Bankrupt Queensland firm loses millions for SMSF investors

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Brisbane-based property financier Wickham Securities has appointed PPB as administrators, as ASIC takes action against its founder Bradley Thomas Sherwin.

There is major concern over $27 million recently subscribed to Wickham by about 300 retirees. Wickham reported to ASIC in November that it had a shortage of equity capital, and had been trying to raise money via a debenture prospectus. Investors were offered between 9-10% per annum by Wickham, which was charging more than 20% a year for short-term financing. The investment is reportedly secured against $145m worth of property.

ASIC is seeking an injunction to prevent money being moved around by Sherwin Financial Planners and other related defendants, including Wickham Capital. Grant Sparks and David Leigh of PPB in Brisbane were appointed administrators to the company on 21 December but the information was not made public until now.

Sparks said they were still in the investigation stage and that many investors had been on holidays when the administrators took over.

Last year ASIC announced a review of the failure of Banksia Securities, and regulation of the Australia unlisted debenture sector, which is not supervised by APRA and only partly supervised by ASIC.

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