MAYNE CEO Greg Anderson.
MAYNE CEO Greg Anderson. Contributed

Concern over company hiring staff

INVESTORS in two troubled Northern Rivers mortgage trusts continue to wait nervously for their money as fund managers try to minimise losses for members in an uncertain economic climate.

A job advertisement at the weekend for a position at Mayne Investments - which stopped accepting investments and ceased distributions in May last year - raised the concern of several local investors about the future of the trust.

Those concerns about the $200m fund follow an announcement last week from the $150m East Coast Mortgage Trust that it would wind down its business and return its investors' money.

Both funds have faced similar problems since 2008 when the global financial crisis hit and the Federal Government excluded mortgage trusts from a guarantee it put on Australia's banks.

One of the investors spoken to by The Northern Star, who asked to remain anonymous, said they were concerned about the money Mayne was spending on recruiting a new employee.

"I'm worried they're not downsizing, I mean I feel East Coast has realised they can't continue and appear to be taking responsible action," the investor said.

The investor also complained Mayne had left them in the dark regarding return of capital, despite several phone calls and hadn't updated its website since November last year.

Mayne chief executive, Greg Andersen, said the advertised position was needed to continue operations and assured investors the quarterly 7% capital return, due next month, would go ahead as planned.

It will be the third such payout since the fund closed its doors last year.

"Mayne has been steadily reducing costs over the past few years including a reduction in staff numbers and the closure of our Ballina office," Mr Andersen said.

"However, an unexpected resignation of a senior staff member required us to appoint someone to ensure the needs of investors and the company are being met.

"Mayne will be making another 7% return of capital at the end of the February quarter (and) the board continues to monitor and review the situation with the best interests of investors in mind at all times. An investor update will be forwarded shortly."


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