ASX chief steps down amid bribery allegations

Elmer Funke-Kupper, Chief Executive of the Australian Securities Exchange, has resigned from his post following allegations of bribery

A shares board on display at the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX). The ASX's Chief Executive, Elmer Funke-Kupper, has stepped down from his role following allegations of bribery during his previous role at Tabcorp. 

Elmer Funke-Kupper has stepped down from his position as Chief Executive of the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) while allegations of bribery during his time as CEO of gambling giant Tabcorp are investigated. His resignation is effective immediately, with Chairman Rick Holliday-Smith filling the role until a permanent replacement can be found.

“The board accepted that Elmer wanted to direct his full focus to the investigations which may be made into the Tabcorp matter, and not have them interfere with the important role of leading the ASX,” Holliday-Smith said in a statement.

His resignation comes after it was revealed that the Australian Federal Police is working alongside international authorities to investigate claims that an AUD 200,000 bribe was paid by Tabcorp in 2010.

The payment was allegedly made to a business with links to the family of Cambodian Prime Minister, Hun Sen. Tabcorp considered obtaining an online gambling licence in Cambodia in 2009, when it appeared that regulations might be softened in some Asian countries. The allegations were raised following an investigation by Fairfax Media.

Following the report, Tabcorp released a statement saying that it had explored a Cambodian business opportunity in 2009, but chose not to pursue it. The firm also said that it would willingly cooperate with investigators.

Funke-Kupper has also stepped down from his position as a Non-Executive Director on Tabcorp’s board, a position he has held since 2012. He led Tabcorp from September 2007 to June 2011, and has been Chief of the ASX since October 2011.

In an interview with the Australia Financial Review, Funke-Kupper denied any wrongdoing and said that his decision to resign was aimed at protecting the integrity of the ASX and avoiding a trial by media. He also said he will be cooperating fully with the investigation.