London property advisor faces £850,000 art seizure

London property advisor faces £850,000 art seizure




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£850,000 of art has been taken by administrators from the home of Pierre Rolin, a London property adviser.

Mr Rolin faces claims that his collapsed firm Strategic Real Estate Advisors (StratReal), managing $6.5bn (£4.25bn) of assets for a key Middle Eastern client, had been making "unauthorized payments."
Shipleys, the administrator, believes that once all the art belonging to the company removed from the Belgravia flat has been identified, it could fetch up to £1.4m at auction.
Mr Rolin, a Canadian national, is a well known figure in London property circles. His charity the StratReal Foundation has connections to the Prince of Wales's Princes Trust charities and has also organised annual galas for City grandees.
The former head of property at Credit Suisse saw StratReal placed into administration in November, as a result of the retraction of the business of a single billionaire Gulf investor, which generated 95% of StratReal’s revenue.
The Middle Eastern family have subsequently raised the alarm concerning potential irregularities, though they have yet to lodge a claim against the company. When they eventually do, it will no doubt be for a sizeable amount, relating to alleged “unauthorised payments.”
Insolvency experts from Shipleys examining StratReal’s books are now investigating all transactions from the past years, including loans made to Mr Rolin.
Legal filings at Companies House reveal that StratReal’s administrator has seized computers, documents, and servers, in addition to email and phone logs, and taken them to a secure location to conduct a data mining exercise.
Administrators were called in to assess the financial situation of the company late last year by Jeremy Gates, another company director. Before its collapse, the company claimed to have conducted 47.5bn of transactions for clients with total returns after fees between 11 and 40%.
Mr Rolin’s spokesman claimed that any issues over alleged unauthorized payments "relate to a private dispute on property acquisition and management contracts which achieved returns of around 20% per annum".
 
She added that the art was transferred to the company to offset against the director's loan to offset a previous director’s loan.
 

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