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Friday 7 June 2013

13-134MR ASIC Bans Murray Priestley of the Lifestyle Group

ASIC has banned Murray John Priestley, formerly CEO of the Lifestyle Group, from providing financial services for three years, effective from 3 June 2013.

Mr Priestley, of Benowa, Queensland, was CEO of the Lifestyle Group of companies from 6 April 2009 until 9 December 2011.

ASIC found that Mr Priestley made misleading statements to a client when he guaranteed the client that the 'Aussie Rob Lifestyle Trader' software was not based on moving averages, when in fact he did not know how the software worked.

ASIC also found that Mr Priestley was personally involved in the development and marketing of a product named 'Elite Investor' and that he engaged in misleading or deceptive conduct, including making misleading statements to potential investors that:

  • Elite Investor would provide them with personalised trade recommendations, when the trade recommendations sent were the same for all clients

  • Elite Investor would provide profits in excess of 5% per month, when he had no reasonable grounds for making the representation

  • Lifestyle Private Wealth Pty Ltd (LPW) was a licensed financial advisor, when it wasn't, and

  • an individual financial adviser was part of LPW and had the authorisations to determine the suitability of Elite Investor for potential investors, when that was not the case.

ASIC also found that Mr Priestley authorised inadequate, conflicting and confusing information about Elite Investor to be given to potential investors.

Deputy Chairman Peter Kell said that company officers in the financial services industry have a duty to ensure that their organisation is meeting the obligations placed upon them. 'This matter shows that company officers in the financial services industry, as important gatekeepers, need to ensure that any promotional information provided about their products is factually correct and does not mislead consumers,' said Mr Kell.

ASIC found that Mr Priestley did not have a proper understanding of financial services laws and that he is not competent to provide financial services.

Background

The Lifestyle Group of companies associated with Robert Lloyd Wilson included:

  • Lifestyle Asset Management Group Pty Ltd

  • Lifestyle Investor Services Pty Ltd (LIS)

  • Lifestyle Trader Pty Ltd (Trader)

  • Lifestyle Private Wealth Pty Ltd, and

  • Aussie Rob Financial Services Pty Ltd (ARFS).

LIS was licensed by ASIC to provide financial product advice, and deal in financial products including derivatives, foreign exchange contracts and securities from 11 August 2008 until 26 July 2012.

Trader was an authorised representative of LIS from 10 September 2009 until 13 December 2011. Trader sold trading software and training and provided general advice to clients. The software sold by Trader was first promoted in Australia in about 2006 by Mr Wilson and ARFS as 'Aussie Rob Lifestyle Trader' (the ARLT software).

From about 31 January 2011, LIS promoted a new 'Elite Investor' program, which involved financial services to be provided by LIS and by an authorised representative of Independent Adviser Group Pty Ltd (IAG).

On 8 August 2011 ASIC accepted an Enforceable Undertaking from LIS, Trader and Mr Wilson after finding statements made in marketing the ARLT software were false and misleading (refer 11-161AD).

On 9 February 2012 ASIC suspended the Australian financial services (AFS) licence of LIS until 7 February 2013 due to concerns that LIS had not complied with conditions of its licence and had not complied with financial services laws. (refer 12-25AD).

On 16 April 2012 ASIC obtained orders in the Supreme Court of Queensland to wind up Trader (refer 12-71AD).

On 26 July 2012 the AFS licence of LIS was cancelled following an application by LIS.

Last updated: 07/06/2013 12:00