CBD

He's one of Australia's hardest-hitting insolvency practitioners, but it seems that McGrathNicol partner Tony McGrath (pictured) has missed out on what might have been his most controversial assignment.

He's one of Australia's hardest-hitting insolvency practitioners, but it seems that McGrathNicol partner Tony McGrath (pictured) has missed out on what might have been his most controversial assignment.

McGrath had agreed to be put forward as trustee of the $5 billion Rinehart family trust as part of a deal advanced by Her Roy Hill Highness Gina Rinehart's estranged offspring, John Hancock and Bianca Rinehart, to end their long-running legal stoush with mum and half-sister Ginia Rinehart.

However, in the NSW Supreme Court on Monday, Justice Paul Brereton ruled out the move after an objection from Ginia.

GR jnr said there hadn't been enough time to investigate McGrath's track record. But a quick look at his CV shows McGrath has brought his fearsome forensic focus to bear on some of the most complex corporate collapses of the past 20 years.

He spearheaded the investigation into the failure of HIH Insurance, which fell over in 2001 with debts of $5.3 billion. He also handled the collapse of Allco Finance Group and Great Southern.

Spot the gurus

In the spirit of the popular Where's Wally? kids' books, has anyone seen Fairfax Media's digital gurus Daniel Petre and Alison Deans?

Petre and Deans joined Fairfax, which publishes BusinessDay, as digital strategists in December last year, shortly after it bought their company, netus, for $40 million.

But just 11 months later and there's no sign of Petre or Deans, who had strong opinions about how things should be done. Former netus exec Guy Reypert is now in charge of digital ventures.

Plane name

Fresh from jumping out of the back of a plane at the weekend, the boss of Europe's largest aircraft maker gave a good reason for changing the name of Airbus' parent company. "EADS was always a bit unwieldy," Tom Enders told a business luncheon in Sydney. "Adding insult to injury, the Americans always pronounced it as 'eades', which sounds like a serious disease."

With EADS to be renamed Airbus in January, the avid skydiver was also keen to point out that the European aircraft maker is closing the market-share gap on its US arch rival Boeing.

That'll learn 'em

CBD was heartened to see ASIC leap speedily into action against the scofflaws at Perth company Black Earth Resources, which, according to ASIC, "mines landfill for organic resources".

Like vitamins company Swisse, the former Allied Medical Group associated with disgraced former doctor Geoffrey Edelsten and Mrs Rinehart's Hancock Prospecting, Black Earth has been a trifle tardy filing its annual financial reports.

Unlike all of the above, it's also been convicted by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission for failing to do so.

With the lightning-quick reactions for which it is so famous, ASIC has secured a conviction against Black Earth just five years after it failed to file its 2008 financial report. Black Earth was also pinged for failing to file any of its other annual returns, or hold an AGM, since 2008. After pleading guilty it was fined $18,000.

Experienced

Dale Harris may have a big job ahead of him as the new managing director of Gindalbie Metals, but he has an even bigger managerial role to worry about this weekend.

Harris, whom Gindalbie recently poached from Rio Tinto, is coach of the under 10s side at the Claremont-Nedlands Junior Cricket Club, and will lead his charges into battle for their first game of the summer on Sunday. "Trying to marshal them towards a field on a Sunday morning takes a bit of time," he said.

Harris is well prepared for Sunday's battle, having led the same side into battle on Perth's WACA ground during the lunch break at last summer's Test Match.

Got a tip?

bbutler@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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