Axis Mutual Fund has suspended two fund managers, Viresh Joshi and Deepak Agarwal, amid allegations of irregularities in managing their funds. The fund house has reassigned responsibilities to other fund managers for seven schemes.
In a statement, the fund house said it has launched a suo moto investigation two months ago to probe potential irregularities.
“Axis MF has been conducting a suo moto investigation over the last two months (since February 2022). The AMC has used reputed external advisors to aid the investigation. As part of the process, two fund managers have been suspended pending investigation of potential irregularities. We take compliance with applicable legal/regulatory requirements seriously, and have zero tolerance towards any instance of non-compliance,” it said.
Sources said the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) too has launched a preliminary investigation into the matter. The regulator might ask the fund house to send investment activity reports and could also check for possible nexus between the fund managers and brokers for potential front running of stocks.
Viresh Joshi has been associated with Axis AMC since 2009 and was the chief trader and fund manager. His core responsibilities included managing arbitrage fund & derivatives trading strategies. He used to oversee Axis Arbitrage Fund, Axis Technology ETF, and Axis Consumption ETF.
Deepak Agarwal joined Axis AMC in 2015 as a research analyst, equity. He was promoted to assistant fund manager (Equity) in 2020. Since 2021, he has been managing the Axis Quant Fund and the Axis Consumption ETF.
The data from Association of Mutual Funds in India (Amfi) shows that Axis MF has an average asset under management (AAUM) of Rs 2.59 trillion and is the seventh largest fund house in the country in terms of assets.
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First Published: Fri, May 06 2022. 17:05 IST