IOOF boss faces Senate committee

By Tim Stewart
 — 1 minute read

IOOF managing director Chris Kelaher has been presented with 58 allegations of front running and an "explosive" whistleblower transcript at a Senate hearing.

The appearance of Mr Kelaher at a public Senate hearing in Sydney yesterday follows recent allegations of insider trading and front running by an IOOF executive in the Fairfax press.

The hearing was chaired by Labor Senator Sam Dastyari, who was joined by Liberal Senator Sean Edwards and Nationals Senator John Williams.


Mr Williams recently used parliamentary privilege to air a number of allegations against IOOF head of research Peter Hilton in a speech to the Senate on 26 June.

Mr Dastyari informed Mr Kelaher that the committee had obtained 58 allegations of front running by an IOOF executive between 2009 and December 2014.

Mr Dastyari expressed his disappointment that a recent PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) report did not consult the whistleblower who raised the issue with management.

Mr Kelaher agreed to hand over the PwC report to the Senate committee tomorrow, the findings of which he said were "nil".

But Mr Dastyari accused the report of "reeking of whitewash".

"It’s hard for me to have faith in a report that’s been produced on the basis of claims by a whistleblower when the whistleblower hasn’t even been spoken to in the production of that report," Mr Dastyari said.

Mr Edwards told Mr Kelaher the committee had obtained a 29-page transcript of a conversation between the whistleblower and IOOF head of risk Rob Urwin.

"I understand that if a meeting is recorded without the knowledge or consent of the another party then it is an illegal recording. But nonetheless we do have a transcript of that.

"But the truth is the truth, of course. You’ll never get into problems with representing the truth," he added.

Mr Dastyari pointed out that the transcript is now protected by parliamentary privilege.

"It is now a tabled document in camera of this committee, and the matters and content of it are now protected by the highest level of protection which is parliamentary privilege," he said.

"I would say that the private conversation of what Mr Urwin has said to the whistleblower – to use the word explosive is probably an understatement.

"But it does really call into question your culture, your firm, how it conducts business and how it deals with whistleblowers," Mr Dastyari said.


IOOF boss faces Senate committee
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