Shield Master Fund

ASIC will update this webpage when important steps take place in relation to this matter. We suggest you visit this page regularly for updates.

What has happened

Background

The Shield Master Fund (Shield) is a managed investment scheme that was registered in May 2021.

Keystone Asset Management Ltd (ACN 612 443 008, Australian Financial Services Licence 491477) (Keystone) is the responsible entity for Shield. Keystone is based in Melbourne.

Since 27 April 2020 the directors of Keystone have been:

  • Paul Chiodo (27 April 2020 – 27 May 2024)
  • Ilya Frolov (27 April 2020 – 29 December 2023)
  • Mark Yorston (27 April 2020 – current)
  • Louie Kortesis (29 December 2023 – current)
  • Maadhvi Patel (27 May 2024 – current)

Why did ASIC commence Court action against Keystone and Mr Chiodo?

ASIC took this Court action to protect investor funds while its investigation continues (24-129 MR) into concerns about the management and operation of Shield and the associated risks to investors. Some of these concerns include:

  • The current financial position of Keystone and Shield is uncertain. Keystone recently lodged audited FY2023 financial statements for Keystone and Shield, however the auditor has disclaimed an opinion as there was insufficient information provided;
  • a large proportion of the funds held by Shield have been directed to a fund which made loans to various companies associated with Mr Paul Chiodo to fund property developments; and
  • ensuring there is independent oversight with respect to any payments going forward.

What is happening with my investment in Shield?

Keystone decided to stop redemptions in Shield in February 2024. (KAM 02042024 - Notice to Members). Since that time, investors have not been able to access their funds.

ASIC is not able to provide legal or financial advice. ASIC’s Moneysmart website has information on how to choose a financial adviser.

Shield has been listed on the following superannuation (or other) platforms:

  • Macquarie Wrap
  • NQ Super (Equity Trustees)
  • Super Simplifier (Equity Trustees)

If you have invested in Shield via a superannuation or investment platform then you can obtain information about what this means for your investment from the provider of this platform:

Platform Super trustee Email contact Phone contact
Macquarie Wrap Macquarie Investment Management Ltd wrapkeycontact@macquarie.com 1800 095 568
NQ Super Equity Trustees Superannuation Limited

info@nqsuper.com.au

info@nqpension.com.au

1300 986 450
Super Simplifier Equity Trustees Superannuation Limited supersimplifier@dash.com.au 1300 726 008

Important Information for investors in Shield

People wishing to provide information to ASIC are invited to contact the investigation team via email at shield.queries@asic.gov.au.

ASIC is aware that authorised representatives of the following Financial Services Licence holders have provided financial advice recommending that clients invest in Shield. If you have a complaint or require further information regarding the financial advice provided to you, you can contact the relevant licence holder listed in the table below:

Financial Services Licence holders Email contact Phone contact

Interprac Financial Planning Pty Ltd

(AFSL 246638)
compliance@interprac.com.au (03) 9209 9777

MWL Financial Services Pty Ltd

(AFSL 235096)
admin@mwl.com.au

(03) 9866 5888

Financial Services Group Australia Pty Ltd

(AFSL 225985)
admin@fsga.com.au

(03) 9961 0524

Next Generation Advice Pty Ltd

(AFSL 1296335)
admin@nextgenadvice.com.au

(07) 2000 4545

If you have concerns about your superannuation or investment platform provider, you may wish to lodge a complaint with the relevant entity listed in the table below:

Platform Super trustee Email contact Phone contact
Macquarie Wrap Macquarie Investment Management Ltd

complaints@macquarie.com

1800 095 568
NQ Super Equity Trustees Superannuation Limited

info@nqsuper.com.au

info@nqpension.com.au

1300 986 450

Super Simplifier Equity Trustees Superannuation Limited

supersimplifier@dash.com.au

1300 726 008

If your complaint is not resolved, you may wish to contact the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA). AFCA is an independent External Dispute Resolution scheme that deals with consumer and small business complaints about financial firms.

AFCA can be contacted by:

  • phone on 1800 931 678, or
  • lodging a complaint online at the AFCA website.

For further information in relation to resolving disputes with financial firms, please see ASIC’s Information Sheet 174

You may also wish to consider seeking financial advice. ASIC’s Moneysmart website has information on how to choose a financial adviser.

You may also wish to contact your superannuation trustee or Keystone for further information about your investment.

Enforcement updates

7 February 2024 – ASIC halts offers of Shield Master Fund

ASIC has made interim stop orders on four product disclosure statements (PDSs) for classes of units of the Shield Master Fund (ARSN 650112057) (Fund), a registered managed fund promoted by Keystone Asset Management Ltd (Keystone).

For more information please see ASIC’s media release 24-018MR.

18 June 2024 – Federal Court freezes assets of Shield Master Fund

ASIC has obtained interim orders from the Federal Court freezing the assets of the Shield Master Fund (Shield), a registered managed fund whose responsible entity is Keystone Asset Management Ltd (Keystone).

For more information please see ASIC’s media release 24-129MR.

27 June 2024 – Court appoints independent party to verify payments made from the Shield Master Fund

The Federal Court has appointed Jason Tracy and Lucica Palaghia of Deloitte to have full control of the bank accounts of the Shield Master Fund (Shield).

For more information please see ASIC’s media release 24-137MR.

What is ASIC going to do next?

ASIC’s investigation into the conduct of Keystone and its officers, representatives and related entities is continuing. We encourage you to check this webpage regularly for any further updates.

ASIC is concurrently investigating a number of persons and entities involved in conduct where members of the public were cold called and received financial advice to invest in Shield via a superannuation platform.

The fact that ASIC is investigating any person or entity, should not be construed as an indication by ASIC that the law has been broken.

ASIC will publish media releases in relation to further court proceedings as they occur.

Further support and information

Further support is available if you need it

We understand this may be a confusing or worrying time for you.

If you are experiencing financial difficulty, you can speak to an independent financial counsellor for free by contacting the National Debt Helpline (NDH) on 1800 007 007 (9:30am to 4.30pm in your local Australian time zone, Monday to Friday). The NDH may not be able to assist with your SMSF specifically.

You can also find a financial counselling agency using the map on ASIC’s Moneysmart website.

If you are experiencing distress and would like to speak to someone, further support is available at:

How can I receive further updates?

ASIC’s investigation into the conduct of Keystone, its officers, representatives and related entities in connection with the Shield Master Fund is continuing.

ASIC will publish further updates on this webpage.

Any person who is concerned they have invested in Shield or who wants to provide information to ASIC can contact ASIC’s investigation team by email at shield.queries@asic.gov.au.

Relevant Media Releases

  • 24-018MR ASIC halts offers of Shield Master Fund
  • 24-129MR Federal Court freezes assets of Shield Master Fund
  • 24-137MR Court appoints independent party to verify payments made from the Shield Master Fund
Last updated: 22/07/2024 07:32