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Ross liquidators: No end in sight

Liquidators of Ross Asset Management are still waiting for directions from the court as to how to distribute money to investors, as legal bills mount.

Tuesday, July 17th 2018, 6:00AM

by Susan Edmunds

PwC is working through the liquidation of New Zealand’s biggest Ponzi scheme.

When it collapsed, Ross Asset Management claimed to hold investments worth $449.6 million on behalf of 860 investors.

But in reality many investors’ returns were being paid with other investors’ deposits.

So far only $3.72m of investment assets have been found and returned.

Investors are facing a return of 14c of every dollar invested.

In their latest six-monthly  update, the liquidators said they had $18.8m on hand.

They were in a position to distribute $17.5m of that.

But they need the court to determine how that can be done – and whether it can advise them to distribute the money with anything other than a net contribution model, that is distributing according to the amount owing to investors.

The liquidators said it could be considered fairer to implement an alternative model, taking into account any payments of capital that investors received before the failure of the firm, or a rising tide model, in which the liquidators tried to evenly spread loss across all investors with higher distributions to those who had lost a greater proportion.

PwC also sought direction on whether the payments should be inflation-adjusted.

As the process rolls on, it becomes more expensive.

So far, the liquidators have paid $3.2m in legal fees, a bill they said reflected the complexity of the matters being dealt with, “particularly where those matters are without precedent so have required significant legal advice and proceedings”.

The liquidators themselves have charged $1.8m, most of which went on matters relating to the investigation and clawback litigation.

They said it was not yet possible to estimate when the liquidation would be complete.

Tags: Ross Asset Management

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Last updated: 2 December 2018 8:39pm

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