Ualan 'loaded' super fees

FAILED property developer Ualan Property Holdings took with it more than $20 million of superannuation money, but not before its principals allegedly "loaded up the books" and charged the super funds administered by Trio Capital "outrageous" asset management fees.

FAILED property developer Ualan Property Holdings took with it more than $20 million of superannuation money, but not before its principals allegedly "loaded up the books" and charged the super funds administered by Trio Capital "outrageous" asset management fees.

For a second day, Michael Anderson, a director of the Silverhallasset management and property group, which was rebranded as Ualan, was questioned during public examinations in proceedings brought by the new responsible entity for the super funds.

Silverhall is jointly owned by Cameron Anderson, his unrelated business partner Michael Anderson, and minority stakeholder Mark Weller. Cameron Anderson was one of the three founding directors of Trio Capital, and Silverhall was appointed initial manager of the property investments of Astarra Wholesale Portfolio Service.

Robert Beech-Jones, SC, for the super funds, questioned Mr Anderson about new and revised fees added to management agreements during 2008. The termination fees alone totalled $12 million, he said.

He detailed a project at Warners Bay, with a book value of, at the most, $7.16 million. If Silverhall was terminated, Astarra/Trio was up for fees of $5 million, he said. Mr Anderson said the fee reflected what the final development would be worth, about $70 million.

"This was to crystallise a decision to load up companies with huge fees in the event that their services were terminated," Mr Beech-Jones said.

"That's incorrect," Mr Anderson said.

The hearing has heard a Silverhall building company, CPI Property Investment, redeemed loans from existing mezzanine finance investors, replacing them with superannuation funds loaned through Silverhall Residential Property Holdings.

Mr Anderson said the funds were earning 3 per cent in the bank and needed to go into projects to generate the 12.5 per cent interest it would pay to investors. He rejected that his parents, who were original investors, had been given priority treatment in a loans payout. He agreed some debt to SRPH was reduced to zero because of an offset against fees. The examinations continue.

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