10-year ban for final Trio director

The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) has accepted an enforceable undertaking (EU) from a thirteenth Trio Capital director, bringing the planned actions against the directors of the failed firm to a close.

David Guy Millhouse has undertaken not to act as a trustee or as a responsible officer of a body corporate that is a trustee, investment manager or custodian of an APRA-regulated superannuation entity for a period of 10 years.

The EU comes after Mr Millhouse announced in August that he intended to take legal action against APRA and called for an independent inquiry into the prudential regulator's actions.

Mr Millhouse said at the time that he had suffered personal losses of more than $10 million as well as damage to his “long-standing reputation as a company director” as a result of APRA's allegations.

However, in the EU Mr Millhouse acknowledged APRA's concerns and “expressed regret at the consequences of the matters that are the subject of APRA’s concerns and the losses caused to members of the superannuation entities from the failure of investments in related parties”, according to a statement by the regulator.

Mr Millhouse was a director of Trio Capital from 5 November 2003 to 12 October 2005 and a member of the investment committee of Trio from 29 January 2004 to 12 October 2005, prior to the collapse of the firm in 2009.

APRA began legal proceedings against Mr Millhouse in August, but accepted the EU this week in lieu of further legal action.

The regulator was concerned that during his tenure as a director of Trio Mr Millhouse approved around $85 million in investments without adequate due diligence and in the absence of independent recommendations.

The investments were not made at arms length, and Mr Millhouse failed in his duties as a director of Trio and did not act in the best interests of members, said APRA.

However, an APRA spokersperson told ifa that no such countersuit has been filed by Mr Millhouse as yet. 

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