Uncertainty, complexity plague Hubbard affairs

Alan Hubbard.
Alan Hubbard.
Uncertainty, complexity and ongoing claims and counterclaims, which will probably have to be settled in court, continue to dog the financial affairs of the late South Canterbury financier Alan Hubbard.

Complications have arisen around the claims made by Mr Hubbard's wife Jean Hubbard, and members of his family.

Grant Thornton, the statutory managers of both Hubbard Management Funds and Aorangi Securities, released their 12th reports yesterday for both funds.

The reports contained news that will disappoint investors hoping for an early return on their funds.

The report for Aorangi investors highlighted how complex and difficult the task of returning money to investors had become, the managers said.

Aorangi was one of the funds caught up in the Hubbard financial collapse.

The court fixture to consider Mrs Hubbard's claim $60 million of the $96 million of Aorangi assets were never transferred to Aorangi's ownership and were therefore hers personally and for her late husband's estate, was expected to start soon.

"If we are unsuccessful in these proceedings, this will have a severe impact on returns to Aorangi investors," the managers said.

The court case was set to start in Timaru on October 29 and expected to run for five days.

There were insufficient funds available to make a further capital payment to investors at this time. So far, investors had received 15c in the dollar of their capital.

Regarding Hubbard Management Funds, the managers said they were still implementing the High Court directive made in June on how to distribute funds to investors. There had been no further distributions.

The managers were required to review the records of each investor, going back about 20 years, to establish cash deposits and withdrawals and identify each investor's net cash position.

The court's directive was that the first step was for all investors to receive the amounts originally invested.

Each investor would be given the opportunity to review and confirm the accuracy of the data gathered and if they believed it to be incomplete, they would need to provide the missing documentary evidence, the managers said.

When the position of each investor was finally determined, the managers would take the remainder of the assets and allocate them based on a formula which took into account the time the investors had been in the fund and the returns on the NZX across the periods involved.

"This is a time-consuming process," the managers said.

More claims against the assets of the Hubbard fund had arisen since the last report.

There were now claims of about $7 million against the portfolio value of about $47 million.

Mrs Hubbard and her family interests were contesting $4.3 million of the $7 million in dispute. Another claim made by ASB Bank for $2.1 million would be determined by the court later this year.

A further complexity to reconcile was Hubbard Management Funds accounts showed an investment in Aorangi of $3.6 million but only $470,000 was recorded in Aorangi accounts.

The managers said it appeared the Hubbard fund figure was overstated but the reconciliation would be subject to an independent review.

"If this is the case, it will reduce the value of the Hubbard Management Funds portfolio."

The next reports will be made at the end of January next year.


At a glance

• Court hearing to consider Aorangi claim starts October 29.

• New claims against Hubbard Management Funds of $7 million.

• Hubbard family contesting $4.3 million of the $7 million.

• No further payout to investors at this stage.


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