5 Jun 2014

Strategic Finance payout settled

10:10 pm on 5 June 2014

The receivers of Strategic Finance say they worked hard to secure a $22 million settlement for the company's mainly elderly investors who have waited four years to get their money back.

The finance company went into receivership in March 2010, owing $383,000 to about 11,000 investors.

Administrators PwC on Tuesday announced a final settlement with the company's directors and auditors representing 5 cents in the dollar for secured investors, which takes total distributions to 15 cents in the dollar.

It settles all civil claims against Strategics' directors and auditors.

One investor spoken to by Radio New Zealand on Thursday described the payout as pitiful and a long time coming.

John Fisk, a partner at PwC, said they were conscious of the time that any further litigation would take.

"Also very conscious that we had investors that really had been left without a payment for some time. They were obviously getting older and we were keen to get a settlement out to them as quickly as possible."

The directors did not face criminal charges, but agreed that they would not be the director of a public issuer for the next five years without prior approval from authorities.

The Financial Markets Authority said on Thursday the payout of five cents in the dollar was the best deal that could be negotiated. Director of enforcements and investigations Belinda Moffat said the decision to settle was made in the interests of time, money and the assessed personal assets of the former directors.

"It does restore something to investors and I absolutely agree that it's going to be little comfort to investors who will not see 100 percent return on their capital investment. But it gives them some return, it gives them the certainty of that return now rather than in one year or 18 months' time - which is what a court process may have taken."