ASIC Has Raided Van Eyk's Sydney Office And Seized Files About The Terminated Blueprint Funds

Photo: Simon Thomsen

Corporate watchdog, The Australian Securities and Investments Commission, has raided the Sydney offices of financial services and research firm van Eyk and seized files.

The company, established in 1989, went into voluntary administration last week, appointing Trent Hancock of Moore Stephens Sydney Corporate Recovery Group as the administrator.

The problems centre around the managed funds Blueprint, a series of portfolios van Eyke ran as investment manager on behalf of Macquarie Bank, which is the responsible entity charged with protecting investor interests for the funds.

The funds had about $800 million under management but the problem area is reported to be a $31 million investment in hedge fund Artefact Partners. This investment was not immediately available to be turned into cash.

Last month four of the funds were either suspended or terminated and in total 13 have been shut.

Mark Thomas, CEO of van Eyk, says he’s working with the administrator to ensure certainty and growth for the core businesses.

The administration process will allow the quarantining of van Eyk’s investment research, asset consulting and financial advisory businesses.

“We remain absolutely committed to providing our clients with a seamless quality research and consulting service and it will remain business as usual for van Eyk in delivering on this commitment while the VA (voluntary administration) process is underway,” Thomas says.

The Australian Financial Review quotes sources as saying ASIC has twice searched van Eyk’s head office in Castlereagh Street, Sydney.

The first was last week and the second was Tuesday this week.

The corporate watchdog told Business Insider: “ASIC is investigating the conduct of the Blueprint fund. Because of the ongoing nature of the investigation, we cannot comment further at this time.”

And the Financial Markets Authority in New Zealand says it’s liaising with ASIC and making its own inquiries into van Eyk and the Blueprint funds.

“We are particularly concerned about conduct issues in NZ and where these issues impact NZ investors,” said Andrew Park, the spokesman for the Financial Markets Authority.”

The proceeds from terminating most of the funds have been distributed to units holders at a range between 40% and 96% of the net asset value.

van Eyk Blueprint says: “van Eyk and Macquarie are working to realise the remaining liquid assets of the funds, with the aim of making a further capital payment before the end of September 2014.”

It’s understood the asset values of four funds can’t be immediately realised.

van Eyk has been contacted for comment.

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