An Adelaide financial advice boutique that acts as trustee to tech-focused super fund Spaceship has been fined for its role in promoting false and misleading marketing information.
Yesterday, ASIC announced it was handing down a $12,600 penalty to Spaceship after it found the super fund – which is backed by high profile funders like Australian billionaire and Atlassian founder Mike Cannons-Brookes – made misleading claims on their website.
But the same penalty was also given to Adelaide-based Tidswell Financial Services, headed by veteran adviser Jeff Tidswell, a long-time FPA and SMSFA member and AFSL holder.
Tidswell, which is owned by a Melbourne-based private equity outfit called Trimantium Capital, according to ASIC data, has an arm of its business that provides trustee and fiduciary services to superannuation funds.
The firm holds an extended public offer licence from APRA and a MySuper licence. In addition to Spaceship, it services super clients such as mobiSuper, MAX Super and GoodSuper.
In a statement, ASIC said the "fundamental investment philosophy" of Spaceship’s GrowthX fund – of which Tidswell is fiduciary – “prioritised marketing over accurate disclosure”.
"The infringement notices were issued following concerns that promotional statements prioritised marketing over accurate disclosure," the ASIC statement said.
"Prospective members of the fund were told that:
'We will fight to get you the very best assets in your portfolio…. We will measure companies in our portfolio based on their ability to provide defensibility of profits and high levels of product differentiation.'
"ASIC’s concern is that these statements mislead prospective members of the fund because at the time 79 per cent of the fund was invested in index-tracking funds, which involved no qualitative analysis of the underlying companies."
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