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Advisory firm set up by former Anglo director loses €540,000

A WEALTH management business set up by former Anglo Irish Bank director Tom Browne is sitting on losses of more than €500,000, despite advising some of the country's wealthiest families.

Accounts filed by Lebruin Private, which Browne set up with former Anglo colleague Cathal Fitzgerald, show that shareholders' fund are now in the negative to the tune of €398,871.

The firm advises wealthy families all over Ireland, initially on how to manage their assets, but increasingly it markets it services as a debt management company as the economy continues to struggle.

Accumulated losses now come to €546,871, up from €535,892 the year before. The company has more than €1m in cash, which was down by almost €250,000 on the previous year.

Browne, who has been in dispute with his old bank over the last year, owned 75,480 shares, while Fitzgerald owned 50,320.

The firm is able to continue as a going concern thanks to support from its shareholders, according to the accounts, which cover the period up to April 2010.


Browne, Anglo's former head of Irish lending, resigned from the bank in 2007, two years after David Drumm took over as chief executive. Browne had been considered one of the leading contenders to replace previous chief executive Sean FitzPatrick.

Lebruin's auditors included a so-called ''emphasis of matter'' in the accounts. The net assets of the company are less than half the amount of its share capital, the accounts add.

Brown was allowed, before Christmas, to challenge his former employers who are trying to force him to repay millions of euro in loans.

Browne claimed he would not have taken some of the loans if he knew what was going on in the bank in relation to businessman Sean Quinn.

Browne was told by the High Court he was entitled to defend the claim on grounds including the bank was guilty of fraudulent misrepresentation in allegedly failing to inform him of matters relating to the purchase of 28pc of its shares by Sean Quinn.

Browne claims Anglo advanced millions of euro to him in late 2007 to buy its shares when it, the financial regulator, and other state authorities, all knew it had loaned substantial sums to Quinn in November 2007 to support and fund Quinn's liabilities concerning 'contracts for difference' transactions.

made to fund the purchase of Anglo shares.

The bank had failed to tell him about these matters which, if known on the financial markets, would have had "a devastating effect" on Anglo's stability and share price, Browne claimed.

Irish Independent