Unauthorized foreign investments in France and suspicious money flows between Didier Maurin, a financial investment adviser, and a company based in the Samoan Islands, did not escape the Autorité des marchés financiers which sanctions the professional up to €350,000, in addition to a ban on practicing.
As soon as the financial product is not authorized for marketing in France, the sanction of the AMF (Authority of the Financial Markets) falls.
Didier Maurin, Financial Investment Advisor in his company CSD / Didier Maurin Finance located in Bar-le-Duc in the Grand Est region, had about sixty clients under the securities of an alternative investment fund under Samoan law based in Polynesia, in the South Pacific, called Isea Globalization Ltd. The problem is that he did not have the right to offer this investment to his clients.
The mere fact that the financial product is not authorized for sale on French soil is “necessarily contrary to the interests of its customers” considered the Sanctions Commission of the AMF, which concluded that the board “missed to his obligation to carry out his activity with the skill. , care and diligence necessary in the best interests of his clients”.
From the “administrative office”, not “marketing”
In his defense, the financial advisor argued that he had not engaged in any marketing activities for Isea Globalization Ltdbut was limited only to carrying out an “administrative secretarial service” consisting of the preparation of documents relating to the subscription of shares, the communication of information relating to the payment of funds, the keeping of the register of shareholders and updating the financial situation of the current accounts of the partners.Isea Globalization Ltd. However, questioned by the Commission, the clients confirmed that they had submitted to the capital ofIsea Globalization Ltd following the advice of Didier Maurin, who had a signed engagement letter in which the adviser undertook to ask about his financial situation and his investment objectives.
The financial advisor also indicated that their customers did not make any complaints, and that the product performed well. For the Commission, the absence of damages suffered by its clients, which “is not established”, has no influence on the alleged facts.
Conflicts of interest and media exposure
In addition, the Commission notes that customers are not informed of the links between Isea Globalization Ltd and Didier Maurin. However, the latter would be founder, member of the board of directors, shareholder ofIsea Globalization Ltdt the only person authorized to make transactions on the bank accounts of the fund. Under an “agency contract” and then an “administrative secretariat” agreement, Didier Maurin, through his French company, was remunerated by Isea Globalization Ltd up to €720,000 between 2017 and 2020.
Clients have not yet been informed of the links between their financial advisor and Katleya Gestion, another Didier Maurin company through a Swiss holding company of which he would be the sole shareholder. This Swiss company received €870,000 fromIsea Globalization Ltd for advice “in the selection of real estate, the negotiation of transaction prices, the monitoring of real estate investments” and “the management of his stock portfolio.”
In his defense, the adviser maintains that his clients were perfectly informed of their links with Katleya, since they received a newsletter from this company with articles published by the adviser and that this company was mentioned in the technical sheet of Katleya .Isea Globalization Ldtsigned by customers.
In fact, Didier Maurin, for the promotion of his business, bought a “partner space” from the advertising department of the Swiss newspaper Le Temps, in which he gave analysis and advice.
He also published opinions on finance.
In the Swiss newspaper Agefi, economic and financial, Didier Maurin also held a platform.
In an article entitled “Attractive foreign real estate markets have become more numerous” published in January 2019, he particularly recommended investments in the forests of Romania or in the real estate markets of Southeast Asia. This same advice was also given in Market, a Swiss financial magazine, with a focus on the United States.
In summary, the advice given by Didier Maurin in the press was directed towards the investments offered by Isea Globalization Ltd.
A heavy and public sanction
Although the lawyer of Didier Maurin requested that the session before the Commission be held in the absence of the public, this request was not accepted. Nor was it considered that the publication of the sanction decision imposed on the board caused disproportionate damage to the reputation of the professional.
Didier Maurin is thus sentenced to a 5-year practice ban, a financial penalty of €200,000 and his French company €150,000.
The financial investment board has two months to file an appeal against the decision of the AMF Sanctions Commission.
RIGHT OF REPLY OF M. DIDIER MAURIN
On April 15, 2022 at 7:02 a.m. an article entitled “A financial advisor is sanctioned by the AMF for €350,000” was published on the site leparticulier.lefigaro.fr, under the heading “Investments real estate”.
I would like to correct certain approximations in this article and regret not having been contacted before its publication.
First, I completely rejected the serious allegation of “suspicious cash flows” between me and the Isea company, which does not correspond to any reality, this qualifier was never adopted or even mentioned before the AMF sanctions Commission.
Second, emphasizing the absence of any prejudice suffered by our customers. The article transcribes the Kafkaesque position of the AMF which affirms that “the absence of prejudice suffered by [nos] customers, “which has not been established”, has no influence on the alleged facts”, although there is no claim from the latter against DCT.
Thirdly, I have never been “paid by Isea Globalization Ltd up to 720,000 euros”. This sum was paid, in 36 monthly installments of 20,000 euros, to Didier Maurin Finance in compensation for the services it provided to Isea Globalization Ltd. This amount is in no way what I receive for my duties at DCT.
Fourth, the various articles that I publish in the specialized press are not intended ” [d’orienter] towards the investments proposed by Isea globalization Ltd” but to explain my opinion on the necessary diversification of investments in international real estate and in particular in Asia.
Finally, the article indicates that “I have two months to appeal against the decision.” I specify that I, with the company DCT, appealed to the Council of State.