Financial services

"The aim is always to maximise net recoveries for creditors."

The financial services industry has undergone rapid and extensive change, with the recession and poor management forcing a growing number of companies into receivership.  Numerous finance companies have collapsed.  Private investors, as well as the government under the Deposit Guarantee Scheme, face considerable losses.  Some depositors have lost their entire investment.

There have been proposals for the Financial Markets Authority (which replaced the Securities Commission in May 2011) to be given more extensive powers.  Media articles have highlighted the fact that engaging certain receivers has resulted in significant fees being incurred with, in many cases, little or no results for investors.

These concerns make the challenges of trustees, financiers and us as receivers even more complex.  Every receivership is different, which makes it even more imperative to engage the most appropriate insolvency specialists for the particular assignment.  The firm must have a proven track record of maximising returns to creditors, together with the right charging structure and investigative skills. While a large firm may offer many advantages in terms of experience and profile, their fees may diminish the recovery for the stakeholders.

Outside of formal insolvency, we also have considerable expertise in performing a range of advisory, forensic and investigative work.

Experience and expertise

We are able to offer extensive financial services expertise, while practising responsible and realistic fee management.  Our team has been involved in high profile finance company receiverships and moratoriums, so we understand the concerns of relevant parties.

We are also able to provide a range of advisory services including turnaround/restructuring advice and implementation, work-outs and investigating accountant reports, as well as carrying out formal insolvency appointments.  Please visit our Restructuring and turnaround page for more information on the services we can provide in this area.

We make it a point to remain in regular contact with trustees, financiers and security holders, advising of our intended approach to the assignment.  We also aim to provide regular updates on important matters as soon as they come to hand.

Without the right approach, there is a potential in some receiverships for the costs of realisation to significantly erode the recoveries.  At McDonald Vague, we quickly implement strategies to ensure loan repayments continue to be made and loans in arrears are acted on appropriately.  Where possible, we will negotiate to sell part of the loan book to third parties so the security holders receive payments as quickly as possible without incurring ongoing receivership costs.  The aim is always to maximise net recoveries for creditors.

In conjunction with input from outsourced expertise where necessary, we develop recovery strategies for individual loans.  We act commercially when implementing these strategies and act quickly to achieve the best possible return.  We have excellent relationships with corporate lawyers and other professionals who can advise us where necessary.  However, in cases where we have the requisite experience to make a decision, we do not unnecessarily incur the expense of engaging further professional services.

National resources and capabilities

We have around 16 full-time people on our staff. This includes two Partners and two Directors. We also have a number of experienced consultants that we can call upon as and when required. Our offices are located in Auckland and Hamilton.

As a medium-sized firm which only undertakes business recovery and insolvency work, we can operate independently and seldom have conflicts of interest compared to larger, multi-disciplinary firms.

McDonald Vague is a member firm of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CAANZ), INSOL (international body of insolvency specialists) and the Forensic Accounting Special Interest Group.  We adhere to the guidelines, rules, regulations and ethics of these bodies, and these associations provide an assurance of independence, service and integrity.  Our Directors and staff have a varied background, with many having trained at major international firms such as PwC, KPMG and Deloitte.

We are also members of NZCA (an association of independent Chartered Accountants).  We are able to undertake assignments anywhere in New Zealand and can align with a local NZCA firm for assistance. McDonald Vague will still control the assignment and ensure the same high level of expertise and service is maintained. Our clients benefit from the associated firm's local experience, as well as more cost effective fees as our travel expenses are reduced.

The various members of our financial services team have:-

- Proven instincts, and the ability to rapidly assess a situation and arrive at a practical solution

- Particular skills in implementing innovative realisation strategies to maximise recoveries

- Expertise in the intricacies of refinancing and restructuring lending

- Knowledge of the Financial Markets Authority regulations

- An excellent success rate at recovering significant debt for creditors

- Superb negotiation skills in resolving shareholder disputes and managing legal disputes involving borrowers and guarantors

- Expertise at pursuing litigation where commercial settlements cannot be reached

- Experience of successfully conducting reckless trading and other actions against directors

Formidable forensic and investigative skills

If we suspect decisions made by a company prior to our appointment were inappropriate, we will investigate these and identify possible actions, and who is best placed to bring these actions.  Such legal actions will only be pursued once we have assessed the likely financial benefits for secured debenture investors.  We will also investigate other possible claims against directors, borrowers and other parties.

Our wider team has a range of invaluable experience in this area.  One of our staff has considerable experience as a fraud investigator for the New Zealand Police.   Two other team members have worked as investigating accountants with the Insolvency and Trustee Service, and one was previously an investigator at the Serious Fraud Office.  A member of our team previously worked for the National Enforcement Unit, and another worked in Papua New Guinea, providing restructuring advice to its Reserve Bank. We also have ongoing relationships with the Financial Markets Authority and the Serious Fraud Office.

Our team has dedicated professionals who are skilled at forensically examining a company's financial position, and tracking down funds that other investigators would miss.  We have investigated serious fraud and criminal offending, and have also undertaken detailed and extensive investigations leading to legal proceedings.

Legal proceedings

We have an in-depth understanding of the evidential requirements necessary to undertake prosecution and/or litigation.  This often allows much of the information normally collated by lawyers to be gathered and prepared in-house.  We have also been involved in a number of significant legal proceedings to recover property and funds misappropriated through fraud.

It is no secret that most legal proceedings are settled before trial, mainly due to the potential for significant cost and delays.  We are experienced at managing litigation in a way that encourages early settlement, either through informal negotiations or more formal procedures such as Judicial Settlement Conferences or mediation.

We are able to provide the following services:-

Restructuring/turnaround advice and implementation

- Profitability and cashflow monitoring

- Strategies for workouts or asset sell-downs

- Security reviews

Business evaluations and appraisals

- Due diligence

Investigating accountant assignments

Forensic accounting and fraud investigations

- Discovery and recovery of assets

- Management of legal actions and evidence gathering

- Preparation of affidavits and reports

Creditor compromises

Receiverships

Voluntary liquidations - solvent companies

Voluntary liquidations - insolvent companies

Court appointed liquidations

Voluntary administration

We have a leading team of financial services specialists, with a wide range of local and international experience in restructuring and turnaround, compliance, forensic accounting, fraud investigation and corporate insolvency. With our in-depth experience of financial services, McDonald Vague can hit the ground running, swiftly assessing the situation with practised eyes, deploying resources without delay, taking control of management and finances and most importantly, delivering fast, tailored results to the maximum benefit of all parties.

Peri Finnigan
Director
Peri Finnigan is a trusted and experienced insolvency specialist. She is often the primary point of contact for McDonald Vague, and her management of an assignment is characterised by her exceptionally high levels of competency and effectiveness. Read More

Boris van Delden
Director
Boris van Delden is a highly experienced insolvency practitioner, culminating with his appointment as director at McDonald Vague in 2005. Boris thrives on the energy and vibrancy of McDonald Vague, but mostly enjoys maintaining close contact with his clients. In his eight years with the team he has worked on a large number of liquidations, receiverships, turnaround management projects and business evaluations and appraisals. Read More

Iain McLennan
Director
Iain has developed extensive experience in technical liquidations and receiverships for companies in a wide variety of industries including finance, e-commerce, software development and manufacturing. He has successfully provided advice to numerous liquidators on recovery actions, particularly actions against directors involving fraud and reckless trading. Read More

David Taylforth
Senior Insolvency Manager
David Taylforth is a Chartered Accountant and holds a Public Practicing certificate and is a member of RITANZ. David began his career with Ernst & Young, and went on to gain extensive experience in a wide range of businesses there, and also as a Chartered Accountant in his own business. David has being a CA for 38 years, of which 8 years have being involved in corporate recovery, liquidations and receiverships. Read More

Contact us to discuss your situation

If you believe McDonald Vague may be able to assist you, please visit our staff profile page for direct contact details of our Directors.  All such discussions are treated confidentially and do not commit you to appointing us in any formal capacity.

Our offices are located in Auckland and Hamilton.  We also have team members who are fluent in Mandarin and Dutch.