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Directors of SPI companies agree to enforceable undertakings

 

Media release
MR No. 2014 – 039
11 November 2014

The Financial Markets Authority (FMA) today confirmed that Murray Rex Alcock and Allister Ronald Knight (the Directors), of the various entities comprising the SPI group of companies (including SPI Property Fund Limited), have provided enforceable undertakings to the FMA. The Directors have undertaken not to participate in seeking or holding investment funds from the public for five years and to repay SPI Property Fund Limited investors.

The undertakings were agreed between the FMA and the Directors after the FMA completed its investigation into the conduct of the Directors, and reached the view that it was likely that the Directors had breached financial markets legislation.

The Directors were involved in managing property investment entities in New Zealand. In particular, the FMA had concerns regarding the Directors' management of investor funds associated with the SPI entities. The FMA also had concerns about the compliance standards of the SPI entities including apparent failures to:

  • comply with financial reporting requirements
  • hold investors subscriptions on trust
  • repay subscriptions owed to investors in relation to SPI Property Fund Limited
  • keep investors adequately informed about the performance of their investments.

In response to these concerns, the Directors have undertaken:

  • not to act as a director, promoter or CEO or CFO (or equivalent position) of any companies that seek or hold investment funds from the public for five years
  • to repay outstanding subscriptions owed to investors in SPI Property Fund Limited
  • to ensure the filing of audited financial statements for SPI Capital Limited for the years ending 31 March 2011, 2012 and 2013
  • not to participate in the business, including management, of the SPI entities.

Belinda Moffat, Director of Enforcement, said “The enforceable undertakings agreed in this case are a pragmatic and effective way to address the FMA’s concerns about the conduct and poor compliance by the Directors. This outcome provides a process to repay investors, responds to past misconduct and also provides protection to the market and investors. Keeping investors updated by providing financial statements is a key part of putting customers’ interests first, maintaining their trust and enabling investors to make informed financial decisions.”

The full undertakings are available here.

ENDS

Contact:
Andrew Park
09 967 1215
021 220 6770
andrew.park@fma.govt.nz

Background

As a separate matter, FMA has also brought proceedings alleging that Murray Alcock and Allister Knight, as Directors of SPI Property Limited, failed to deliver financial statements to the Registrar of Companies under ss 18(1) & 38(b) Financial Reporting Act 1993 (FRA).

Guilty pleas were entered by Messrs Alcock and Knight to three charges for breaches of ss 18(1) & 38(b) on 31 October 2014 and sentencing will take place in the Auckland District Court on 29 January 2015.