Axis Asset Management Company (AMC) on Friday terminated its second fund manager Deepak Agrawal who was under probe for alleged irregularities. Two days ago the fund house had suspended chief trader and fund manager
“The employment of Deepak Agrawal, fund manager with Axis AMC, has been terminated with effect from May 20, 2022. Consequently, he ceases to be a key person of Axis AMC,” said the fund house said in an addendum.
Axis AMC didn’t cite any reason for the termination. Earlier this month, the fund house had suspended both Agarwal and Joshi. The fund house had reassigned responsibilities to other fund managers for seven schemes.
On May 6, the fund house had issued a statement where it had stated that it had launched a suo moto investigation two months ago to probe potential irregularities.
“Axis MF has been conducting a suo moto investigation over the last two months (since February 2022). The AMC 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.
Market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) has launched a preliminary investigation into the matter. The regulator might have asked the fund house to send investment activity reports and could also check for possible nexus between the fund managers and brokers for potential front running of stocks.
Agrawal joined Axis AMC in 2015 as an equity research analyst. He was promoted to assistant fund manager (Equity) in 2020. Since 2021, he has been managing the Axis Quant Fund and the Axis Consumption ETF.