FSCA fines Brite Advisors and former director R12.5m

The FSCA has fined Brite Advisors South Africa (Pty) Ltd and a former director of the group, Nigel James Green, a total of R12.5 million.

The Authority said an investigation found that Brite, which was formerly known as deVere Investments South Africa (Pty) Ltd, and deVere SA Acuma (Pty) Ltd, contravened various financial sector laws from 22 February 2010 to 1 August 2015.

Brite Advisors South Africa is the local business of the Brite Advisors group, a fund manager and consultancy with offices in Australia, Europe and the United Arab Emirates. Until 2019. it was known as deVere Investments South Africa and deVere SA Acuma.

The FSCA imposed an administrative penalty of R10m on Brite in terms of section 167(1)(a) of the Financial Sector Regulation Act, alternatively, section 6A of the Financial Institutions (Protection of Funds) Act.

It also withdrew Brite’s Category I and II FSP licence.

It said the investigation revealed that Green, in his capacity as a director of Brite from 2008 to 2015, caused and/or permitted the contraventions by Brite. As a result, the FSCA found that Green contravened or failed to comply with various financial sector laws, which impacted on his fitness and propriety.

The FSCA imposed an administrative penalty of R2.5m on Green and debarred him for five years.

Meanwhile, Fin24 has reported that Brite Advisors intends to approach the Financial Services Tribunal to have the R10m fine reconsidered.

According to a statement, Brite Advisors said it “became aware of the FSCA’s investigation regarding the alleged conduct and actions of deVere Acuma South Africa and some former employees between 2010 and 2016, during its due diligence”.

It was “satisfied” that the employees responsible for the alleged mismanagement had left the company, and it proceeded to acquire the company and its FSP licence.

Brite also said it was not using the “tainted” FSP licence that had been withdrawn by the FSCA and had been using a new, valid FSP licence since last year.

“Brite Advisors’ clients are not impacted by recent FSCA findings against deVere Acuma South Africa … or the administrative action taken against the tainted licence under which Brite Advisors was operating at the time.”

It added that Green has “no connection or involvement with Brite Advisors”.

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