Jean Hubbard "changing her mind" over $60 million of assets
has caused "significant delays" for those with money in one
of her late husband's investment vehicles, its statutory
managers said today.
Grant Thornton, statutory managers of Aorangi Securities, has
responded to a group of angry investors which complained to
the Government about their performance.
Last week the group, which has the support of 230 investors
in Aorangi Securities or Hubbard Management Funds, said Grant
Thornton has "failed to adequately protect assets".
The investor group was angry that a late discovery of boxes
of documents by Grant Thornton has put off a $60 million
asset wrangle in the Timaru High Court.
This hearing will determine a claim from Jean Hubbard - the
widow of Timaru businessman Allan Hubbard - that $60 million
of the $96 million of Aorangi Securities assets were never
transferred to Aorangi's ownership and are therefore hers and
for her late husband's estate.
The proceedings were scheduled to begin in October 29 but has
not been put off until May next year at the request of the
statutory managers following the discovery of the document
In its reply to investors today, Grant Thornton said the
group had failed to understand the situation with Aorangi
Securities, despite many meetings with them.
The managers said Alan Hubbard transferred the $60 million of
assets to Aorangi in 2009 and 2010 but failed to complete the
change of ownership.
"It's like selling your car, but not completing the change of
ownership papers properly. Someone else now owns your car,
even though it is still registered in your name. As a result,
it is the view of the statutory managers that Aorangi
Securities has beneficial ownership of the $60 million, even
though the assets are in the names of the Hubbards," Grant
"Since the statutory managers commenced proceedings to
confirm the ownership, Mrs Hubbard has changed her mind and
is now personally contesting Aorangi's ownership of the $60
million of assets. She wants to keep the assets worth $60
million. It is this action that is causing the significant
delay, including having to find every relevant document on
Grant Thornton acknowledged that the discovery of the 70
boxes had caused "further delays" and this was disappointing
"However, this additional information is now essential given
Mrs Hubbard is contesting the ownership of Aorangi assets,"
the managers said.
- By Hamish Fletcher of the New Zealand Herald