The fund house, a joint venture between
and the UK’s Schroders, was investigating whether two fund managers – Viresh Joshi and Deepak Agarwal – were involved in front-running, received kickbacks and executed trades that were detrimental to the interests of the unitholders. Earlier this month, the fund house had suspended Joshi and Agarwal as it was investigating “potential irregularities.” In its latest statement on the dismissal of Joshi, Axis did not name Agarwal. It could not be ascertained if the charges against Agarwal have been cleared.
“Axis AMC has been conducting a suo moto internal investigation since February 2022, using reputed external advisors to assist with this ongoing investigation. Further to our investigation, his conduct and following the decision to suspend him, the employment of Mr. Viresh Joshi has been terminated with effect from May 18, 2022,” said an Axis MF statement. Joshi has been working with the fund house since 2009.
While Axis’ previous statement did not specify what the ‘potential irregularities’ were, it was speculated in the market that Joshi executed stock trades on behalf of the fund house at prices that were marked up over the values then. The probe by Axis found that Joshi would tell the broker about the shares Axis was about to buy in bulk. After the broker bought the stock, the fund house would buy the stock from the broker at a higher price. As part of the arrangement, Joshi received kickbacks from brokers.