Friday 15 September 2006 06 – LAWFUEL – Law News & Law Jobs – The Au…

Friday 15 September 2006 06 – LAWFUEL – Law News & Law Jobs – The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has banned financial adviser, Mr Mark Leigh Clifton, of Corlette in New South Wales, from providing financial services for 10 years. Mr Clifton was an authorised representative of Genesys Wealth Advisers Limited (Genesys) from 14 June 2005 to 27 February 2006. Prior to that, he was a representative of Garrisons Pty Limited. Mr Clifton also operated a separate accounting practice trading as Berry Clifton Partners. Genesys terminated Mr Clifton’s authorisation as a representative after becoming aware that he was operating a private investment trust called Phalona Unit Trust (the trust) in the Hunter region of NSW which was not on Genesys’ authorised products list and that he had apparently transferred most of the funds in the trust to himself and a related entity.

A total of seven clients, mainly through their superannuation funds, invested $1.23 million in the trust from 2001 to 2003. Genesys informed ASIC about the issue and cooperated fully with ASIC’s enquiries. Mr Clifton did not inform his clients that most of the funds in the trust would be transferred to himself and a related entity. Instead, clients were misled into believing that the investments of the trust were secure, the returns were guaranteed and that the trust would invest in predominantly smaller companies.

‘To protect consumers and maintain the integrity of the financial services industry, ASIC will remove those who do not deal appropriately with client funds’, ASIC’s Executive Director of Compliance, Ms Jennifer O’Donnell said. ‘ASIC welcomes the early reporting of such misconduct by financial services licensees.’ Mr Clifton has the right to lodge an application with the Administrative Appeals Tribunal for a review of ASIC’s decision. For further information contact: Jennifer O’Donnell Executive Director, Compliance Telephone: 02 9911 2123 Mobile: 0411 549 257 Danielle Huck ASIC Media Unit Telephone: 03 9280 3407 Mobile: 0417 540 769
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