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Tuesday 10 June 2014

14-124MR ASIC bans former Victorian client adviser for five years

ASIC has banned Sebastian Konjevic from providing financial services for five years after an investigation found he had engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct.

Mr Konjevic, of Wodonga, Victoria, was a client adviser of UBS AG (UBS), the holder of an Australian financial services licence, from 26 September 2005 to 11 April 2013.

ASIC found Mr Konjevic had engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct under the Corporations Act 2001 (Corporations Act) because he:

  • had not adhered to various UBS codes of conduct, including the Code of business conduct and ethics of UBS, Gifts policy and Corruption policy, and was in a position of conflict, and

  • was likely to have misled his employer and UBS Wealth Management Australia Ltd (UBS Wealth) into assuming that he was complying with the various codes of conduct and relevant policies, and was not in a position of conflict as required under those policies, when this was not the case.

ASIC’s investigation found that between 19 March 2012 and 15 August 2012, under an arrangement with Astra Resources PLC (Astra), Mr Konjevic stood to receive 900,000 Astra shares and referrals from Astra of its shareholders to Mr Konjevic to act as their adviser if he caused current UBS clients to acquire Astra shares and if he assisted Astra in obtaining UBS custody services.

Several UBS clients invested a total of $1,000,000 in Astra on Mr Konjevic’s recommendation and, as a result, 900,000 Astra shares were received by a nominee of Mr Konjevic. The receipt of the Astra shares was not disclosed to UBS or UBS Wealth.

ASIC Commissioner Greg Tanzer said, ‘Financial advisers are required to avoid actual or potential conflicts of interest and abide by the policies their employers have in place to manage this. Advisers who fail to meet these obligations and pursue their own interests will be removed from the industry.’

UBS Wealth, who cooperated with ASIC’s investigation, reported Mr Konjevic’s conduct to ASIC and terminated his employment in April 2013.

Mr Konjevic has the right to appeal to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal for a review of ASIC’s decision.

Background

ASIC has commenced separate court action against Astra, its directors, a former director and Astra Consolidated Nominees Pty Ltd alleging breaches of the Corporations Act relating to fundraising (refer: MR 14-108). Astra is registered in the United Kingdom.

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Last updated: 10/06/2014 12:00