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Keydata “innocent victims”, say directors

Keydata says it is an “innocent victim” after administrator PwC said that over £100m of assets from some of the plans appear to be missing.

The assets which appear to be missing were invested in Keydata plans with Luxembourg investment vehicle SLS Capital.

In a statement from directors late this afternoon, the firm says directors only became aware this weekend that the underlying assets of SLS appear to have been liquidated .

It says: “Like a number of other UK distributors of structured products, Keydata was only a distributor of the SLS bonds and is not and never has been connected in any way with SLS or its owners or managers.

“Nor is Keydata in any way connected with the various other counterparties involved in the SLS bond issue, such as investment managers, custodians, listing agents and bond registrars.”

Keydata says the affected secure income bonds had been distributed via IFAs to retail investors in the UK by other independent distributors before Keydata was involved in their distribution.

SLS has four corporate director companies, three based in Labuan, Malaysia and BWT Capital which is based in Luxembourg.

Keydata says an agent of BWT Capital, a company which was controlled by David Elias who died in May, approached it to assist with the ongoing distribution of these bonds into the UK in May 2005.

Elias was a controversial business figure who died in May following complications associated with pneumonia. Elias’ Richbell group collapsed in 1997 leaving more than 80 companies in liquidation and led to Serious Fraud Office and DTI investigations, according to reports.

According to an obituary in the Daily Telegraph , Elias lived as a fugitive in the Far East after a warrant was issued for his arrest and he failed to appear at a rescheduled hearing in 2001.

The directors say they are an “innocent victim” and they are confident the issues now being addressed by regulators are restricted to the SLS bonds and are unaware any problems or irregularities relating to investments with Lifemark SA or Hometrack SA and have no reason to believe that any such problems exist.

The statement says: “The directors wish to emphasise that they have co-operated fully with the regulators and the joint administrators in this matter and will of course continue to do so. In addition, the directors fully intend to pursue all possible claims against those who by their actions have caused loss or damage to the company or its customers.”

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  1. Aren’t all financial firms ‘innocent’?
    It is always someone else, a ‘big boy did it and ran away’. I could never understand how a company which supplied fund data on a CD became something so grand.

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