The investors in his last business lost €8m... but now he's up for an award
KIERAN Murphy, a property speculator whose last business lost his clients €8m, has bounced back as one of three entrepreneurs shortlisted by the Dublin Institute of Technology for a €10,000 prize.
Mr Murphy's new company, called TradersNow, has been selected as one of three graduates of DIT's Hothouse Venture Programme to compete for the prize, which is co-sponsored by accountants PwC and the Bolton Trust, a charitable trust set up by DIT staff.
The news that Mr Murphy is back in business with Traders Now -- a firm which promises to help investors make money betting on stocks and currency movements -- has infuriated 289 backers of Mr Murphy's previous business, called Kuvera.
This company planned to build apartment blocks in Northeast India -- but ended up losing all their investors' money in a byzantine affair.
John Place, head of an action group set up to help backers, said he was "very disappointed" that Mr Murphy had time to start a new company at the same time as investors were still battling to recover some of their losses. "It is totally unsatisfactory," Mr Place said. "I'm working on a daily basis to help investors. A lot of people have lost a lot of money with this guy."
Mr Murphy reached a settlement two years ago with the investors, in a deal secured for them by Anthony Joyce Solicitors which saw him hand over control of five properties in the UK, two houses on a golf resort in South Africa and cash.
However, Mr Place said, the investors had not gotten anything meaningful back. He said there was no equity in the UK properties; there were tax issues associated with the sale of the properties in South Africa -- and what cash there was, had been used to fund legal actions.
"[Mr Murphy's] previous venture, Kuvera Ltd, has no association with the Bolton Trust, DIT or the Docklands Innovation Park Enterprise Awards," a spokesperson for DIT said. "All matters arising from Kuvera Ltd have been settled as per the legal agreement reached with investors in July 2009." It declined to comment further.
Mr Murphy did not respond to attempts to contact him.
Sunday Indo Business