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Pine Capital issues update on ACPAM and its former CEO

PINE Capital Group - whose unit Advance Capital Partners Asset Management Private Limited (ACPAM) has been embroiled in legal proceedings with its former chief executive and has been reprimanded by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) - on Tuesday issued several updates relating to the group.

The group had, in April, called for an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) which proposed the removal of ACPAM's then-CEO and director, Tan Choon Wee, from the board of ACPAM. Pine Capital said it did so because it had "received numerous allegations from various parties concerning the operations of ACPAM, including allegations in respect of (a) potential conflict of interest and possible lapses in internal control".

Mr Tan sued the group, saying ACPAM's affairs had been conducted in a manner prejudicial to him. Pine Capital subsequently commenced its own legal proceedings against Mr Tan and other former directors and officers of ACPAM. Both legal actions are ongoing.

MAS last month reprimanded Mr Tan for - among other things - failing to discharge his duty and function as CEO and director. This was after the fund management company had continued to be late in its submissions to MAS after having already been reprimanded by the authority in July 2018 for being repeatedly late in its regulatory submissions.

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On Tuesday, Pine Capital announced several updates to these developments. It said that, firstly, Advance Opportunities Fund I (AOF I) - one of the two funds currently under ACPAM's management - has served a notice of termination of its management agreement to ACPAM in March, with the end of the notice period for ACPAM as investment manager being June 16.

It also said that ACPAM has written to MAS on several occasions, in April and May, providing updates on ACPAM's EGM - which was held on May 10 - and the aforementioned legal proceedings it is involved in.

Lastly, it said that ACPAM had received a letter from MAS on May 17, in which the regulator directed that ACPAM should suspend all fundraising activities and all subscription activities, and should not enter into any new investments or draw down on any commitments on behalf of any fund or segregated mandate that is managed by ACPAM "until certain conditions are satisfied".

Pine Capital said on Tuesday that, based on the information available to it at this juncture, it understands from ACPAM that the MAS directive came about because ACPAM was unable to carry out its fund management functions effectively with regard to AOF I due to certain restrictions placed by the directors of AOF I on ACPAM to prevent ACPAM from being involved in matters of AOF I.

It said that ACPAM is currently working closely with MAS to resolve the issues. It added that ACPAM believes the concerns set out in the MAS directive have been addressed and that it has conveyed the same to MAS.

Pine Capital added that it is of the view there has been no significant impact on the financials of the company, and that it will continue to make announcements as and when appropriate to update shareholders.