Axis Mutual Fund cuts two fund managers; Before running under investigation; Know the details

Axis Mutual Fund has removed its chief trader and fund manager Viresh Joshi and its equity research analyst and fund manager Deepak Agrawal from the fund management team over allegations of front running, according to an ET report citing sources. Joshi was removed from the fund management team of its seven equity programs, while Agrawal from three funds.

The seven funds are: Axis Consumption ETF, Axis Banking ETF, Axis NIFTY ETF, Axis Arbitrage Fund, Axis Quant Fund, Axis Technology ETF and Axis Value Fund.

The first is when a stock or other financial asset is traded by a broker who has insider knowledge of a future transaction that is about to significantly affect its price. According to Investopedia, a broker can also anticipate based on insider knowledge that their firm is about to issue a buy or sell recommendation to clients that will almost certainly affect the price of an asset. The practice is illegal in India.

“Axis AMC has conducted a suo moto investigation for the past two months (since February 2022). AMC has engaged reputable external advisors to facilitate the investigation. As part of this process, two fund managers have been suspended pending investigation of possible irregularities. We take compliance with applicable legal/regulatory requirements seriously and have zero tolerance for any instances of non-compliance,” according to the ET report quoting Axis Mutual Fund .

The report also quotes Vishal Dhawan, founder of Plan Ahead Investment Managers, saying that at this time, mutual fund investors should not make any changes to the programs.

“All of the funds that have seen the change are run by multiple managers so I see no reason to panic at this time. Investors should not make any changes to their portfolio until the rumors are confirmed and there is a statement from the fund house. Even after that, if it changes anything for your particular scheme, you have to see it,” Dhawan said.

Previously, Sachin Jain, Viresh Joshi and Devang Shah were the fund managers of Axis Arbitrage Fund. Now the new team includes Ashish Naik, Sachin Jain and Devand Shah.

Axis Banking ETF had Viresh Joshi and Ashish Naik were the fund managers, while now Viresh Joshi has been discontinued and Ashish Naik is the only fund manager at the moment.

The managers of Axis Consumption ETF were Viresh Joshi and Deepak Agarwal. Now Ashish Naik is here. Axis Nifty ETF had Ashish Naik and Viresh Joshi on the team. Now Ashish Naik is here.

Axis Quant Fund had Deepak Agarwal but now Ashish Naik. In the Axis Technology ETF program, Jinesh Gopani and Viresh Joshi were there in the team. Now Jinesh Gopani is here.

From the Axis Value Fund program team, Deepak Agarwal has been removed. Now Jinesh Gopani is here.

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Dolores W. Simon