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Wednesday 21 March 2018

Director of company that 'misused' €66m co-owns pensions advice firm

John Mulholland was handed a 12-year director ban
John Mulholland was handed a 12-year director ban
Charlie Weston

Charlie Weston

The former director of a collapsed investment firm that "misused" €66m of investors' money is the co-owner of a pensions advice company that is advertising for business.

John Mulholland was described by a High Court judge as being deeply dishonest and was banned in December from being a director of any company for 12 years for his part in the collapse of Custom House Capital.

Mr Mulholland and his two fellow Custom House Capital directors were found to have misappropriated some €66.5m in client funds. The company was liquidated in 2011 after a High Court-appointed investigation by two Central Bank inspectors found "systemic and deliberate misuse" of clients' money.

Many of those who lost out were ordinary people who invested pension money with Custom House Capital. Now it has emerged that Mr Mulholland is the co-owner of Dublin-based Windsor Wealth Management, trading as

Windsor Wealth Management advertised on the back page of 'The Irish Times' in the past few days.

The advert asks if the reader is an ex-employee of AIB, Bank of Ireland or Ulster Bank, and informs these people they can cash in 25pc of their pension from the age of 50.

It also states that Windsor Wealth Management is regulated by the Central Bank.

A 'B1 annual return' form in the Companies Registration Office, dated September 30, 2016, lists Mr Mulholland, of Thomastown, Co Kilkenny, as a co-owner of Windsor Wealth Management.

His son, Johnny, is also listed as an owner.

Other filings show Mr Mulholland snr ceased to be a director from February 24, 2015, according to annual account filings.

He received consultancy fees of €8,383 in 2015, the documents show. When contacted, Mr Mulholland denied he had any management role in the company.

He had previously been listed as managing director.

Johnny Mulholland said in an email: "I can advise that I am the managing director of the firm and this has been the case since February 2015."

He initially did not respond when asked if his father was still a shareholder of Windsor Wealth Management. However, hours later Johnny Mulholland issued an email stating: "All structural changes for a regulated company including directorships and share ownership must be pre-authorised by the Central Bank of Ireland.

"I can confirm that Windsor Wealth Management Limited are currently in contact with the Central Bank regarding same."

This appears to indicate that Mr Mulholland snr is now in the process of selling his shares in the firm. Last December Mr Mulholland, also listed in company filings as John D Mulholland, was banned by the High Court from acting as a director of any firm for 12 years.

Windsor Wealth Management made a profit of close to €10,000 in the year to December 2015.

The Central Bank had no comment when presented with the Windsor Wealth accounts, a copy of the advert and details of the disqualification.

In December, Mr Justice David Keane in the High Court said Mr Mulholland and fellow former Custom House Capital directors Harry Cassidy and John Whyte had displayed conduct that was "deeply dishonest".

Mr Mulholland accepted in court that he had failed in his corporate responsibility, but asked for a restriction on involvement in a company rather than a disqualification.

Irish Independent

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