24 Mar 2010

Strategic investors face long wait for money

9:07 am on 24 March 2010

Investors with Strategic Finance have been told it may be weeks before receivers have an idea of how much money they might get back.

The company went into receivership in March. Its collapse has affected about 13,000 investors who are owed $417 million.

Some investors are angry that directors, including former All Black captain Jock Hobbs, have continued to draw hefty fees.

Mr Hobbs, who offered to resign as chairman of the Rugby Union Board following Strategic's collapse, was chief executive of the company until 2005.

He has subsequently received hundreds of thousands of dollars in fees as a director of Strategic Finance and related companies.

Stockbroker Chris Lee, who recommended Strategic to clients, says he does not blame Mr Hobbs for its failure and no one could have anticipated the company's downfall, which followed British banks calling in loans to stave off their own collapse.

The receiver, John Fisk of PricewaterhouseCoopers, says the complicated arrangements of Strategic's loan structures mean it may take some time to sort out who is owed what.