Creditors of the now-defunct van Eyk Advice NZ could face a long wait before recouping debts, according to the firm’s second liquidator’s report published last Friday.
The KPMG report identified total claims to date on van Eyk Advice NZ of about $1.6 million, excluding related party claims, but notes any repayment would hinge on the outcome of various ongoing investigations into the collapsed firm.
“At this stage, it is not possible to provide an estimated date for the completion of the liquidation, nor is it possible to provide a definitive statement as to whether sufficient assets will be realised for the purposes of making payment to any class of creditor,” the KPMG report says.
Since the first van Eyk liquidation report released last December, KPMG has received total preferential claims of almost $670,000 , “predominantly consisting of GST, PAYE and Kiwisaver deductions”.
“… the Liquidators have received further claims of $846,645, including significant claims from Inland Revenue, financial advisors and a landlord,” the KPMG report says. “This brings total claims to $902,590, excluding those of secured and preferential entitlements. We have also excluded related party claims which are yet to be reconciled.”
According to the liquidator’s report, van Eyk Advice may receive a “distribution depending on the outcome of current investigations” from its shareholding in related firm Blueprint Investment Management, also in liquidation.
KPMG said in the first liquidator’s report on Blueprint, published this March, it expected “the assets of the Company will be sufficient to cover all creditor claims in full”.
A ‘liquidity event’ in a Blueprint multi-manager product – related to an investment in UK hedge fund, Artefact – last September triggered the collapse of van Eyk Advice NZ and its parent company in Australia, van Eyk Research. At the time of the Blueprint funds freeze, the van Eyk-owned multi-management firm reported funds under management of about $800 million, of which about 10-15 per cent was understood to be sourced from NZ investors.
The Blueprint funds were subsequently wound-up with investors paid out in full. However, it is understood legal actions involving Blueprint, van Eyk, Artefact and the Torchlight fund – an entity associated with former van Eyk shareholder, George Kerr – and other parties, including ex van Eyk Research head, Mark Thomas, are proceeding.
Both the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) and New Zealand’s Financial Markets Authority (FMA) are also investigating matters surrounding the collapse of van Eyk and Blueprint.
In 2013 van Eyk (Australia) paid about $10 million to purchase Perpetual NZ funds management and advisory businesses from listed NZ firm, PGC, headed by Kerr, which it rebranded as van Eyk Advice NZ.
Following the firm’s collapse last year, Auckland-based advisory business Saturn Portfolio Group purchased van Eyk Advice NZ for about $1 million, according to sources close to the deal.
At the time of the sale van Eyk NZ reported eight advisers but only about half eventually transitioned to Saturn.
To date, KPMG has accrued fees of $33,509 while van Eyk Advice holds cash of about $48,000.
As well as its Blueprint shareholding, van Eyk Advice “also had various indemnity policies, which may lead to recoveries”, the liquidator’s report says.
“The Liquidators are undertaking investigations to determine whether there are any claims, and/or other assets, that may give rise to additional recoveries for the benefit of creditors.”