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Hubbard investors lay complaint against statutory manager Grant Thornton

Investors in Aorangi Securities and Hubbard Managed Funds have laid complaints against statutory managers Grant Thornton over hold-ups they claim has put $60 million of assets at risk.

The Hubbard-managed entities' investor liaison group, undersigned with more than 230 investors, has lodged formal complaints to Commerce Minister Craig Foss and Attorney-General Lyn Provost over Grant Thornton's handling of the statutory management.

The group claims ongoing delays have had a "detrimental impact" on investors, 22 of whom have died since the freeze was imposed on Allan Hubbard, his wife Jean and several of their companies.

"It is the investors' belief that the statutory managers have failed to perform their duties satisfactorily," the group says. "In particular, the statutory managers have failed to adequately protect assets to the approximate value of $60 million – those assets having been pledged to Aorangi's capital by the Hubbards."

The complaint comes after a hearing into $60 million of so-called "introduced assets" from the empire of the late businessman was adjourned until May next year after the statutory managers of Aorangi Securities argued they needed more time to assess a mountain of documents.

In a ruling earlier this month, Judge Lester Chisholm said he had "reluctantly decided to adjourn the fixture" noting that other parties including Jean Hubbard were "extremely unhappy" at the request.

The investors accused Grant Thornton of "ineptitude" in protecting their assets and are reserving their "right to seek recourse and compensation arising from emotional and financial suffering inflicted as a consequence of the unwarranted actions of the public authorities."

The group says the statutory managers have "failed to perform their duty satisfactorily" and have "materially disadvantaged" investors by using investor funds to pay for litigation.

Former Commerce Minister Simon Power appointed Grant Thornton New Zealand's Trevor Thornton, Richard Simpson and Graeme McGlinn as statutory managers of the Hubbards and various entities in mid-2010.

The appointment controversially left out South Canterbury Finance, which ultimately cost the taxpayer an upfront bill of $1.7 billion when it failed and called on the government deposit guarantee.

At August 10, 2010, Aorangi costs were $5.7 million and HMF were $5.187 million, according to the statutory reports. Almost three months later the costs of statutory management exceed $12 million.

(BusinessDesk)

Comments and questions
6

I sympathise with the poor unfortunate investors.
The $60 million should have been left where it was.
I hope the statutory managers are not taking Xmas Holidays.

There is only one person to blame for this debacle and his name rhyes with Cupboard.

Well thats clear from the extensive detail available in the SM reports.

Its good we all know what really happened.

Government was dumb.

Should have just stopped Hubbard from taking in new funds and things would have become very clear within a matter of months whether Hubbard was running a ponzi scheme or was a victim.

We have layers and layers of oversight on Finance and Investment companies. But I do not know of one meaningful element of oversight on Receivers. Liquidators or Statutory Managers. Zip. They are free to be incompetent, act illegally and bill massive fees - way more than directors and managers billed. Why is that?

South Canterbury Finance should never have been bailed out by the taxpayer. It should have been allowed to topple over with "investors" (ie. gamblers) losing everything. That would have been the only fair outcome and that would have been capitalism. Instead we got socialism for a few dopey people with money to throw at a finance company. It's a travesty that taxpayers who had nothing to do with this gang had to rescue the greedy fools who put their money with him. In a country as small as NZ it beggars belief that this charlatan who, only a few years ago, was lionised by the NZ media as NZ's Warren Buffett, was able to get away with his shambolic ruse for so long.