LM site drops 'advice' claim
Administrators of failed Gold Coast funds manager LM Investment Management have erased from the company's website statements claiming the appointment of insolvency practitioners was "a proactive approach by the board to officially bring in independent financial advice across the company and the funds".
In fact, the administrators, John Park and Ginette Muller of FTI Consulting, are not providing advice but are in control of the company.
Since being appointed on Wednesday, Mr Park and Ms Muller have frozen LM's five Australian funds, totalling about $750 million, and are believed to be investigating whether they can seize control of the group's offshore entities.
Shortly after their appointment, Mr Park and Ms Muller had a long meeting with investigators from the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, which is probing the company.
In an unusual strategy for administrators of a large group that has retail investors, they have said little since their appointment.
They declined to speak to BusinessDay.
The single largest asset of LM's Managed Performance Fund is believed to be a $240 million second mortgage over Maddison Estate, residential land in the Gold Coast hinterland being developed by LM's founder and chief executive Peter Drake. Mr Drake did not answer a call to his mobile phone on Sunday and BusinessDay has been unable to ascertain whether he is in the country.
Lawyers are also circling the stricken group, with Piper Alderman investigating the possibility of a class action and Slater & Gordon focusing on financial planners who tipped their clients into LM's products.
In addition to claiming Mr Park and Ms Muller were merely giving advice, LM's directors also claimed the company's $12 million Australian Structured Products Fund would not be affected by the appointment of administrators.
"It will be business as usual for this fund, with no financial impact expected as a result of the voluntary administrator," the directors said in a letter to investors dated March 20.
The letter, removed from the LM website on Thursday night after inquiries to FTI from BusinessDay, is signed "the directors".
ASIC records show LM's directors are Mr Drake, executive director Eghard van der Hoven, executive director Francene Mulder and Katherine Phillips.