On 10 November 2022, ASIC accepted a court enforceable undertaking from financial advisory firm Lasarith Pty Ltd, trading as ‘Succession Matters’, and its sole director and responsible manager, Adam Smith.
Under the terms of the undertaking, Lasarith will cease operating its financial services business under its Australian Financial Services Licence (AFSL) and commence the process to cancel its AFSL by 8 February 2023.
Mr Smith has also undertaken to conduct further professional training and not to be a responsible manager of any other AFSL holder for a period of at least 18 months from 10 November 2022.
ASIC commenced an investigation into Lasarith and Mr Smith after becoming concerned that Lasarith and its authorised representatives had failed to provide statements of advice to clients as required by the Corporations Act. ASIC’s investigation subsequently identified:
- at least 24 occasions during the 2016/17 and 2017/18 financial years when Lasarith and its authorised representatives failed to provide a statement of advice to clients in accordance with s946A of the Corporations Act; and
- at least 30 occasions during the 2016/17 and 2017/18 financial years when Lasarith and its authorised representatives failed to provide a statement of advice to clients within the period specified in s946C of the Corporations Act.
Despite Mr Smith knowing about the failure to provide statements of advice since at least 7 March 2017, ASIC’s investigation found he:
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- failed to take sufficient action to prevent breaches of the Corporations Act from occurring, until September 2017; and
- failed to cause Lasarith to notify ASIC of the breaches until September 2021; and
- did not fulfill all of his obligations as the responsible manager of Lasarith during the 2016/17 and 2017/18 financial years.