Charterhill Group founder banned from giving financial advice

Charterhill Group, ASICASIC has banned the founder of the Charterhill Group from providing financial services until 2017.

ASIC issued a notice saying that George Nowak is banned from providing financial services until 3 July 2017, as he is an undischarged bankrupt. He is also banned from acting as a company director or from being involved in the management of companies, though he has a right of appeal to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.

An ongoing investigation by ASIC found that Mr Nowak applied for personal bankruptcy in July 2014.

The Charterhill Group, which ASIC describes as “a ‘one stop shop,’ providing advice to clients on the establishment of SMFS, rollover of existing superannuation funds into an SMSF, sourcing and purchase of investment properties, property management, insurance and taxation,” collapsed in 2014.

ASIC says the investigation of the Charterhill Group is “continuing.”

Several companies in the Charterhill Group were placed under external control:

  • Lending Solutions International Pty Ltd
  • Nova Real Estate Pty Ltd
  • EJ Property Developments Pty Ltd
  • Financial Wellness Pty Ltd

In a report issued in February 2015 the liquidators of Lending Solutions International Pty Ltd said there were indications the company may have traded whilst insolvent, but as the Director had filed for bankruptcy the trustee of the bankrupt estate had “advised that there is no likelihood of any dividend to unsecured creditors.”

A court case brought by ASIC against Nowak has been adjourned a number of times, most recently on 27th February 2015 until 29th May 2015.

ASIC has been concerned over the trend of ‘one stop shops‘ offering services to SMSFs, due to their “often complex” business model and the resulting risks to investors, especially where all investors are treated with “a ‘one size fits all’ approach.”

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