sector Reform (Hayne Royal Commission Response – Stronger Regulators (2019 Measures)) Act 2020. The amendments commenced on 18 February 2020, and amongst other things, have expanded the scope of banning orders to prohibit a person from performing any function involved in the carrying on of a financial services business in any capacity.