Charterhill boss apologises for ‘shock closure’

Charterhill Group chief executive George Nowak has issued a statement to clients in which he apologises for the “shock closure of our entire group by receivers and external administrators.”

The two administrators managing the collapse of four Charterhill entities confirmed they had in fact been appointed by Mr Nowak.

SMSF Adviser has obtained Mr Nowak’s statement, in which he gives reasons for the company’s troubles.

“Charterhill Group and its associated entities have provided a ‘one-stop shop’ for our clients which is unique in Australia in this industry but, unfortunately, it has come at a cost,” he said.

“The infrastructure required to perform all the various tasks involved in the process has been a severe drain on our cash flow and capital and we have reached the point where we can no longer function as a profitable business.”

Mr Nowak goes on to state that he has been “in immediate contact” with ASIC .

“As the sole director of the group entities I have already been in immediate contact with ASIC and provided full and open disclosure and am voluntarily working with AISC throughout the investigation process,” he said.

The first creditors’ meeting was held today with administrators Heard Phillips Accountants.

O’Loughlin’s Lawyers, who are representing at least 15 Charterhill clients, spoke to SMSF Adviser and explained the impact this has had on SMSF investors.

“The average creditor that we are seeing is between $80,000 to $120,000,” O’Loughlin’s Lawyers partner Kym Ryder said.

“We’ve already met with about 15 clients with more to come next week,” Mr Ryder said.

“Many of them had compliant industry funds and moved their retirement savings into an SMSF set up by Charterhill,” he said, adding that “it is particularly galling that they were recommended these investments by accountants.”

“Most of them have lost their entire retirement savings out of this,” he said.

While the total amount of lost retirement savings is yet to be known, Mr Ryder believes it will exceed $6 million.

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