ASIC bans promoter of non-existent fund

Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has today banned Mr. Paul Duncan, of Carrara, Queensland, from providing financial services for four years after an ASIC investigation found he had engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct.

ASIC’s concerns related to false and/or misleading representations that appeared on the website of Active Captial Managers Pty Ltd (ACM) from as early as August 2013 in relation to ‘Exalt Managed Futures Fund’ (the fund). Mr Duncan has been the sole director of ACM since February, 2011.

The website has since put up a “under construction” page, you can view here. Moreover, Mr. Duncan’s Linkedin page shows him to be Director of Active Capital Managers Pty Ltd with a description stating: Currently Paul is CEO of Active Capital Managers Pty Ltd, his own services company and Responsible Manager on the AFS License of Exalt Global Funds Limited which has managed funds in structured debt, managed futures and specialized private equity.

ASIC was concerned that the representations were false or misleading because they were likely to give the impression that:

  • the ‘Exalt Managed Futures Fund’ (the fund) existed, and was issued by Exalt Global Fund Limited, the holder of an Australian Financial Services Licensee,
  • was fully regulated, and
  • was trading at low risk whilst generating high returns.

In fact:

  • the fund did not exist, nor was it ever in existence,
  • the fund did not operate under any financial services licence,
  • the fund was not regulated, and
  • the fund was not trading.

The ACM website did not contain any statements that the fund did not exist.

ASIC Commissioner Greg Tanzer said, “The law requires that financial products and services be offered by licensed businesses and that the promotion and advertising of financial products does not mislead or deceive investors. ASIC will act to remove any individuals or companies from the financial services that do not abide by these obligations.”

Mr. Duncan has the right to appeal to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal for a review of ASIC’s decision.

To view the ASIC release, click here.

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