APRA sets sights on Trio director

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APRA has started proceedings in the Federal Court of Australia seeking the disqualification of former Trio Capital director, David Millhouse. 

If the regulator is successful, Millhouse will be disqualified from acting as a trustee of any superannuation entity or a responsible officer of any body corporate that is a trustee, investment manager or custodian of a superannuation entity for a period to be determined.

Millhouse was a director of Trio and member of the Trio Investment Committee from November 2003 to October 2005. He was also a director and owner of one of Trio’s investment managers, Millhouse IAG Limited (MIAG).

During his tenure on the board of Trio, Millhouse approved around $85m of investments that now form the subject of the proceeding. APRA alleges, among other things, that:

  • the investments were approved without adequate due diligence;
  • the investments were not at arm’s length and were more favourable to the related parties than would reasonably be expected had they been at arm’s length;
  • in approving the investments, Millhouse contravened sections 52 and 55 of the SIS Act; and
  • Trio contravened section 109 of the SIS Act while Millhouse was on the Trio board.

It is alleged that Millhouse failed in his duties as a director of Trio and did not act in the best interests of members. 

“APRA has made it very clear it will take action against any former Trio directors who have failed to meet the high standards expected of them as superannuation trustee directors and have not acted in the best interests of members,” said APRA member Helen Rowell.