The London-based firm was a former a subsidiary of UK bridging provider Tiuta.
In the middle of June 2012 it was announced that the board of Connaught was winding up its income fund series one and two, both of which partly funded bridging lending Tiuta.
Series two was made up of £12m in securitised assets and £5m in cash and series one in £100m in assets. Connaught proposed at the time to acquire the entire issued share capital of both.
As a result this meant that it also bought up the two holding firms for the two funds. The series one fund’s holding firm was Tiuta Development Finance and the series two fund’s holding firm was Tiuta International.
There was also a series three fund for bridging loans on agricultural property, which is also in the process of being wound down.
Following the acquisition of Tiuta International, Connaught’s directors decided that with Tiuta International the company holding and owning the loan book for the series one fund it should be placed into administration to wind-down the book.
Connaught’s chairman Mike Davies, says: “This decision has nothing to do with the wider Tiuta group. We have opted for this as Connaught has never handled any investor monies and we have no intention of doing so now.
“Between the acquisition of Titua International and placing it into an administrative process all bank accounts have effectively been frozen with no monies leaving its bank account.”
BDO has been appointed the administrator for Tiuta International and BDO business restructuring partner Danny Dartnaill says the joint administrators would take all necessary steps to safeguard the assets under their control.
Davies adds: “Connaught’s objective has been to effectively appoint an independent custodian to manage the wind down of the loan book and our decision to opt for administration protects investors and Connaught, and clearly demonstrates that we have no other intention but to recover as much money as possible for investors in an open and transparent manner.”
In May 2011 the FSA issued a warning to people who had invested in Connaught’s series one and two funds over the way they were being advertised.
Both funds were described as “very low risk” and “low risk” in product literature, making comparisons between investing in them and placing money in a high street or building society bank account.
The regulator also argued that the funds’ product literature did not explain clearly enough that the quarterly “fixed income payment” they offered depended on the performance of the investments within the funds.