IOOF top brass face ban

Shares dive af­ter APRA moves to dis­qual­ify ex­ecs

Weekend Gold Coast Bulletin - - BUSINESS -

UN­DER siege wealth ad­vice gi­ant IOOF saw its share price fall more than 35 per cent amid rev­e­la­tions five se­nior em­ploy­ees could face dis­qual­i­fi­ca­tion from run­ning su­per funds.

The ac­tion stems from claims aired at the fi­nance royal com­mis­sion that IOOF used su­per­an­nu­a­tion fund mem­bers’ own money to com­pen­sate them af­ter an in­vest­ment bungle.

The Aus­tralian Pru­den­tial and Reg­u­la­tion Au­thor­ity yesterday be­gan Fed­eral Court dis­qual­i­fi­ca­tion pro­ceed­ings against the five busi­ness lead­ers from be­ing pen­sion fund trustees. The reg­u­la­tor claims the five failed to act in the best in­ter­ests of su­per­an­nu­a­tion fund mem­bers. IOOF shares fell 35.8 per cent to $4.60.

This is a huge fall from the $10.72 shares were trad­ing at the end of De­cem­ber last year.

The wealth ad­vi­sor put out a state­ment say­ing it was “dis­ap­pointed” with APRA’s ac­tion. “IOOF be­lieves that these al­le­ga­tions are mis­con­ceived, and it and its ex­ec­u­tives in­tend to vig­or­ously de­fend the pro­ceed­ings,” the IOOF state­ment said.

Fac­ing dis­qual­i­fi­ca­tion pro­ceed­ings are chief Christo­pher Ke­la­her, chair­man Ge­orge Ve­nar­dos, chief fi­nan­cial of­fi­cer David Coul­ter, gen­eral man­ager of le­gal, risk and com­pli­ance Paul Vine, and gen­eral coun­sel Gary Rior­dan.

“If suc­cess­ful, the dis­qual­i­fi­ca­tion pro­ceed­ings would pro­hibit the above in­di­vid­u­als from be­ing or act­ing as a re­spon­si­ble per­son of a trus­tee of a su­per­an­nu­a­tion en­tity,” APRA said. APRA is also seek­ing to im­pose ad­di­tional con­di­tions on the firm. IOOF must re­spond to the show cause no­tice within 14 days.

Also yesterday, ANZ ac­knowl­edged the APRA move clouds the planned sale of ANZ’s su­per busi­ness to IOOF.

ANZ agreed to sell its OnePath Pen­sions and In­vest­ments busi­ness to IOOF in Oc­to­ber last year for about a bil­lion dol­lars. “Given the sig­nif­i­cance of APRA’s ac­tion, we will as­sess the var­i­ous op­tions avail­able to us while we seek ur­gent in­for­ma­tion from both IOOF and APRA,” ANZ deputy chief Alexis Ge­orge said.

APRA deputy chair He­len Rowell said her or­gan­i­sa­tion had been seek­ing to re­solve its con­cerns with IOOF over sev­eral years but con­sid­ered it was now nec­es­sary to take stronger ac­tion.

IOOF chief Chris Ke­la­her.

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