According to a new article in the South China Morning Post, companies owned by Mark Kirkham, a member of the general committee of the Confederation of Insurance Brokers (CIB), sold an unlicensed fund to multiple Hong Kong retail investors. The fund, Centaur Litigation, paid “above-average” commissions. It was marketed as low risk, even though it wasn’t. The fund went into liquidation two months ago. According to court documents, money invested in the fund was allegedly “misapplied” by the fund’s founders.
Kirkham’s companies are not licensed with SFC to sell funds in Hong Kong.
According to Section 114 of the SFO, the maximum penalty for carrying on a business in an SFC-regulated activity without a license is “a fine of $5000000 and…imprisonment for 7 years and, in the case of a continuing offence, to a further fine of $100000 for every day during which the offence continues”.
Kirkham claims that his companies did not sell the Centaur fund in Hong Kong. However, The Post interviewed four Centaur victims who said they were sold the fund in Hong Kong by one of Kirkham’s companies.
The Post also interviewed an ex-employee, Anthony Robson, who admitted to selling the fund in Hong Kong, without a license, and with Kirkham’s knowledge.
Regarding the last point, Robson supplied email evidence. According to The Post:
“The Post has reviewed company emails Anthony Robson says were sent by Kirkham and a managing director to consultants in which Centaur is discussed and promoted. Kirkham declined to comment on the emails.”
Centaur is not the only failed litigation fund sold by Kirkham’s companies. The Post reported that his companies also recommended Axiom, “which collapsed…in similar circumstances to Centaur”.
Read the full South China Morning Post story here:
The Post previously published two other articles about Centaur. See here: