MF Global administrator KPMG has defended its role in recovering assets for creditors and clients in the failed broker.
Speaking at a creditor meeting at the Barbican on Monday, joint administrator Richard Heis called for patience as winding down the company – which went into administration in October last year – was a “complex” task.
KPMG is looking to return £778m of cash and frozen assets from the broker.
According to The Telegraph, almost 800 clients and creditors were at the meeting from across Europe.
Responding to questions on why US clients in MF Global have already received a chunk of their funds back, Heis said: “We have 60 exchanges to contend while the US company traded on far fewer than that. US trustees have the benefit of a $550m guarantee from the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and a court process that allows them to seek swift approval for each distribution they plan to make. I understand the comparison but it is a completely different regime.”
The administrator is set to receive £14m in fees for its first two months of work, a figure clients and creditors both challenged.
Heis said: “I understand people want to vent their frustration because money has not been returned but it’s important to remember that this process has not been done before. Not a penny of our fees can be taken until we have approval from the creditors committee. Contrary to popular impression, just because we are the administrators does not mean we can pay ourselves whatever we like.”
Although KPMG would not offer a date for when it could return funds, the administrator does hope it can get High Court approval in the first week of February.
Heis said: “We hope to be able to make an interim distribution of client monies within the next few weeks.”