Claims

Class Action – IOOF Holdings Limited (ASX:IFL)

ICP, which is uniquely focused exclusively on ASX shareholder claims, and Litigation Lending, one of the pioneers of litigation funding in Australia, are investigating a potential shareholder class action, to be run by ACA Lawyers, on behalf of aggrieved IOOF investors who suffered losses from IOOF’s alleged non-disclosure of corporate misconduct, subject to the satisfactory completion of investigations into the alleged misconduct and sufficient interest from affected IOOF shareholders.

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Background to the allegations

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On 20 June 2015, the Sydney Morning Herald published an article on alleged misconduct at IOOF. Details of the alleged misconduct identified by Fairfax Media include insider trading, front running and staff cheating over exams, occurring in the period 1995 to 2014. It was also alleged that in March 2014, an internal “research and corrective plan” identified ongoing problems in IOOF’s research department, and that on 12 December 2014 an internal whistle blower met with IOOF’s head of investigations to raise a number of concerns.

Following the Fairfax Media articles, on 22 June 2015 IOOF’s share price experienced its largest ever single day fall, closing down 13.3%, or $1.42.

On 24 June 2015, IOOF announced that it had commissioned an independent review of its breach reporting policy and procedures within the IOOF research division, to be conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers.

On 7 July and 3 August 2015, IOOF’s executives appeared before a Senate hearing to respond to questions about the alleged corporate misconduct. On 7 July 2015, IOOF CEO Chris Kelaher admitted to the Senate hearing that IOOF had not reported serious past allegations of insider trading and front running by IOOF’s senior staff to ASIC.

On the day of Mr Kelaher’s admissions to the Senate hearing IOOF’s share price dropped by $0.29.

On 13 October 2017, we applied to the Federal Court of Australia for access to additional relevant documents to aid in our investigation (application for preliminary discovery in relation to allegations of “fraud on the “market”).

On 18 May 2018 the Court granted access. In response to our application, the Court also accepted that:

  • the media articles and the evidence given at the Senate inquiry hearing provide a reasonable basis for believing that there was misconduct of the kind alleged above; and
  • There is a reasonable basis for believing that the relevant misconduct is of a kind that, if disclosed earlier, is reasonably likely to have affected IOOF’s share price.

Disclosure is to be provided by IOOF by 27 July 2018.

 

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