Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Press Releases’ Category

An international study has named Australia as a front runner to become a regional centre for securities class action litigation.

Read more here…

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Over the last few years it has become clear that fund managers and custodians have a fiduciary duty to ensure that their clients participate in securities class actions that may recoup some of their investment losses. Back in 2005, over 40 mutual fund managers were reportedly sued by shareholders of those funds in class action lawsuits alleging that the funds failed to collect as much as USD 2 billion in settlement payouts to which the funds’ shareholders were entitled1. The lawsuits claimed that the funds’ failure to attempt to recover this money during the class period was a failure of fiduciary duty, was negligent, and violated the Investment Company Act of 1940. The lawsuits were seeking damages for all of the money allegedly left on the table, as well as damages and the forfeiture of all commissions or fees paid by fund shareholders.

Goal Group Report on Non US Class Actions April 2013

Read Full Post »

29 January 2013

A new forecast study from GOAL Group, the leading global class action services specialist, predicts that settlements in securities class actions outside the U.S. will rise to USD 8.3 billion per year by 2020.  GOAL Group’s study also identifies that if non-participation rates seen in U.S. class actions are experienced in non-U.S. activity, by the end of the decade USD 2.02 billion of investors’ rightful returns will be left unreclaimed each year.

Furthermore, the report also warns that because non-U.S. legislatures require participants to register at the beginning of a case, investors need to participate now to receive their rightful returns.  Any level of non-participation presents fiduciaries, such as fund managers and custodians, with a potential legal risk.  Experience in the U.S., along with emerging contractual obligations, suggests that fiduciaries may be sued if they do not ensure investors participate in class actions to recoup a proportion of their investment losses.

This is a wake-up call to fiduciaries, as growth in non-U.S. collective actions and evidence that some custodians are restricting the geography of their class action service level, indicate that non-participation rates are likely to be at least at current U.S. case levels, and probably considerably higher.  Moreover, evidence is emerging that funds are now including the responsibility for class action identification and participation in contractual agreements with their custodians.

Stephen Everard, CEO, GOAL Group, comments, “Until recently, the main focus of securities class actions was on the U.S. as the most developed legislature in this respect.  However, class action growth outside the U.S. is now increasing rapidly, and is predicted to mirror the growth of the U.S. class action scene in the early part of the 21st century.  The root of this international diversification seems to have been a combination of restrictions on jurisdiction definitions in the U.S. Federal courts, along with a growing desire to develop domestic class action procedures in many countries around the globe.  Moreover, certain legislatures – currently The Netherlands and Canada – have defined and admitted the idea of a global ‘class’ where non-U.S. investors in shares listed on a non-U.S. exchange can pursue their securities class actions in those countries’ courts.  There is no viable excuse for non-participation as a number of specialist service providers can now perform this function at relatively low cost.”

Methodology
Predicted annual settlement volumes for non-U.S. legislatures have been modelled through to a forward date of 2020, the end of the decade.  Using GOAL’s proprietary data and insights, combined with corroborative third party sources, the model utilises the U.S. class actions experience to estimate the size of annual settlements in other world markets after a further eight years of class actions development in these countries and in legislatures that accept international plaintiff representation and reparation.  GOAL’s predictive model adopts a conservative positioning, factoring out the major peaks of settlement values seen in the U.S. experience to date.

www.goalgroup.com


About GOAL Group Limited (GOAL)
Established in 1989, GOAL is the leading class actions and tax reclamation services specialist.  Goal has a truly blue-chip client base including many of the world’s largest global custodians, asset managers, private banks, pension funds, hedge funds, high net-worth individuals, investment banks, prime brokers and fund managers spread widely across Europe, the United States and the Far East. 

GOAL’s class actions service is provided via the wholly-owned subsidiary Goal Global Recoveries Limited (“GGRL”) and supports individuals and corporate entities who have suffered financial loss from owning shares in a company where there has been mis-management and/or unlawful behaviour.  GOAL has calculated that between 2000 and 2007, nearly $12 billion had been ‘left on the table’ by shareholders who had failed to seek redress for their losses, and is currently working on an estimate of unreclaimed losses for 2008-11 

In the tax reclamation field, GOAL’s flagship product GTRS (Global Tax Reclamation System) – available as installed software or as an outsourced service – helps custodians reclaim tax on income from cross-border securities that has been overwithheld by foreign governments based on international Double Taxation treaties. This is delivered to global financial institutions, including 5 of the world’s top 10 custodian banks.

Read Full Post »

Image for UK pension funds expected to increase claims through class actions

A leading class action specialist predicts that, with an increase in the amount of pension funds claiming back lost investments, settlements in securities class actions outside the US could rise to $8.3bn per year by 2020.

Class action specialist GOAL Group predicts that settlements in securities class actions outside the US will rise substantially. Up to very recently pension funds only focussed on claiming back lost investments in the US, as this was the market with the most developed legislature. However, pension fund trustees, and their custodian banks, have a fiduciary duty to recover beneficiary returns from class actions, and more and more funds will have this added as a clause in their contract, forcing them to seek legal solutions in many other nations across the world.

The root of this international diversification seems to have been a combination of restrictions on jurisdiction definitions in the US Federal courts (for example the Morrison v. National Australia Bank ruling), along with a growing desire to develop domestic class action procedures in many countries around the globe.

A worrying fact, however, in the new study by the legal consultants identified that if non-participation rates seen in US class actions are experienced and continued in non-US activity, by the end of the decade USD 2.02bn of investors’ rightful returns will be left unclaimed each year.

In the UK, pension funds currently account for 38% of total assets under management – an estimated 1.6tn (according to the 2011-2012, IMA Annual Survey). On average 40% of these funds portfolio is invested in foreign stocks, of which only 11% is invested in US stocks.

GOAL says the awareness of what is lost out on, on an annual basis, should be a wake-up call to fiduciaries. Especially now that funds are seen to be including the responsibility for class action identification and participation in contractual agreements with their custodians, these need to be seen trying to recoup the investment losses in order not to be sued. Some custodians though are restricting the geography of their class action service level, which could indicate that non-participation rates are likely to be even higher than at current US case levels.

Stephen Everard, CEO of the GOAL Group, said the excuses of not participating in class action lawsuits was slowly disappearing: “Until recently, the main focus of securities class actions was on the US. However, class action growth outside the US is now increasing rapidly, and is predicted to mirror the growth of the US class action scene in the early part of the 21st century.

“Certain legislatures – currently The Netherlands and Canada – have defined and admitted the idea of a global ‘class’ where non-US investors in shares listed on a non-US exchange can pursue their securities class actions in those countries’ courts. There is no viable excuse for non-participation as a number of specialist service providers can now perform this function at relatively low cost.”

The UK is also one of the jurisdictions where US-style securities litigation is developing, along with Germany, The Netherlands and Canada, where a framework is already in place. GOAL says it is “quite possible” that the UK could become a regional centre for the prosecution of these cases.

First published 01.02.2013

monique_simpson@wilmington.co.uk

Read Full Post »

Les sociétés Capfields et Goal viennent de créer une coentreprise travaillant au recouvrement de fonds suite à des décisions de justice. Une spécialisation financière qui colle plus que jamais à l’actualité.

Louis de Laromiguière, associé chez Capfields, est à l’origine de la coentrepris

Il y a d’abord eu Lifemark, un fonds de titrisation autrefois coté à la Bourse de Luxembourg et mis en liquidation depuis mai 2012. Ses dizaines de milliers d’investisseurs sont aujourd’hui progressivement remboursées par le programme de compensation des services financiers britanniques. Il y a ensuite eu, en novembre de l’année dernière, cette décision de justice condamnant l’ancienne filiale luxembourgeoise de Dexia (aujourd’hui la Banque internationale à Luxembourg) à verser 75.000 euros à un investisseur français d’un fonds madoffé pour avoir manqué dans son devoir de communication. Un jugement qui pourrait en appeler bien d’autres, et éventuellement en class action…

Ces deux cas de déconvenues financières ayant impliqué des indemnisations représentent une goutte d’eau dans l’océan de créances non recouvrées. Ils concernent certes le Grand-Duché, mais ils s’inscrivent surtout dans une longue liste au niveau international. Sur le seul marché américain, 19 milliards de dollars resteraient depuis 10 ans non réclamés. Pourtant, ils sont à la disposition des investisseurs suite à des décisions de justice.

« Récupérer l’argent »

C’est ce que fait valoir Louis de Laromiguière, associé de la société Capfields qui vient de créer, avec le groupe londonien Goal, une coentreprise spécialisée dans le recouvrement international de liquidité ou « Global cash recovery ». L’idée de cette niche, explorée par ce consultant travaillant généralement sur les processus opérationnels, est d’offrir à des sociétés financières un service de screening des portefeuilles des investisseurs pour évaluer ce à quoi ils peuvent prétendre en termes d’indemnités judiciaires. Celles-ci émanent de condamnations de sociétés distribuant des titres cotés disponibles auprès d’agents payeurs. « Nous allons récupérer cet argent », indique simplement Louis de Laromiguière.

Mais ni la joint-venture, ni Capfields, ni Goal n’ont de service juridique. Ils gèrent uniquement des sources d’informations donnant accès aux décisions de justice. La société londonienne dispose d’un maillage international de plus de 600 sources consultées régulièrement. Leur structure informatique automatise alors l’identification des sommes recouvrables pour l’investisseur, génère les demandes de remboursement (spécifiques à chaque pays couvert) et effectue le suivi avec l’agent payeur. Selon l’associé de Capfields, Goal a récupéré depuis 2007 plus de 250 millions d’euros. La société surveille au quotidien 9.000 milliards d’euros de valeurs de titres à Londres.

Marché des class actions

Avec cette joint-venture, opérationnelle depuis janvier, de nouveaux marchés de « class action » sont servis. La Belgique, la Nouvelle-Zélande, les pays scandinaves et l’Australie en font partie. Elle travaille d’ailleurs déjà avec de grands noms bancaires. Capfields, bras commercial de Goal sur ce produit, s’adresse ainsi aux fonds ou aux banques avec l’argument selon lequel souscrire à ce service (coût fixe plus commission sur montants recouverts) pourrait rassurer encore le client… alors que les régulations AIFM et Ucits imposent toujours plus de responsabilités aux acteurs du marché, à commencer par les banques dépositaires.

Pour l’heure, la coentreprise n’implique rien de concret au Grand-Duché – elle n’a même pas de personnalité juridique – si ce n’est des jours/hommes. Mais il n’est pas exclu que l’infrastructure informatique – aujourd’hui à Londres – s’y installe à moyen terme. Le cas échéant, une poignée d’emplois sera créée.

Recherche de cross-selling

La société luxembourgeoise Capfields, spin off de Trasys, compte en tout cas sur ce service de global cash recovery pour accroître sa notoriété et vendre sur la place financière ses autres compétences en modélisation opérationnelle. Son produit Fastca, censé fournir une solution informatique à la nouvelle réglementation américaine (Fatca) visant à rapatrier les évadés fiscaux aux États-Unis, titillera certainement la curiosité de certains établissements du secteur.

Read Full Post »

London and New York, xx October 2012 – GOAL Group Limited, a claims outsourcing provider and tax reclamation specialist, today announced the appointment of Michael T. Bancroft, CPA to head up its new presence in the Americas based in Wilmington, DE.

Mr Bancroft has specialised in class action claims administration since the 1980s, with his case experience embracing security, antitrust, product, consumer, governmental and employment class actions.

Stephen Everard, CEO, GOAL Group, comments: “Michael’s 30+ years of experience in all aspects of claims administration, with one of the top claims administrators in the country, puts him in a unique and elite class. His expertise in claims processing, court approved plans of allocations, settlement fund distribution and tax reporting makes him the perfect choice to head up our new U.S. office.”

GOAL Group’s new US operation, launched on October 1, extends the company’ services, widely employed in Europe and Asia, to a fully global client base, providing class action claim filing services to corporate pension funds, global custodians, banks, local government authorities, brokerage firms and hedge funds. With the passing of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) in the U.S., foreign financial institutions are increasingly looking for help and services in reporting income and investments for US citizens, making tax reclamation and claim filing services essential.

Mr Bancroft started his career in 1979 at the Certified Public Accounting firm Heffler, Radetich & Saitta LLP, in Philadelphia, PA, and became a Partner in 1986, with his sole responsibilities relating to claims administration. He left Heffler as the firm’s Litigation Department Head.

Michael Bancroft comments: “Over the past 30 years I have processed claims filed in hundreds of security and antitrust class actions and I know the data requirements, costs and staff time it takes to file a complete and accurate claim. I also believe with the current climate of case complexities, timing of settlements, custodial staffing costs and turnover that prudent financial institutions will have to outsource its in-house claims processing to cut costs and maintain client requests. I joined GOAL because I believe in their forward thinking, world-wide outsourcing model and most of all, I support their commitment to develop and maintain a proprietary case research and claim calculation platform. In my opinion the functionality and accuracy of our current platforms, along with our website’s client portal, are second to none. With our in-house team of IT, research and claim specialists, the day a case is filed, we start the process of providing clients with current and accurate case alerts, updates and claim calculations.”

Mr Bancroft continues: “With the compliance pressures of FATCA and every country’s economic pressures to generate revenue, the importance of effective tax reclamation on cross-border securities earnings is ripe. Every custodian, trustee, money manager and advisor will now have additional fiduciary responsibilities added to their plate and we offer solutions, both in-house and outsourcing, to meet all tax reclamation requirements.”

Read Full Post »

Washington Mutual Inc. (WMI/WaMu) and other defendants have settled to pay $208.5 million in a class action lawsuit that was derived from WaMu’s collapse in 2008.

Washington Mutual Inc., a savings bank holding company that was created in 1898, had collapsed in 2008.  The company’s fall has been attributed to a focus on lower-income borrowers and “reckless lending” by the bank’s head, Kerry Killinger. As one of the premier banks in mortgage loans, WaMu also suffered greatly in the housing market downturn in 2007.

Eventually, federal regulators seized WaMu’s main bank based in Seattle, and sold its assets to JP Morgan Chase & Co. for $1.8 billion.  It is considered to be the largest bank failure in US history.

In March 2011, the F.D.I.C. sued Killinger and two top lieutenants for reckless lending prior to the bank’s collapse in 2008.The plaintiffs include large pension funds and individual investigators, accusing WaMu of securities fraud.

According to an article by Alex Veiga of the Associated Press, the lead plaintiff in this case, Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board, helped to outline the details of the agreement with the US district court in Seattle.  In this agreement, Washington Mutual is to pay $105 million, Goldman, Sachs & Co. to pay $85 million, and Deloitte & Touche LLP to pay $18.5 million.  In exchange, the plaintiffs will dismiss all complaints against the bank and its co-defendants.

Also included in this deal is that WMI and its co-defendants do not admit to any wrongdoing.

In cases of class action lawsuits, companies or investors often hire external services to help in ensuring that shareholders receive the money they deserve and that the company is operating as it should.  Companies like Goal Group provide class action services in companies where there has been proven mis-management and/or unlawful behaviour.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »