ASIC’s ongoing review of liquidator compliance has claimed a pair of significant scalps with the regulator announcing yesterday that Riad Tayeh and David Solomons of dVT Group had entered into voluntary undertakings (VUs) with the regulator.
In a press release ASIC said the pair had acknowledged shortcomings in the standards of compliance required in terms of their obligations to publish public notices and lodge documents.
The VUs require Tayeh and Solomons to engage an independent expert to train their firm’s professional staff with an emphasis on promoting an improved compliance culture. They’ll also be required to pay for a suitably qualified independent party to review three external administrations each, selected by ASIC.
Further, the reviewer must assess compliance with the duties and obligations imposed upon registered liquidators and report their findings to ASIC.
What’s interesting is that though the focus of the VUs is concerned with addressing issues involving staff competency and firm culture, the regulator has singled out only two of the firm’s senior partners. dVT founder Antony de Vries apparently does not have responsibility for the firm’s culture in ASIC’s eyes, at least not in terms of liquidator reporting and lodgement obligations.
This is despite his profile on the company website referring to him having “directed the firm’s positive culture and overseen its expansion of specialist services to today’s offering.”
It may be that de Vries’ recent focus on developing “specialist services” like business succession means he’s now far removed from the practitioner compliance side aspect.
ASIC said in its press release that its project to test compliance with registered liquidators’ obligations to lodge documents and publish notices “continues to identify practitioners not complying with basic obligations. Mr Tayeh and Mr Solomons acknowledge certain non-compliance and have taken the steps necessary to rectify it.”