The Australian financial regulator, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), has issued out an official announcement on Friday. This announcement detailed the cancellation of the Australian Financial Services (AFS) license of one Global Merces Funds Management Limited, a/k/a Global Merces.
Liquidation Proceedings Affecting Schemes
This license cancellation had already gone in effect on the 20th of July, 2020. ASIC explained that the license was revoked due to the company itself, Global Merces, having gone into liquidation. As one would imagine, going in liquidation tends to have an effect on a company’s capacity to do business.
Global Merces stands as the responsible entity of Global Merces Access Fund ARSN 604 201 952. Alongside this, it’s responsible for Covesta ARSN 625 625 803 and Global Merces Equities Fund ARSN 604 220 662. For the sake of convenience, these will all be collectively referred to as schemes within the article.
Suspension Leading To Cancellation
The cancellation of the license comes just after the Australian regulator had suspended Global Merce’s license. This was done after an external administrator was appointed to the company on the 13th of January, 2020. Prior to it being revoked, the asset managed had proudly held AFS License no. 460883 since the 28th of February, 2015.
On the 31st of January, 2020, both Anthony Norman Connely and Micheal John Hill were appointed as several and joint liquidators to the asset manager. The liquidators were capable of transferring Global Merces Equities Fund, Global Merces Access Fund, as well as Covesta to a new responsible entity. This applied all the way to the 31st of July, 2020. Under the license’s cancellation, liquidators are now capable of preserving or investigating affairs and assets within the schemes. Furthermore, they are now allowed to wind them up during this period, as well.
ASIC Cracking Down
As it stands now, a notable trend can be seen in the increase of licenses either being suspended or wholesale canceled by the Australian regulator. As a testament to this, the regulator had recently suspended the AFS license to Union Standard International Group, which had operated under the brand of USGFX.
It was back in July when ASIC had summarily canceled the AFS license for Forex Capital Trading Pty Ltd, or Forex CT. Forex CT stood as an over-the-counter (OTC) and retail derivatives issuer, which saw its license canceled after misleading, deceptive, and unconscionable conduct was made. Alongside this, an overall failure to manage conflicts of interest were cited.