Investment advisor David McEwen being probed over business dealings has left NZ – FMA

A former Auckland investment advisor under investigation by the financial markets watchdog has left New Zealand.

The Financial Markets Authority (FMA) said David McEwen, who in December was banned from carrying out his work, informed the agency that he had left and had no plans to return to the country.

McEwen’s whereabouts were unclear, but it was understood he had family ties in Australia and Japan.

The FMA also revealed it had cancelled the licence of his investment advisory Stockfox Limited.

It said McEwen, the company’s sole director and only financial advisor, was “not a fit and proper person”.

In addition, the authority said Stockfox was not capable of effectively performing a financial service and was likely to breach its licensee obligations.

The FMA said McEwen had informed the agency he was unable to carry out regular business and did not respond to requests for documents and information.

It said he also failed to respond to the FMA’s proposal to cancel Stockfox’s licence and did not respond properly to its proposal to issue a permanent stop order.

“Mr McEwen has failed to meet the standards and obligations expected of a licensed financial advice provider,” FMA’s director of specialist supervision and response Peter Taylor said.

“His conduct has potentially caused harm to his clients and breached their trust. Such conduct erodes the public’s confidence in the financial advice industry.”

The FMA said McEwen had 20 working days’ notice before the cancellation came into effect.

The agency said investigations were ongoing and it could not comment further.

Alleged dishonest and misleading activity

McEwen was a business journalist prior to his career in investment.

According to his LinkedIn profile, he worked for well-known publications, including the Financial Times, National Business Review and Reuters.

More recently, he founded his advisory firm Stockfox and was a director of McEwen & Associates.

The FMA issued the banning order against McEwen in December, saying he made inaccurate statements about the holding of shares on behalf of investors.

It said sale and purchase agreements relating to offers of financial products promised investors a return in the form of more ownership. However, it was unclear how this promise could be enforced because the company issuing the ownership was not directly involved in the agreement.

Furthermore, it alleged communications were sent out to investors that made unsubstantiated claims about the value of shares and assets held in the relevant companies.

The FMA said the financial products included convertible note agreements, shares and options to acquire units in limited partnership agreements.

The banning order prohibited McEwen from carrying out various investment services.

According to the news on Radio New Zealand

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