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16-035MR ASIC bans former director and responsible manager of Macquarie subsidiary
ASIC has banned Mr Timothy Hornibrook of Clovelly, New South Wales, from providing financial services for a period of six years.
Mr Hornibrook, formerly a director and responsible manager of Australian financial services licensee, Macquarie Agricultural Funds Management Ltd (MAFML), was banned after ASIC found that he contravened financial services laws whilst he was a director and responsible manager.
In early 2011, Mr Hornibrook, a former co-Head and Head of Macquarie Agricultural Funds Management (MAFM), along with some members of the MAFM sales team conceived the concept of a fake family office, named the Brook Family Office (BFO). The sales team then used two email addresses for the BFO to extract confidential information from MAFML's competitors in the agricultural investment sector on the pretence that it was assessing potential investment opportunities for its funds under management.
ASIC found that Mr Hornibrook had breached his duties as an officer of a responsible entity of a registered managed investment scheme by:
- failing to act honestly;
- misusing the information he acquired as a director of MAFML in order to gain an improper advantage for himself, MAFML and/or Macquarie Crop Partners LP (MCP); and
- misusing his position as director of MAFML to gain an advantage for MAFML and/or MCP.
The ASIC delegate said Mr Hornibrook's conduct was 'extremely serious, that he was in a position of responsibility and that general deterrence is an important factor in this case.'
ASIC Commissioner Greg Tanzer said that 'The deceptive conduct of Mr Hornibrook was not inadvertent nor was it the result of a momentary lapse. It was committed over a number of years and was intended to gain an advantage for himself and the Macquarie business for which he was responsible.'
Mr Hornibrook has the right to appeal to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal for a review of ASIC's decision.
ASIC's investigations are ongoing.
This matter was brought to ASIC's attention via a news report covering Mr Hornibrook's conduct in May 2014.
Family offices are private wealth management advisory firms that serve high net worth investors.
MAFML is the Responsible Entity of the registered managed investment scheme, Macquarie Pastoral Fund, and direct subsidiary of Macquarie Group Limited.
Mr Hornibrook was a director of MAFML between February 2010 and May 2014. He was also a responsible manager of MAFML between March 2012 and May 2014.
Mr Hornibrook was a former director of a number of subsidiaries and/or related entities of Macquarie Group Limited, including MCP, a Delaware limited partnership.
MAFM was an internally structured business which fell under the Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets division. Between May 2011 and March 2013, the sales team used two BFO email addresses to send emails to at least nine competitor fund managers based in Australia and overseas, all of which were known by the sales team to be direct competitors of MAFML. The emails purported to come from the BFO and contained a "Request for Information" document containing a list of questions, which sought information from MAFML's competitors such as company background, investment process, fund performance and fees.
The sales team intended to use the information obtained by the BFO in order to give MAFML and/or MCP a commercial advantage against its competitors.