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Article Contents (Estimated Reading Time - 3 mins 50 secs)

Summary

Get the latest on Brite Advisors' situation from Cameron James. Discover how recent changes might affect your investments and what steps you can take next.

For those invested with Brite Advisors, there have been some key changes recently. We at Cameron James want to ensure you understand these changes and how they might affect your investments.

If you’ve been affected by the situation at Brite Advisors, keep reading – this update is specifically for you. For more background on this case, you can read our previous blog post here.

Appointment of Corporate Receivers

Linda Smith and Rob Kirman from McGrathNicol were appointed as Corporate Receivers and Managers at Brite Advisors by the Federal Court of Australia on December 13, 2023. Their role involves securing Brite Advisors’ property, including client assets, and conducting thorough investigations. This move aims to stabilise the company’s operations and ensure proper management of assets.

Current Asset Status

The Receivers have successfully secured substantial assets, with investments valued at over AU $976 million (c.US $652 million). Their efforts are focused on stabilising the company’s operations and providing clarity on the status of client assets under management.

Now, this appears to be, on the face of it, some positive news. As per the last updates, it appeared that c.US $69m was potentially unaccounted for in Brite’s accounting system, which was much of the reason for the expedited appointment of the Receivers.

However, it appears that some of that may now be accounted for, so worries about missing/stolen funds are perhaps not quite as large as first suspected, in our opinion, as the last update from the Receivers would indicate. Given that they have not made further reference to missing funds and that they have stated their goal is now to move on to the loans to ascertain who has the rights to all the funds, is a further indication that they have moved in a positive direction towards accounting for the missing funds.

This doesn’t mean they are out of the woods, and a lot of funds still may be missing, but it is certainly appearing to be trending in the right direction, with the next report hopefully providing even more clarity on this point. The Receivers, of course, might be in a position where they don’t want to cause more panic, and are withholding such statements until the court report, once they have had even more time to investigate and can make a more declarative statement of the security of all the client assets under management.

Future Reports and Implications

A report is expected by 24 January 2024, which will shed more light on the future of client assets. This development is significant for investors and requires careful attention.

By this date, they will have hopefully obtained all the various loan agreements and contracts, and have a better, if not complete, understanding of the rights of ownerships of the funds, along with once and for all being able to confirm that they have control to all the client assets, and that there is nothing unaccounted for.

From there they can then work out what is client owned, and then it will likely be up to the courts to decide how clients will be repatriated with their assets, and what amounts they will be able to transfer to a new platform/provider etc. However, there is no way to know for sure what information they have obtained, and how far along we are until this report is completed and published. They will also 100% need to make sure that all the accounts reconcile, and that they have indeed got access to all the accounts and all the money.

Exclusion from Broader ‘Brite Group’

It’s important to note that the Receivers’ appointment does not extend to other entities within the ‘Brite Group’. This delineation is critical for understanding the scope of their investigation and actions.

However, whilst ASICS might only be looking at Brite’s Australian Entity, that is where the money is held, so should not be too much cause for concern, especially for those of you in the US, where legal action is underway from the SEC.

Restrictions on Withdrawals

We now have more clarity on the withdrawal process, after months of speculation and slightly ambiguous wording in court/receiver documents. If you set up a withdrawal instruction before November 9th, you’re likely fine to continue receiving regular income. But if you were planning to start taking money out or get your PCLS after this date, there’s a potential, if not likely, hold on that. 

We understand this might be frustrating, but it’s a necessary step for now given the complexities of trying to assess ownership of the funds. We have written another article that explains the new information around withdrawals, along with our interpretation and client experience received thus far.

Looking Forward: What’s Next for Your Brite Advisors Investment?

At Cameron James, we understand the challenges and concerns faced by investors during these uncertain times. It’s vital to approach this situation with a combination of patience and strategic planning.

Consulting with a qualified and independent financial adviser, who is regulated within your local jurisdiction, is a crucial step to ensure you do not make the wrong decision for your funds. Establishing this professional relationship early on, rather than scrambling when your funds are ready for transfer, is essential. Haste in such matters, driven by the eagerness to move funds quickly, can inadvertently shortcut the due diligence process, potentially leading to decisions that may not serve your best interests in the long term. Taking the time now ensures a thorough and considered approach to your financial future.

Our team is here to offer empathetic, expert advice to help you navigate these changes. We’re committed to providing clear, understandable guidance, ensuring you make informed decisions for your financial future. If you’re impacted by these developments, don’t hesitate to reach out to us for support.

Author

Jonathan Laws

My journey at Cameron James has been exceptional. I am something of a sponge for knowledge, which has made me extremely well suited to the complexities and constantly evolving UK Pension Transfer system. This in-depth knowledge and experience of Final Salary Pension Transfers allows me to be at the very top of my game and protect my client’s best interests.

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