By Lawrence Delevingne
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Beechwood, a group of reinsurance and asset management companies, has been sold after it lost clients and suffered a bruised reputation when hedge fund firm Platinum Partners collapsed amid federal investigations and fraud charges, a person familiar with the matter told Reuters.
Beechwood worked for nearly a year to cut ties to Platinum, which included social and family links to staff and start-up money.
The sale appears to salvage some of Beechwood's value as opposed to just shutting down the business.
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The person, who requested anonymity because the information is private, did not provide additional details such as the name of the buyer or purchase price.
Beechwood's former Chief Executive Officer Mark Feuer and former President Scott Taylor did not respond to requests for comment. Beechwood did not respond to an email seeking comment.
Beechwood, which managed $2.4 billion in assets in 2015, has said it had minimal exposure to New York-based Platinum funds and holdings but has declined give an updated figure.
Platinum's top executives, including founder Mark Nordlicht, were arrested and charged with fraud in December by U.S. authorities. The case is ongoing and the executives of the firm, which at one time purportedly managed around $1.4 billion, have pleaded not guilty.
The Beechwood group, which includes reinsurer Beechwood Bermuda International, wealth manager Beechwood Bermuda Investment Holdings, and investment manager B Asset Manager, had been in talks to sell most or all of itself after backlash from some clients related to Platinum, Reuters reported in December. (See graphic on ties between the firms: http://tmsnrt.rs/2hjRlW6)
News of the sale comes a week after Cayman Island regulators for another subsidiary, Beechwood Re Ltd, said it had been taken over by Deloitte, which has the power to terminate its business, according to a July 26 notice by the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority (CIMA). As controllers, they will asses Beechwood's financial position and report findings to CIMA, the notice said.
Beechwood Re has already returned virtually all assets to clients and has not been conducting new business, the person familiar with the situation told Reuters. Beechwood Re asked CIMA earlier this year for permission to dissolve, the person said.
Platinum's hedge funds are being liquidated under the supervision of regulators and court-appointed receivers in New York and the Caymans Islands.
On June 30, Beechwood lawyers wrote a letter to the U.S. court overseeing part of the liquidation, expressing concern that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's push for fast liquidation could harm investors in Platinum funds.
Beechwood and its executives are also facing a lawsuit from subsidiaries of Indiana insurer CNO Financial Group <CNO.N>, which last year cut business ties over the firm's exposure to Platinum.
(Reporting by Lawrence Delevingne; Editing by Lauren Tara LaCapra and Lisa Shumaker)