Message from Neil Jenman. UPDATE & SORRY – The reader who sent this piece to us has just pointed out that he is NOT the author. It is written by finance journalist Michael Pascoe and appeared in yesterday’s edition of Crikey. I should have spotted it because I get Crikey every day and love it. Hope the Crikey team don’t mind. I strongly suggest that all who are interested in business and finance take out a trial subscription to Crikey. It’s excellent – thanks to journos like Michael Pascoe.
A Reader writes…
With banks reporting losses measured in billions, who’s going to care about another little “secure” debenture company going under with $63 million owed to 1,180 investors? Aside from those doing their dough, the answer seems to be “nobody much”.
Sandhurst Trustees appointed Ferrier Green Krejci Silvia as receivers and managers of LKM Capital Ltd on Friday, but perhaps didn’t feel an urge to publicise that. Sandhurst – owned by Bendigo and Adelaide Bank – was also the trustee for Fincorp, among others. Ferriers put out their own media release yesterday and it seems only businessspectator.com.au bothered to mention it.
There is more at stake here though than just the unfortunates who took up the invitation for “investment debentures with a trusted company”, as LKM’s website inevitably puts it.
“LKM is part of the Koops Martin Group“, we’re told, as if that’s supposed to mean something – a couple of regional lawyers who decided to expand into the asset management business, now claiming revenues of more than $50 million a year while managing $700 million worth of other people’s money.)
There are two other angles to consider:
Bad move that, because once you claim the first of the Bart Simpson defences, you are by implication on the job thereafter. And, well, Tony has been there for quite a while now and it’s still happening.
Particularly pointedly, Tony’s ASIC dropped proceedings against five Fincorp directors last month after Sandhurst said it would not fund insolvency claims brought by Fincorp’s liquidators. So much for using some of the rich profits ASIC reaps from honest Australian businesses to fearlessly pursue those accused of trading while insolvent.
And most obviously – at least to regular readers of Crikey and The SMH – is the way Tony’s ASIC stood by while the Firepower conmen shouted to the skies that they were running a massive scam.
Only now is ASIC pottering about, looking to remove a little of the horse manure from the empty Firepower stable to toss on their petunias.
So don’t worry if you missed the LKM story – there will be more. Tony’s on the job.
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