Directors who have sold shares to avoid margin loans


January 20, 2017

Here is a list of publically known and suspected margin calls suffered by directors of public companies and public companies themselves during the great credit crunch of 2007-08. We're also including the growing number of executives doing voluntary sell-downs so pay down margin loans.

Allco Finance Group: was margin called by Credit Suisse out of its small shareholding in the three Rubicon Trusts in March 2008, allowing rival Babcock & Brown to pounce.

David Coe and friends: the Allco Principals had 21.9 million Allco Finance Group shares sold by the now defunct Tricom on January 30, 2008, to satisfy a still-disputed margin call.

Goodman Family: dumped 78 million shares in Goodman Group at the knock-down price of $3.70 each on March 26, 2008 after gearing got above 50% due to its plunging share price. The sale raised $288 million, enough to pay out all the loans but with the stock having almost halved in a year, their residual stake is worth less than $300 million.

Eddy Groves: the ABC Learning CEO has lost virtually all of his shareholding after Citigroup forced him to sell 8.08 million shares at $1.85 each on February 26 and another 12.16 million were sold at $2.13 a pop on March 6, raising a total of $40.85 million.

Le Neve Groves: Eddy's estranged wife and fellow ABC Learning director was forced to sell 11 million shares at $1.84 on February 26 and the final 6 million shares at $2.21 a pop on March 6 raising a total of $33.5 million.

Michael Hiscock: the former MFS director was forced to sell 500,000 shares by a margin call on January 11, 2008, when he was away in Canada.

David Harrison: the joint managing director of property group Charter Hall sold 1.75 million shares or 18% of his holding in March 2008 to pay off margin loans so his remaining 7.8 million shares were completely debt free.

Martin Kemp: the ABC Learning executive director has suffered four separate margin calls in December 2007, January 2007 and then two in February 2008. The final 2.75 million shares were sold on March 6 at $2.02 a share, bringing the total raised to $30.25 million.

Richard Leupen: the managing director of United Group sold 2.5 million shares for about $30 million in March 2008 so he could claim his remaining 2.4 million shares were completely debt free.

Geoffrey Lucas: the Credit Corp CEO produced a shocking profit which caused a share price plunge and triggered a margin call that forced the sale of 235,000 shares for $242,000 on February 11, 2008, leaving him with 420,000 shares.

Paul Manka: the MFS director used to hold a stake worth $30 million but was forced to sell 4.97 million shares for $5.18 million on January 18, 2008.

Chris Murphy: the Sydney criminal lawyer turned wealthy stock punter and fund manager dumped 15 million shares in Challenger Financial Group for $25.5 million or $1.70 a pop on March 10, but claimed this was no margin call.

David Ryan: the ABC Learning director had to reveal that his entire 249,101 shares were swept away on February 26, 2008, at the knock-down price of $1.895 – fetching a rather miserable $472,000 for his lenders on a parcel that was once worth more than $2 million.

Andrew Scott: the then Centro CEO was forced to sell 782,861 units in the Centro Retail Trust at 58c a pop on January 10, 2008, just days before he was fired.

David Southon: the joint managing director of property group Charter Hall sold 1.75 million shares or 18% of his holding in March 2008 to pay off margin loans so his remaining 7.8 million shares were completely debt free.

* Check out our newly created list of lists here.