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KPMG new bid for Lifemark support from advice firms

Lifemark administrator KPMG is asking advisers to consider a last-ditch bid to provide emergency capital for the life settlement investment vehicle.

In a separate move, Keydata founder Stewart Ford says he has assembled a consortium of Lifemark policyholders to provide a lending package to stop the firm from collapsing.

KPMG Luxemburg provisional administrator of Lifemark Eric Collard is understood to be in talks with firms which recommended Lifemark bonds, including Norwich & Peterborough Building Society. The 11th-hour talks come after many of the adviser firms previously rejected a funding approach from Collard.

The refinancing plans come after US hedge fund CarVal walked away from talks with KPMG on providing financing to keep Lifemark’s bonds afloat, as revealed by Money Marketing earlier this month.

Around 23,000 Keydata investors have £349m invested through Lifemark. The firm has halted income payments to investors to preserve liquidity and maintain the value of the policies.

Ford believes his offer of lifeline capital for Lifemark will be a better deal for affected investors but says he welcomes any other rescue packages that might secure their savings.

Sources close to KPMG say any consortium must decide whether it wants to demand corporate governance rights at Lifemark in return for bailout capital and prove that it can deliver the funds it is pledging on time.

It is also thought that while 1,000 IFA firms are involved with the Lifemark crisis, KPMG is keen to limit the total number of firms involved in any consortium arrangement to keep costs down.

KPMG has exhausted all other avenues including talks with financial institutions who own portfolios of life settlement policies, who could have stepped in to prevent a Lifemark collapse for fear it might damage values on the life settlement market.

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