Axis Mutual Fund has suspended two fund managers, pending investigation into potential irregularities. Axis is the seventh largest fund house in the country with total assets under management of Rs 2.59 lakh crore.
The asset management company didn’t provide specific details of what the irregularities were, neither has it named the two fund managers. But, the market and social media has been abuzz that Viresh Joshi, the head trader and fund manager, as well as Deepak Agrawal, another fund manager, had been removed from the schemes they managed, following allegations of front-running.
Front-running happens when a trader buys or sells shares based on exclusive/ insider knowledge that may not be in a public domain. Such a practice is illegal in many markets including India.
Axis Asset Management said it has been conducting a suo moto investigation since February 2022 and 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 in a statement.
There are seven schemes – Axis Arbitrage Fund, Axis Banking ETF (exchangex traded fund), Axis Consumption ETF, Axis Nifty ETF, Axis Quant Fund, Axis Technology ETF and Axis Value Fund – where the AMC has changed the fund managers effective May 4, according to Value Research data.