Sunday 23 October 2016

Bloxham's former head of ­finance applies for bankruptcy

Published 05/04/2015 | 02:30

Bloxham was liquidated in 2012
Bloxham was liquidated in 2012

Tadhg Gunnell, the former head of finance and compliance at liquidated stockbroking house Bloxham during the years that it accrued massive financial irregularities, has applied for bankruptcy.

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Gunnell, who has an address on the Navan Road in Dublin, made the application after the High Court registered a €2m judgment mortgage against him in favour of Danske Bank.

In 2013, Danske launched lawsuits against Gunnell and other Bloxham partners as part of its attempt to recoup loans linked to the buyout of the firm from former partners for €34m.

The 150-year-old stockbroking house was ordered to cease trading in 2012 after the Central Bank found "financial irregularities" in its accounts. Its capital position had been overstated by just over €5m in the five years prior.

During that time, its accounts were audited by accounting firm Deloitte.

It was later put into liquidation under the control of KPMG's Kieran Wallace, now best known as the special liquidator of IBRC.

Bloxham had 17,000 private clients when it was shut by regulators, most of whom were passed on to Davy stockbrokers. Pramit Ghose, managing partner of Bloxham when it was shut down in 2012, now works for Davy.

Bloxham owed millions to creditors when it went into liquidation including National Irish Bank and the Revenue Commissioners.

In a case taken by the liquidator against the Irish Stock Exchange over its decision to revoke Bloxham's stock exchange membership, senior executives of Bloxham identified Gunnell as the person with knowledge of the financial irregularities at the firm.

Gunnell has been working at pay-as-you-go electricity company Pinergy in recent years. He represented the company on an industry group led by the taxpayer-funded Commission for Energy Regulation as recently as last month.

Under new bankruptcy rules his his debt to Danske should be discharged after three years.

No director or employee of Bloxham has ever been sanctioned by its regulator, the Central Bank.

A spokesperson for the regulator said its investigation is continuing and that decisions about enforcement options will be made when it is finished.

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