Tilman says court defeat will not stop operations
INVESTMENT MANAGER Tilman Brewin Dolphin said yesterday that it will continue operating despite a court ruling that threatens to leave it without key back-up services from next Friday.
In the High Court yesterday, Mr Justice Barry White refused to restrain Goodbody Stockbrokers from pulling the plug on an administrative services agreement it has had with Tilman since 2010.
After he made the ruling, Tilman’s barrister, Andrew Walker, warned that the company could have to stop trading for a month from the end of September.
“It may well be the case that my client will have to cease operation on September 30th for a month but they just do not know,” Mr Walker said.
However, Tilman issued a statement last night saying it would continue to safeguard clients’ interests and would provide them with a “seamless service” as it transfers administrative services to its parent company, Brewin Dolphin, which is based in Britain.
A spokesman for the firm said that, “while we are disappointed at the court’s decision, we have already commenced the transfer of administrative functions and we are now accelerating those plans”.
Once clients transfer to the Brewin Dolphin’s platform in the Britain, the UK’s Financial Services’ Authority will regulate the management of their assets and money. The Republic’s Central Bank will continue to regulate the conduct of Tilman’s business here.
Tilman sought a mandatory injunction restraining Goodbody from terminating the agreement next Friday. On August 15th, Goodbody gave 30 days’ notice that it intended doing so.
Following the judgment, Mr Walker said Tilman could not find a new financial services provider within four days to deal with the interests of 1,200 clients. Tilman would require at least a further two weeks until September 30th.
Mr Justice White said he did not intend to vary his judgment. He felt the only manner in which the matter could be resolved was by agreement between Tilman and Goodbody.
He said Tilman was not authorised by the Central Bank to deal in the services it obtained from Goodbody in exchange for commission.
Denman Kessler had left Goodbody for Tilman in 2010 and it was alleged he had solicited a number of clients who had transferred their business to Tilman.
Mr Justice White said Goodbody claimed Tilman had since head-hunted three senior Goodbody executives for “hello money of €700,000” which, it was alleged, would, in turn, bring up to €150 million of clients’ funds across to Tilman. Tilman denied this.
He said Goodbody had carried out a forensic analysis in relation to computer records of the employees concerned, portfolio managers Richard Flood and Daniel Macauley and pensions manager Suzanne Cashin.
Last week the three former Goodbody employees gave the court an undertaking they would not disclose confidential information obtained by them in their old jobs to their new employer, Tilman, which also gave an undertaking not to induce its new employees to divulge any confidential information they might have or use it in any way.