CAPE TOWN – The enforcement committee of Mauritius Financial Services Commission (FSC) has revoked Belvedere Management’s management license, and disqualified one of its directors, David Cosgrove, from holding any position as an officer of any licensee of the FSC for a period of five years. Cosgrove’s fellow director at RDL Management, Henriette Marie Michelle, received a similar disqualification.
Broadly this means that Cosgrove and Michelle will not be able to conduct any business within the financial services industry in Mauritius until September 2021.
The enforcement committee noted that it had found that Cosgrove was “not a fit and proper person”, due to companies of which he was a director having breached a number of regulations. Belvedere Management was one of these companies, along with RDL Management, Lancelot Global PCC, Four Elements PCC and Two Seasons PCC. It made the same finding with regards to Michelle’s involvement with RDL Management.
Cosgrove was however the only director of the other companies to be the subject of enforcement action in his personal capacity. The FSC did not reveal why it did not make similar findings about the other directors of Belvedere Management, Lancelot Global, Four Elements or Two Seasons.
The FSC noted that during Cosgrove’s tenure as director, these companies had all breached a range of regulations. The majority of these relate to failures to keep proper records of customers and checks on the sources of the funds they were investing.
However, the FSC also identified some extremely grave offences. The most notable of these was the charge that there was manipulation of the net asset value (NAV) within the Two Seasons PCC. The FSC did not however specify the scale of the discrepancy nor exactly where it had occurred.
It also noted that both Two Seasons PCC and Lancelot Global PCC had paid expenses that were not properly disclosed in their offer documents. The FSC did not identify who had received these payments, nor did it reveal the size of them.
RDL Management was found to be in breach “since its directors have served their own interests to the detriment of those of the investors”.
The FSC added that RDL Management had not taken the necessary steps to ensure that the assets of the funds it managed were invested in line with collective investment scheme (CIS) regulations. The company had also allowed transactions that were not carried out ‘at arms length’ when such transactions involved the directors of a CIS as other parties.
“The number of related party transactions entered into and the terms thereof were not carried out at arm’s length but seemed to favour the borrowers to the detriment of the collective investment scheme,” the FSC noted. “For instance, substantial amounts of money had been loaned out without any collateral, loans had been given interest free, failure by borrowers to repay the loans did not carry any penalty and repayment periods for the loans had been repeatedly extended.”
The FSC noted that it had made the decision to disqualify Cosgrove after “due consideration” of written representations that he had made.
Following the announcement of enforcement actions against Belvedere Management, Cosgrove and Michelle, the FSC noted that it had appointed a liquidator to perform an “orderly dissolution” of the businesses of the three fund companies – Lancelot Global PCC, Four Elements PCC and Two Seasons PCC.
Certain cells within these funds have already been allowed to relocate, which indicates that the FSC was satisfied that their assets were all accounted for. Those that remain will now be dissolved and investors paid out.
Moneyweb requested further clarification from the FSC on a number of issues raised by the actions, but had not yet received a response.
Cosgrove has indicated that he intends to request a review of the ruling. He has 21 days in which to do so, and said that he would provide further information in due course.
The full notices from the FSC can be read through the links below:
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