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Gregg Medcraft, ASIC Commissioner

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Former ARP Growth Fund operator prevented from participating in financial services, managing companies

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The Australian Securities and Investments Commission has accepted an enforceable undertaking (EU) from the former operator of the ARP Growth Fund (ARP) permanently preventing him from working in the Australian financial services industry or managing a corporation.

Tony Maher, who changed his name from Paul Gresham, entered into the undertaking after an ASIC investigation found, among other things, he engaged in misleading conduct and failed to disclose conflicts of interest, resulting in him gaining financial benefits from various financial deals.

Maher owned and controlled PST Management Pty Limited (PSTM), the company that acted as the investment manager of ARP. ARP was a managed investment scheme run by failed fund manager Trio Capital Limited (Trio). In this role he identified and recommended investments for ARP and its predecessor Professional Pensions Pooled Superannuation Trust (PPPST).

Maher received undisclosed payments of more than AUD2 million arising from investments he recommended for ARP and PPPST. In accepting these undisclosed payments Maher created a conflict of interest for himself.

ASIC was also concerned Maher engaged in misleading and/or deceptive conduct when valuing ARP’s largest investment. ASIC was also concerned that Maher failed to undertake adequate due diligence in respect of some investments that he recommended for ARP/PPPST in circumstances where he knew that he had a conflict of interest.

ASIC Chairman Greg Medcraft (pictured) says critical gatekeepers in the financial services system like investment managers must do their job to ensure confident and informed investors.

‘Investment managers who engage in misleading and deceptive conduct will not be tolerated,’ he says.

Medcraft says Maher’s exclusion from financial services and managing companies was the latest outcome from ASIC’s investigation of the Trio collapse.

ASIC’s investigation into the conduct of Maher is continuing.

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