Two applications have been filed, according to a statement on the website of the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC), which said they had been made by unit holders in the LM First Mortgage Income Fund.
One is seeking orders for, “[among] other things, the appointment of a new responsible entity” for the fund, while the second application calls for the fund to be wound up, the ASIC statement said.
The ASIC statement does not name the entities making the applications.
However, The Age, a Melbourne daily newspaper, reported on Sunday that the regulator itself “is seeking to wind up” the A$400m First Mortgage Income fund, and that a rival fund manager, Trilogy, was seeking to take over the fund.
Trilogy has been cited by Peter Drake, founder of LM Investment Management, for contributing to the pressure that forced LMIM’s board to opt for voluntary administration.
“In an application filed in the Queensland Supreme Court, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission called on Derrick Vickers, Darryl Kirk and Gregory Hall of PricewaterhouseCoopers to be appointed receivers of the fund,” the article in the Age noted.
It said the fund in question has been illiquid since 2009.
A hearing in the matter has been scheduled for 13 May.
PricewaterhouseCoopers officials did not immediately reply to a request for comment.
‘Assets of A$3bn’
As reported, LM Investment Management, a Gold Coast, Australia-based fund manager which as recently as last year claimed to have assets under management of as much as A$3bn($3.1bn), was placed into voluntary administration on 18 March. The action was said by the company to have been necessary to "safeguard the best interests" of the company’s investors.
These are understood to include investors in more than 73 countries, as the company had representative offices in New Zealand, Hong Kong, Bangkok, London, Dubai and South Africa in addition to its head office in Australia. Most if not all of these regional offices are understood to have closed down or be in the process of being closed.
On 9 April, ASIC announced it had suspended the Australian financial services (AFS) licence of LMIM for two years.
Also last month, The Queensland Supreme Court transferred control of another of LM Investment Management’s eight funds to KordaMentha, an Australian insolvency and restructuring specialist, and Calibre Capital Ltd.
The court’s action removed control of the LM Managed Performance Fund from the appointed adminstrators of the LMIM group, John Park and Ginette Muller of FTI Consulting.