MF Global UK clients back KPMG in vote

Tue Jan 10, 2012 5:09am EST
 
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By Luke Jeffs

LONDON (Reuters) - MF Global UK MFGLQ.PK administrator KPMG has won the backing of the failed broker's clients to push ahead with the return of an estimated $1.2 billion.

KPMG held a meeting on Monday in London with over 800 MF Global UK clients and creditors at which these firms voted in favour of it continuing to work on unwinding the defunct broker, KPMG said on Tuesday.

"Both clients and creditors voted overwhelmingly in favour of our proposals, which include the expectation that we will be able to make an interim distribution of client monies within the next few weeks," said Richard Heis, joint special administrator of MF Global UK.

The vote is a green light for the administrator to push ahead with the 4,500 clients and creditor claims KPMG said on Friday it had received for an estimated $1.2 billion of cash and assets.

KPMG told Reuters on Thursday it had recovered the majority of MF Global UK client monies and virtually all of their assets, valued jointly at about $1.2 billion, and hoped to start returning these to owners shortly.

Heis said he is initially talking with clients over the return of 30 million ($46.4 million) of assets, in what would be the first returns to European customers since the U.S. futures broker collapsed on October 31.

Monday's vote is a boost for KPMG after MF Global UK clients have become increasingly frustrated over the past two months by the slow progress in recovering their assets.

KPMG apologized to MF Global customers in November and moved to reassure MF Global investors later that month when it said it would make interim distributions of money to clients before it had finally settled all positions.

MF Global had been one of the biggest U.S. futures brokers but the firm, led by former United States Senator Jon Corzine, failed after a bad $6.3 billion bet on European sovereign debt spooked counterparties and investors.

(Editing by Helen Massy-Beresford)