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Pine Capital unit sues former CEO, directors and managers

ADVANCE Capital Partners Asset Management (ACPAM) is suing its former CEO Tan Choon Wee, as well as several former directors and managers of the firm, for alleged breaches of fiduciary duties, its Catalist-listed parent company Pine Capital said in a bourse filing on Thursday.

Just two days earlier, Pine Capital - which owns 51 per cent of ACPAM - had announced that Mr Tan is suing the company for alleged discrimination and/or prejudice. Pine Capital was served with a writ of summons issued by the High Court on Apr 8.

Since then, on May 15, ACPAM filed a writ of summons at the High Court against Mr Tan, as well as former ACPAM directors Nicolas Lin, Roy Ling and Ong Kheng Chye. ACPAM is also suing its former compliance manager Michelle Chee and former client services manager Charlene Tan.

ACPAM is further alleging that Mr Tan, Ms Chee and Ms Tan had breached express and/or implied terms of their employment contracts. ACPAM is seeking damages, with an account of all amounts, including profits, that Mr Tan and Mr Ong had received from ACPAM in alleged breach of their duties, as well as costs and interest.

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Mr Tan and Mr Lin were removed as directors of ACPAM at the Apr 5 EGM. In its Tuesday filing, Pine Capital had said that it requisitioned the EGM due to the board receiving allegations of potential conflict of interest and lapses in internal control at ACPAM.

But on Apr 8, alongside filing the writ of summons, Mr Tan took out an injuction seeking for himself and Mr Lin to be reinstated as ACPAM directors. The court dismissed the injunction on Apr 24 and ordered Mr Tan to pay costs to Pine Capital.

Mr Tan has since filed an application for leave to appeal against this decision, which is fixed for hearing on May 31.

Meanwhile, ACPAM held another EGM on May 10, during which a resolution was passed to ratify the earlier Apr 5 EGM resolutions that removed Mr Tan and Mr Lin.

ACPAM and Mr Tan previously made headlines in 2016 for the firm's use of so-called "death spiral convertibles", a controversial form of convertible financing with high dilutive impact on underlying shares.  

Shares of Pine Capital have been suspended from trading since March 22.