Rest has refuted accusations made by MP Tim Wilson that one of its executives engaged in “quasi-insider trading” by taking advantage of unlisted asset revaluations.
Mr Wilson suggested that an executive from Rest had moved $465,949 within the fund at the same time as its unlisted assets were up for revaluation at the height of the COVID-19 crisis. But speaking to InvestorDaily, Rest refuted the accusation.
“The amount of $465,949 referred to by Mr Wilson in the hearing on 23 October is actually the cumulative value of a number switches completed by one executive between 1 January and 31 July,” a Rest spokesperson told InvestorDaily.
“However this person has no access to information that may have given rise to an advantage.”
Rest said that that it had conducted an out-of-cycle evaluation of its unlisted assets on 23 March that concluded on 12 June, and that while some directors and staff could have had access to sensitive information during the period, there was no evidence they used it for personal gain.
“No directors switched in this period. No executives who had possible access to the information switched in this period,” the spokesperson said, adding that four staff with possible access to sensitive information switched in the period but had pre-trade clearance on the basis that they did not involve the use of sensitive information or that it was “immaterial or irrelevant”.
“To the extent that an employee or director had knowledge in relation to valuations, to act on that for their own benefit ahead of it being generally available to members would be a breach of the Code of Conduct and likely lead to termination,” the spokesperson said.
Mr Wilson aired the accusation at a public hearing of the standing committee on economics and suggested that executives from NGS Super and Cbus had made similar transactions. ASIC has indicated that it will investigate the claims to determine whether there were breaches of directors’ duties.