Front running? Axis Mutual Fund removes 2 managers; makes changes in 7 schemes

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Axis Mutual Fund has announced changes in fund managers of its seven schemes, with effect from May 4. Viresh Joshi, who was the head trader for Axis Mutual Fund, and Deepak Agrawal, who was an equity research analyst and fund manager for Axis Consumption ETF, will no longer be part of these mutual fund schemes. Both of them have been removed following the allegations of ‘front running’, a news daily reported. Axis Mutual Fund has not issued an official statement on this so far.

Front running or forward trading is a prohibited practice, in which a broker exploits market-moving knowledge that’s not available in the public domain, which is illegal.

Viresh Joshi was earlier heading Axis Arbitrage Fund, Axis Banking ETF, Axis Consumption ETF, Axis Nifty ETF, and Axis Technology ETF. In Axis Arbitrage Fund, Ashish Naik will replace Joshi, while Naik will alone handle Axis Nifty ETF. Axis Technology ETF, which was jointly headed by Joshi and Jinesh Gopani, will be handled by the latter only.

Deepak Agrawal, who was earlier part of Axis Value Fund, Axis Quant Fund, and Axis Consumption ETF, will no longer be part of these schemes. Instead, these schemes will be handled by Jinesh Gopani (Axis Value Fund) and Ashish Naik.

Axis Mutual Fund has not revealed the exact reason behind the reshuffle, though it’s being reported that the action came following the market regulator SEBI (Securities and Exchange Board of India) launched a probe into the matter.