June 17, 2024
ASIC’s January activity hints at increased enforcement action

ASIC has suspended the AFSL of Melbourne fund manager responsible for six managed investment schemes.

The licence has been cancelled until 20 September 2024 as ASIC found Aurora failed to meet statutory audit and financial reporting lodgement obligations for:
•    Itself for the financial years ending 2022 and 2023;
•    The Schemes: for the financial year ending 2023 and, excluding the Aurora Fortitude Absolute Return Fund, for the half-year ending 31 December 2023.

Aurora is the responsible entity of six registered managed investment schemes, the Aurora Absolute Return Fund, HHY Fund; Aurora Property Buy-Write Income Trust; Aurora Global Income Trust; Aurora Fortitude Absolute Return Fund and Aurora Dividend Income Trust. 

On its website, the firm describes itself as an “Australian-based alternative asset manager that specialises in absolute-return strategies for high net worth, retail and institutional investors”. It states that Aurora specialises in value-orientated event-driven investments that aim to provide investors with positive risk-adjusted returns that are independent of benchmarks or investment cycles.

The corporate regulator noted that existing investors in the schemes will not be disadvantaged by the suspension order but that Aurora cannot issue any new interests. 

“ASIC has made the suspension subject to a specification enabling Aurora to continue to provide financial services that are reasonably necessary for, or incidental to, the day-to-day operation of the schemes. “

The suspension may be lifted earlier if Aurora complies with its audit and financial reporting lodgement obligations but ASIC may consider further action if Aurora has not complied with its obligations at the end of the suspension period.

Aurora may apply to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal for a review of ASIC’s decision.

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