NZF Group CFO 'no longer employed' amid court action

NZF Group, facing a Serious Fraud Office investigation, says its chief financial officer and company secretary is “no longer employed”. 

BUSINESSDESK: NZF Group, the financial services company facing a Serious Fraud Office investigation, has announced its chief financial officer and company secretary is “no longer employed” as five of its current and past directors face civil proceedings.

CFO David Watton’s exit comes after four years with the company, and on the same day media reports detailed the action against NZF Group by the receivers of its failed finance unit. Watton joined the group in March 2008.

“David Watton has left the company and is no longer employed as the chief financial officer and company secretary,” the group said in a statement to the NZX.

“NZF will look to appoint a new person to these positions in due course.”

Receivers for failed lender NZF Money Grant Graham and Brendon Gibson of KordaMentha have filed proceedings against the company and directors last week won an interim court order to freeze NZF Groups assets.

The receiver alleges a breach of fiduciary duty against the directors, claiming almost $3 million of assets were sold out to the finance company for just $1000, as reported by NBR Online.

The directors at the time, Richard Waddel, John Callaghan, Mark Thornton, Peter Huljich and Pat Redpath O’Connor, all face civil proceedings and are due in court on April 27.

NZF Money was placed into receivership last year owing debenture holders about $16.4m.

At the time, it had debenture funding of about $28m and loans of $29m.

Separately, the SFO opened an investigation last month into a range of transactions between members of NZF Group, its directors and officers from July 2006 to the present.

The shares last traded on March 16 at just six-10ths of a cent, valuing the company at $660,000.

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