JP Morgan Australia chairman Robert Priestley has resigned his directorship positions at both the ASX and the Future Fund, citing cartel charges against ANZ, Citi and Deutsche Bank.
In an ASX statement, Mr Priestley said his departure was related to the charges of criminal cartel conduct brought by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions (CDPP) against ANZ, Citi and Deutsche Bank relating to a 2015 ANZ institutional equity placement.
JP Morgan was also an underwriter of the ANZ placement but will not be party to the CDPP proceedings.
A spokesperson for the Future Fund confirmed to InvestorDaily that Mr Priestley had also resigned his position on the Future Fund Board of Guardians.
However, Mr Priestley noted the impact of the allegations.
“There has been considerable interest in the ACCC banking matter which may become a potential distraction for the ASX and my Board colleagues,” Mr Priestley said in the statement.
“I am very conscious of the unique role that the ASX plays at the heart of Australia’s financial marketplace, and with all of its participants,” he said.
“It is likely that this matter will take some time to resolve, and as there are limits to the information that can be discussed at this time, I think the right course of action in these circumstances is to step aside from the ASX Board to allow the situation to be fully resolved.”
Mr Priestley added that he “look[ed] forward” to when “all of the facts and circumstances relevant to this matter are clarified”.
ASX chairman Rick Holliday-Smith also indicated his support of Mr Priestley’s decision to resign from the board.
“Rob’s decision to step down in these circumstances demonstrates his commitment to the highest standards of corporate governance,” Mr Holliday-Smith said.
“We understand the difficulty of his position, and appreciate that he has made a decision that puts ASX ahead of other considerations.”
Mr Priestley has served as an ASX director since May 2017, during which Mr Holliday-Smith said he had been “a valued member” of the board.
“We look forward to this matter being resolved,” Mr Holliday-Smith said.
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