ASIC bans former Macquarie Equities rep

ASIC has banned a former representative of Macquarie Equities from providing financial services for six years, after he engaged in unauthorised discretionary trading on his clients' accounts and created false records.

Shawn Hickman of Middle Cove, NSW was a representative of Macquarie Equities Limited (MEL) from February 2008 to March 2013.

ASIC's investigation found that between November 2009 and October 2012, Mr Hickman engaged in discretionary trading on six client accounts, according to an announcement released earlier this afternoon.

MEL has prohibited its representatives from engaging in discretionary trading on behalf of clients since 2004, ASIC said.

According to the regulator, Mr Hickman breached the financial services laws by holding out and representing to those clients that he was authorised by MEL to operate a discretionary trading account in circumstances where he was not.

ASIC also found that Mr Hickman created order records that falsely indicated he had received execution only instructions from clients prior to trading when he had not, in circumstances where he had engaged in unauthorised discretionary trading.

Further, ASIC stated it was found that Mr Hickman engaged in "misleading and deceptive conduct" by witnessing the signature of a client he had never met in person and by creating an order sheet which falsely stated that 14 clients called him on the same day between 7.00am and 9.50am and provided him with the same execution only instructions in relation to an options transaction.

MEL is currently conducting a review process to compensate clients of Mr Hickman for any losses suffered as a result of his conduct as part of a broader client remediation process which has been undertaken by MEL as agreed under an enforceable undertaking accepted by ASIC in January 2013, ASIC stated.

"Investors should feel confident that financial advisers are acting within the authority given to them by their licensee at all times and appropriately representing their interests. ASIC will act to remove advisers who fail to do so," said ASIC deputy chair Peter Kell.

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