H2O AM case could end up in court
An association of unitholders and individual investors have initiated discussions with the management company. They say they are ready to take the case to court.
A dozen investors and wealth management associates (WMAs) have founded “Collectif porteurs H2O”, an association seeking explanations and compensation for the damage sustained by H2O AM, according to Les Echos.
Advised by the law firm Cornet Vincent Segurel, the association represents investors with holdings in side-pockets that were formed in the wake of the Windhorst affair and its illiquid and unmarketable bonds. The law firm alleges insufficient information about the exposure to these private debts, as well as potential irregularities in complex financing transactions.
At this stage, the French AMF has been asked to act as an intermediary with the management company. When contacted by the editorial team, the association declined to comment on the progress of these discussions. A dozen investors are seeking redress.
Hélène Ferron-Poloni, a lawyer with Lecoq Vallon & Ferron-Poloni, is also representing a dozen individual investors. They are also considering taking civil action against H2O AM for unclear communication in breach of their duty to inform. Ms Ferron-Peloni told the editorial team that she was still in the amicable settlement phase. “We should have a clear view of H2O and Natixis’s position by early February”, she said. Her clients intend to obtain compensation from Natixis for the loss suffered. And these are no minor losses: the frozen outstanding amounts have fallen in value by an average of 30%.
The H2O AM affair could therefore take a legal turn in early 2021, prolonging this drawn-out process for the management company. “H2O’s challenges have been ongoing for over a year, but we had to wait for the losses to be calculated before we could begin to build the case”, explains Hélène Ferron-Poloni.
H2O and Natixis are not the only companies that could end up in the middle of a legal battle. Hélène Ferron-Poloni has not ruled out taking action against certain insurers.