News Round Up

Octaviar creditors get together; Takeovers Panel brings on investment bankers; World fallout hurts government funds; One less Select to choose from; IRG closes Ellerlie Cornwall deal

Monday, September 29th 2008, 5:42AM

by David Chaplin

Octaviar creditors get together
At their first meeting last week creditors of embattled financial services firm Octaviar appointed a committee to consult on the ASX-listed entity’s administration process.

The Committed of Creditors includes Jason Maywald, head of the NZ business OPI Pacific; David Kelleher from the US lender Fortress; Stuart Terry of Challenger Managed Investments, and; representatives from the Australian Tax Office, Colonial First State, Mirvac Funds Management, and the Public Trustee of Queensland.

Octaviar, formerly known as MFS, owes New Zealand investors over $300 million.

Takeovers Panel brings on investment bankers

Investment bankkers Murdo Beattie and Andy Coupe were appointed to the board of the Takeovers Panel last week.

Beattie, partner in Cameron Partners, and Coupe, UBS New Zealand senior adviser, have been appointed for five-year terms.

World fallout hurts government funds
The Government Superannuation Fund (GSF), which helps cover the defined benefit pension liabilities of about 60,000 public servants, reported a $260.9 million loss for the 12 months to June 30 this year.

Most of the losses were due to the GSF exposure to world equity markets, which have slumped over the last year. Equities make up about 56% of the GSF portfolio, of which about 47% is invested in international markets.

Over the year the GSF has dropped almost $400 million in total assets under management to the current level of $3.57 billion.

The New Zealand Superannuation Fund (NZS) is scheduled to announce its results later today. Last week, Adrian Orr, NZS chief, said it was “no surprise” the fund would reveal a loss.

One less Select to choose from
Auckland-based advisory firm Select Asset Management has sold its brand to the Australian alternative investment manager of the same name.

Mike Newton, principal of the New Zealand business, said Select will now trade under the Newton Ross banner.

He said “in hindsight maybe we should have used our names from the start... there are too many Selects out there”.

Dominic McCormick, director of the Australian Select Asset Management, said the firm had no immediate plans to launch in New Zealand but the deal was “a long-term strategy”.

Newton said the payout would cover his firm’s re-branding costs.

IRG closes Ellerlie Cornwall deal
Listed investment firm IRG (formerly known as Viking Capital) completed its buyout of the Tauranga-based advisory firm Ellerie Cornwall last week.

The deal, which was announced earlier in the month, will see the sale of Ellerlie Cornwall’s assets not its liabilities, according to IRG managing director, Brent King.

Under the terms of the acquisition, former Ellerlie Corwall owner, Phillip King, has committed to remain with IRG for one year.

“We do not intend to make any significant changes to the business, in the short term and are looking forward to working with Phillip and his team,” Brent King said.

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