DFSA also found that Mr Ishak breached Principle 2 by failing to act with due skill when carrying out his role as a Finance Officer at Equitativa. Image Credit: SUPPLIED

Dubai: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) has imposed a penalty of $33,220 (Dh122,000) on Remi Ishak, the regulator said in a statement on Thursday.

Ishak served as the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of Equitativa and Emirates REIT. Ishak was also an authorised individual carrying out the Licensed Functions of Finance Officer and Senior Manager at Equitativa.

The DFSA previously penalised Equitativa in December 2021 for making misleading statements regarding Emirates REIT, not preparing financial statements in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), and failing to report relevant information to its auditors.

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Ishak also signed off on Emirates REIT’s 2018 half-year financial statements without including a provision for the unpaid rent or any impairment of the asset value for the school as required under IFRS, notwithstanding clear indicators that this was the case. Instead, the asset was reported as 100 per cent occupied on the assumption that there was a long-term tenant in place.

“As CFO, Ishak was responsible for overseeing the management and coordination of all financial reporting and ensuring that Equitativa fulfilled its regulatory duties,” DFSA said in a statement on Thursday. “In this regard, Ishak failed to take reasonable steps to ensure that Equitativa or its employees reported certain information, relevant to the recoverability of the asset, to Emirates REIT’s external auditors for their review of the 2018 half-year financial statements.”

The DFSA also determined that Ishak breached Principle 2 by not exercising due skill, care, and diligence in his role as a Finance Officer at Equitativa concerning the mentioned matters.

“CFOs of Public Funds and Listed Funds play a critical role in ensuring that financial statements and any associated public announcements are fair and accurate,” said Ian Johnston, CEO of the DFSA. “CFOs need to ensure that all the facts relevant to the preparation of financial statement are provided to external auditors in a full and transparent manner.”