Vector staves off court proceedings brought against it by Bernard Whimp
Today Vector announced it has successfully staved off Auckland High Court proceedings brought against it by a company
controlled by Bernard Whimp – who withdrew his case one day before a scheduled hearing of Vector’s application to strike
out the proceedings.
Mr Whimp was suing Vector for its refusal to transfer various shares to Mr Whimp which he claimed to have acquired from
Vector shareholders through his unsolicited ‘lowball’ purchase offers made in 2010 and 2011.
Mr Whimp targeted Vector shareholders with a mail-out of unsolicited offers at significantly below market value, which
would have resulted in a financial loss to any shareholder that accepted the offer.
After having now successfully staved off Mr Whimp’s attempts to benefit from these various particular purchases, Vector
wants to remind all Kiwi investors to stay vigilant and seek professional advice if they ever receive unsolicited offers
to purchase shares.
Vector’s CEO Simon Mackenzie said, “Vector has fought hard to condemn and discourage the type of predatory behaviour
carried out by Mr Whimp.
“This includes fighting Mr Whimp’s attempts to financially benefit from his actions in the courts, and advocating for
changes to legislation which would offer shareholders better protection from these ‘lowball’ unsolicited offers.
“While we are pleased with this latest outcome - we are conscious that people like Bernard Whimp may still be active in
the market, and we encourage everyone with a shareholding in any company to always take professional advice before
accepting any unsolicited offers they receive for their shares,” he said.
In addition to seeking advice directly from professionals, Vector is pointing people to the FMA’s website, which
contains tips for how to protect yourself.
FMA’s top tips for protecting yourself (taken with permission from the FMA’s website):
1. Be careful of lowball offers
Be very careful of lowball offers from people you don’t know. Make sure you understand all the terms of the offer.
In many cases, if you bought hastily, you can change your mind and cancel within 10 days. Read more here:
2. Ignore unsolicited offers
If you receive a call, letter or email from a stranger about an investment opportunity, hang up, or ignore it. You can
report unsolicited calls or emails to your service provider.
3. Always use a licensed provider
Licensed providers have to show the FMA they can provide the licensed service. The FMA monitors them to ensure they are
meeting their obligations.
They must meet high standards and belong to a dispute resolution scheme.
3. Do not invest via offshore, online businesses
The FMA only regulates financial services businesses operating in New Zealand.
It is often impossible to recover your money if an overseas investment turns out to be a scam, and the FMA cannot help
you if things go wrong.
If a business is not based in New Zealand, it is even more important you do your research before you invest. Make sure
you know who regulates them, and that the regulator is genuine.