investor daily logo

Court freezes assets of Keystone registered managed fund

3 minute read

ASIC has obtained interim orders from the Federal Court freezing the assets of the Shield Master Fund.

After halting new offers of investments in Shield Master Fund, the regulator announced on Wednesday it has now secured interim orders from the Federal Court freezing the assets of the registered managed fund whose responsible entity is Keystone Asset Management.

“ASIC sought the orders to help protect investor funds while an investigation is continuing,” the regulator said.

Justice O’Callaghan ordered that Keystone is restrained from removing property from Australia; selling, charging, mortgaging, dealing with or disposing of property; incurring new liabilities; or withdrawing, transferring, disposing of, or dealing with money held in bank accounts or with a financial institution.


The court also made orders that Paul Chiodo, a former director of Keystone, surrender his passport and be restrained from leaving Australia after the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) sought these orders to ensure Chiodo remains in Australia while the regulator continues its investigation.

A further court hearing is listed to take place on Tuesday, 25 June 2024.

Back in February, the regulator made interim stop orders on four product disclosure statements (PDSs) for classes of units of the Shield Master Fund.

At the time, the regulator said the interim orders prevent Keystone from offering, issuing, selling or transferring interests in the balanced class, growth class, high growth class, and conservative class units of the fund.

“ASIC made the interim orders to protect retail investors from acquiring products under PDSs that may be defective and not worded and presented in a clear, concise, and effective manner,” it said.

Also at the time, the regulator said it would consider making final orders if the concerns are not addressed in a timely manner.

“Keystone will have an opportunity to make submissions before a decision is made about any final stop orders,” the regulator added.

ASIC is able to issue a stop order where it believes a PDS includes misleading statements or does not include information about any significant risks associated with holding the product, the fees and costs associated with an investment in the product, or information about other significant characteristics or features of the product or of the rights, terms, conditions and obligations attached to the product.