ASIC bans CEOs of Australian Mutual Holdings Limited from providing financial services for 6 years

Maria Nikolova

Mr Jeffrey Worboys and Mr Matthew Barnett have been found to be incompetent to provide a financial service, and to be likely to contravene a financial services law.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) today announces the imposition of a ban on Mr Jeffrey Worboys and Mr Matthew Barnett. The duo has been banned from providing financial services for six years following an investigation by the Australian regulator.

Mr Worboys and Mr Barnett were, until February 2018, joint chief executive officers of Australian Mutual Holdings Limited. Mr Worboys remains as the sole chief executive officer of Australian Mutual. Australian Mutual Holdings Limited is an Australian financial services licence holder and a responsible entity which operates a raft of managed investment schemes, including previously managing the Courtenay House Capital Investment Fund.

ASIC has determined 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.

Mr Worboys and Mr Barnett have been found to have failed to maintain the high standards expected of a financial services adviser, and to have failed to demonstrate a lack of integrity, judgment and professionalism. In addition, they 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.

ASIC notes that Mr Worboys and Mr Barnett both have a right to appeal to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal for a review of ASIC’s decisions.

Let’s recall that, back in May 2017, 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.

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