The former boss of millennial super fund Spaceship handed 6-year ban

- January 21, 2022 2 MIN READ
Paul Bennetts
The former CEO of fintech startup Spaceship has been banned from acting in the financial services sector for six years by the corporate regulator, ASIC.

Paul Kevin Bennetts, of Elanora Heights on Sydney’s Northern Beaches, was found to have dishonestly obtained his Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) qualification following an investigation by the company watchdog.

He was a co-founder and director of Spaceship Capital, the company behind the Spaceship Super Fund, and the company’s CEO between 2017 and 2019. He left the business in August 2019.

Bennetts was also a former associate at Sydney VC Airtree Ventures.

Spaceship launched in 2016 with backing from leading tech figures, including Atlassian’s Mike Cannon-Brookes and Aconex founder Leigh Jasper.

An investigation into Bennetts by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) found that he engaged in serious misconduct and acted dishonestly to obtain his AICD qualification. Around October 2018, Bennetts asked a Spaceship Capital compliance officer to complete his assessments for an AICD course on his behalf and without his involvement.

“This conduct occurred while Mr Bennetts held a very senior position in a financial services company,” ASIC said in a statement announcing his ban.

“ASIC found that his actions placed a subordinate staff member in a very difficult position and constituted a misuse of Spaceship Capital’s resources for his personal gain,”

The regulator has banned Bennets from providing financial services for a period of six years, as well as controlling an entity that carries on a financial services business and performing any function involved in carrying on a financial services business.

ASIC said Bennetts accepted that he acted dishonestly and has expressed remorse, but had knowingly engaged in wrongful conduct and had therefore failed to maintain the high standards expected of a provider of financial services.

Bennetts can choose to appeal the decision to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.

Startup Daily contacted Spaceship for comment.

In 2018, during Bennetts’ tenure as CEO, Spaceship was fined for false and misleading conduct by ASIC over statements involving one of its superannuation products over statements what could potentially mislead prospective members.

Spaceship nowadays offers a range of financial services products beyond superannuation.

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