CompaniesOct 9 2019

Failed DFM in charge of £1bn assets

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Failed DFM in charge of £1bn assets
ByRachel Mortimer

A discretionary fund manager which entered special administration yesterday amid "financial difficulties" and a botched sale controls more than £1bn in client monies and custody assets, it has emerged.

Reyker Securities Plc had been pursuing an accelerated sales process which fell through last week and the FCA confirmed the asset manager had stopped conducting any regulated activities as its directors took "immediate steps" to put it into special administration. 

In a statement published today (October 9) Smith & Williamson LLP announced Mark Ford, Adam Stephens and Henry Shinners had been appointed as joint special administrators of the company, which has about 15,000 clients. 

The administrators said Reyker controls client monies of circa £55m and custody assets of about £960m, some of which was invested via Isas and pension products.

In a statement on its website the asset manager said it had "no reason to believe that there is any shortfall in client money or assets" as at October 7, 2019. 

But the FCA has confirmed any costs associated with returning client money and custody assets back to customers will be deducted from the funds, with the regulator signposting clients to the Financial Services Compensation Scheme for potential compensation in this area. 

The FCA has now lifted its restrictions on Reyker as a means to allow administrators to return money and assets to clients, but the regulator said it was "important to note" the company would not be restarting its business. 

The administrators said: "The priority for the administrators is to identify, protect and in due course return client money and custody assets to clients in accordance with their interests to the fullest extent possible.

"This process will commence with the administrators seeking to determine the completeness of the client monies and custody assets controlled by Reyker as compared to clients’ verified entitlements."

They added: "The administrators will be doing everything possible to expedite this process and minimise the hardship and inconvenience caused to clients as a result of Reyker entering special administration."

Smith & Williamson said it would be looking to pursue a transfer of "some or all" of Reyker's business to another provider over the coming weeks. 

In an update on its website today (October 9) the regulator urged clients of Reyker to be cautious if approached by claims management companies, warning for the "vast majority" of clients there is no benefit of involving a third party when reclaiming assets. 

In 2013 the company hit the headlines as the former custodian of collapsed structured products provider Merchant Capital, which fell into administration along with its parent Merchant House Group. 

Claims against Merchant Capital reached the Financial Services Compensation Scheme as investors in plans previously held by the provider faced a fresh wave of fees, levied by Reyker.