Kaupthing Luxembourg becomes Banque Havilland

What is happening with Kaupthing Luxembourg?

The sale of Kaupthing Luxembourg is a very interesting event for various reasons. First one is the media silence in Iceland. Only one article has been published about it, and again it was Sigrún Davíðsdóttir from RUV who did it. Some media outlets published the press release, but no attempt has been made to research the issue.

Why the silence about one of the most valuable asset Iceland has, not from a financial point of view, but from the value of information it has on the whole economic collapse and all the very dubious deals going on at Kaupthing and in fact other banks as well.

Kaupthing Luxembourg was bought by Blackfish Capital started it again under Banque Havilland. Named after the Guernsey mansion of the Rowland family.

The unsuccessful hopefuls

Who are the major players in the Kaupthing Luxembourg affair?

Sigrún Davíðsdóttir asks if there are any connections between the ex Kaupthing Luxembourg owners and Blackfish, a question that needs answering because there have been consistent rumours about this deal since day one.

Blackfish Capital was not the only company that wanted to buy the Kaupthing Luxembourg bank. The Luxembourg government was the one that instigated the sale and oversaw the proceedings.

A Libyan investment company was interested, but their efforts where rejected when the Luxembourg government refused their bid in March of 2008. The Libyans have been connected to Ólafur Ólafsson in the past, for example when a rumoured partnership between Ólafur Ólafsson and a Libyan company showed quite an interest in the Dragon Area within Icelandic sovereign waters (200 miles) that has the possibility of producing oil. Ólafur Ólafsson was one of the main owners of Kaupthing.

Another company called JC Flowers was interested as well. JC Flowers had previous connections with Kaupþing, that wanted to buy the NIBC bank from JC Flowers at one time.

Enter Blackfish Capital.

Blackfish Capital is a small British hedge fund owned by the Rowland family. The Rowland family has ties with Kaupþing and its owners and biggest clients. Blackfish Capital is a London based family company run by David Rowland and his son Jonathan Rowland. They are worth estimated 700 million pounds. David Rowland was the founder of the fund and runs the fund from Guernsey in the British Channel, and he known to never speak to the media. Blackfish Capital is generally not a well known name in the business world, but those who work or follow the business world in London might know it.

Blackfish Capital only has between 20-30 people working for it, if sub-funds and daughter companies are included. The funds main focus is on investment projects for wealthy individuals that is based on contacts and opportunities. They are mainly based in London, but also have some ventures in the Singapore and the far East. Mostly the fund has been in real estate and commodities. They have also had their fingers in the mining industry. It seems strange that the bank has the ambition and the knowledge to run a bank.

Here is a good article about the Rowland family

Blackfish Capital‘s connections to Kaupþing

Questions weather connection between the owners of Kaupthing and Blackfish Capital are real have surfaced. The rumour is strong but no hard evidence have surfaced when Sigrún Davíðsdóttir published her article in July 2008.

Exista

The connections between Blackfish Capital and Kaupthing former owners are as follows. Ágúst Guðmundsson and Lýður Guðmundsson of Bakkavor and Exista are connected to the fund.

According to Sigrún Davíðsdóttir, there is a company in Luxembourg that is connected to the Exista brothers. The company in Luxembourg was founded by two companies registered in Tortola, the largest and most populated of the Virgin Islands in the Caribbean Sea. The company is run by two funds registered on Guernsey, that are connected to Blackfish.

This might sound far fetched and an attempt to find evidence to support the hypothesis, but that is not so. The truth is that the business of Kaupthing Luxembourg and in fact most of the Icelandic business men who are responsible for the fall of the banks was done this way. This was done to hide money, hide ownership, and use those offshore islands and hard to trace connections to bewilder and  to manipulate markets and companies. Even to launder money like has been explained on this website before.

This is total manipulation of loopholes, tax havens and regulation for one reason, to hide money, connections and themselves.

Robert Tchenguiz

Robert Tchenguiz (Exista board of directors) is another household name in the Kaupthing Wikileaks files. He is a well known UK business man, who has been on the verge of bankruptcy for a long time. Kaupthing was still always ready to lend him money without collateral, time and time again.

His connections to the Rowland family is through the Tchenguiz Depository Trust (TDT), a fund that the Kaupthing solvency committee is in legal actions against. It is very likely that he is using the TDT to channel assets from the solvency committee. The fund is partly run by a fund called Investec and is registered in Guernsey and belongs to the Rowland family.

Sigrún Davíðsdóttir says in other words, that Blackfish Capital controls a fund belonging to Tchenguiz and he is counting on people friendly to him that can keep lending him money, even if Kaupthing is not in the picture, there is a definitive partnership between Tchenguiz and Blackfish.havilland

How will the bank operate.

Sigrún Davíðsdóttir asks this very question. At the time she wrote her article nothing had been said about the banks intentions and structure. Most people will keep their jobs she reported and the corporate department will be disbanded and all the focus will be on private banking for the rich, in accordance to the Blackfish policy. Her sources said that the bank wanted to keep the Icelandic business and the bank service for the Scandinavians like Kaupthing used to provide.

According to Franz Fayot, the main handler for the bank refinance, the loan and certain stocks will be put into a special company to manage them called Pillar Securitisation. This company is probably the same one Sigrún Davídsóttir mentions when she talks about a list of bank accounts that will not go to the new bank, instead the list will go to a special fund in some sort of intensive care, similar to what happens when companies are saved from bankruptcy. Those accounts belong to corporations, individuals and various other accounts that have not been explained. Who owns them or controls them is unclear at this time. Sigrún Davíðsdóttir suggests that those accounts belong to individuals and companies that are in some sort of financial trouble, and it would be interesting to know what amounts are in those accounts and who owns them. That is something she is not alone in, many want to see who has what there.

Franz Fayot told Reuters that the Belgian savings will be returned to their hands in July, and that seems to have been the case.

Here is a part of the announcement that explains what they will do:

Banque Havilland S.A. will target HNW individuals in Europe, the Middle East and Asia.
Banque Havilland S.A. is owned by the Rowland family. The investment activities of the Family include the Blackfish Group which provides investment management and advisory services to private clients and a portfolio of investment funds developed over the last forty five years. The acquisition of a banking licence via the purchase of Kaupthing Bank Luxembourg S.A. is viewed by the Family as a natural progression of their involvement within the financial services sector and the evolution of the Blackfish Group.

The opportunity to purchase a Bank with an existing, well-developed operating infrastructure and experienced Wealth management, Private Banking and Asset management teams, will allow the family to realise their business strategy, in a financial environment which has changed rapidly over the last year.
In addition Luxembourg is viewed as a prime location, as it has the right legal, political, and communications infrastructure for a traditional Private Banking operation.

They will keep on offering good service via their private banking to help people use offshore islands and tax havens, just like the old bank did. Now the plot thickens….see next article

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