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ASIC Has ‘Comprehensively Failed’ – Mayfair 101 Impacted by a Corporate Regulator in Desperate Need of Reform

MELBOURNE: AUSTRALIA – Mayfair 101 has supported the Senate Report released tonight that says the Australian Securities and Investments Commission has ‘comprehensively failed’.

The corporate regulator’s actions against Mayfair 101’s private equity group in early 2020 nearly decimated the business, leaving 570 Australians in limbo and de-railing the $1.6 billion redevelopment of Dunk Island and Mission Beach.

The report of the Senate’s Economics References Committee into the ‘Australian Securities and Investments Commission investigation and enforcement’, was released by Senator Andrew Bragg tonight and in it the Committee recommends the breaking up of the corporate regulator's duties.

Recommendation 1 of the Senate Committee report states:

“The committee recommends that the Australian Government should recognise that the Australian Securities and Investments Commission has comprehensively failed to fulfil its regulatory remit.”

In March 2020 when ASIC took enforcement action against Mayfair 101, no complaints existed from any Mayfair clients and its noteholders were all current.

In just 43 days ASIC went from opening an investigation to taking enforcement action which resulted the group’s products being frozen. Heavy-handed action was taken despite ASIC not requesting the group’s financial statements, investment registers, development plans, and having not interviewed or requested interviews with any Mayfair 101 staff or its Managing Director, James Mawhinney.

In Australian Parliament last month Senator Malcolm Roberts pressed ASIC on its misguided actions against Mayfair 101 saying, “ASIC’s actions have caused a lot of damage for no good reason that we can see” and asked ASIC Deputy Chairperson Sarah Court, “Why are you hurting the people you profess to protect?”

Ms Court’s said in response that ASIC’s actions were justified because it had won a case against Mayfair in 2021. However, Ms Court failed to disclose the fact Mayfair was shut out from obtaining legal representation because of injunctions ASIC obtained, which meant ASIC was victorious against an unrepresented opponent.

Mr Mawhinney said in response to the Senate Report:

"The Senate Committee's findings are consistent with Mayfair 101's experience with ASIC over the past 5 years. Our business and its stakeholders have been badly impacted by a corporate regulator in desperate need of reform. Mayfair 101 is grateful for the work of Senator Bragg and the Economic References Committee. We hope this brings about positive change and a more considered approach to enforcement."

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Mark Abernethy: +61 414 310 924


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