Bloomberg News

MF Global’s U.K. Staff Face ‘Threats of Violence,’ KPMG Says

December 28, 2011

Dec. 19 (Bloomberg) -- MF Global Holdings Ltd’s U.K. employees have received threats amid claims the broker misused client funds before it collapsed, the company’s administrators told a London court.

KPMG LLP, administrators of MF Global’s U.K. unit, asked a judge for permission to remove the names of employees from court filings for their protection.

“We have had two sets of threats, one in relation to a trader,” KPMG’s lawyer Adam al-Attar told the court. The intimidation included “threats of violence,” he said.

The threats may have been because of the association with MF Global UK Ltd.’s New York-based parent company, where there is “speculation as to the misapplication of client monies,” Al-Attar said. High Court Judge David Richards approved the application and made an order for the redactions this morning.

In the U.S. bankruptcy, trustee James W. Giddens has estimated that $1.2 billion is missing from MF Global’s segregated customer funds, which are supposed to be protected. Jon S. Corzine, the former chairman and chief executive officer, apologized to clients and investors for their losses at a hearing before U.S lawmakers last week.

No shortfall has been identified in the U.K. Administrators know where the British unit’s segregated client funds are held and have collected 82 percent of the money, KPMG partner Richard Heis said on Dec. 16.

The ruling sought by KPMG today isn’t unprecedented, Heis said in a statement today.

“This is an order that we have sought and obtained in the past when there is a possibility that disclosure of employees’ personal details, as otherwise required by legislation, might expose them to harm,” he said.

About 350 of MF Global’s 700 U.K. employees have been retained by KPMG to work on winding up the company, Al-Attar said.

MF Global was the fifth-largest financial company to file for bankruptcy when it sought U.S. court protection on Oct. 31 after placing losing bets on European sovereign debt.

--Editors: Anthony Aarons, Peter Chapman

To contact the reporter on this story: Kit Chellel in London at cchellel@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Aarons at aaarons@bloomberg.net


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