The Non-Bank Financial Institutions Regulatory Authority (NBFIRA) announced that it has acted on the Statutory Manager’s recommendations and filed an application at the High Court seeking an order to liquidate Bluthorn Fund Managers (Pty) Ltd (BFM).
BFM was licensed by the Authority in 2016 to operate as a Collective Investment Undertaking (CIU) within the capital markets industry, having satisfied the licensing and legislative requirements. The Authority during it’s supervisory activities in May 2019 discovered that BFM was not fully compliant with the relevant financial services laws. It was further discovered that BFM channeled the majority of investor funds into one of its related companies being Prime Employee Benefits (Pty) Ltd (Prime).
It was also established that Bluthorn is insolvent. According to NBFIRA, BFM’s audited financial statements of February 2018 revealed that the company was insolvent as liabilities exceeded assets and the Authority requested BFM to recapitalise accordingly.
NBFIRA said BFM did recapitalise shortly thereafter, however a subsequent on-site inspection by the Authority revealed that BFM had not recapitalised appropriately.
“ Failure by the management of BFM to satisfactorily and timeously rectify the areas of noncompliance observed, despite repeated engagements, led the Authority to place it under temporary closure from January to April 2020 and then subsequently under statutory management from April 2020 to date. The Authority reassures BFM’s clients that a liquidator has the legal authority to take a number of steps to recoup funds on behalf of BFM’s creditors. These statutory powers include but are not limited to engaging forensic auditors to trace funds that have not been accounted for, as well as taking appropriate legal action against Prime’s debtors in an attempt to recoup investors funds,” NBFIRA revealed.