BMCC’s Failed Financial Advisor

Blue Mountains Council engaged Oakvale Capital as their Investment advisor between 2008 and 2013.

As far back as 2009 Oakvale were in the news and things were going bad for them. Back then they paid a multi million dollar settlement to Ceramic Fuels Pty Ltd over negligent investment advice.

Things got worse for Oakvale… they subsequently ended up with 9 Federal Court cases against them including being sued by 7 other Local Councils.

In 2013, I contacted Blue Mountains Council to express my concerns that a company like Oakvale was being engaged by BMCC to the tune of around $150,000.

I then received this “brush off” letter from BMCC

BMCC Blue Mountains Council Failed Investment Advisor Oakvale Capital

You can download the full letter here.

A few months later, at the Council meeting of the 23rd July 2013 Council quietly slipped away from their arrangement with Oakvale.

No mention was made of the many legal actions against Oakvale by other Councils. The resolution was buried in amongst hundreds of pages of the meeting’s business papers ensuring that hardly anyone would would notice it. The public were never allowed to know anything about BMCC’s relationship with failed Investment adviser Oakvale Capital.

I have tried to get answers but have been ignored. BMCC thinks it is fine to just say to me that they have “no concerns” with no explanation whatsoever as to why. If there really are “no concerns”  it should be made public so we can know what has gone on.

I think a system needs to be introduced at BMCC where contractors like Oakvale are subject to periodic reviews and their names are published on a public register.  We can not tolerate the current lack of scrutiny and lack of transparency that surrounds payments to contractors.

Here is the Federal Court case lists against Oakvale that BMCC didn’t want anyone to know about.

Click on the image to get a larger view.oakvale-federal-court-cases



If you would like to leave a comment or suggestion please feel free. You are welcome to use a nickname or alias if you feel uncomfortable about having your full name published.

10 thoughts on “BMCC’s Failed Financial Advisor”

  1. The first sentence is inaccurate “Blue Mountains Council engaged Oakvale Capital as their Investment advisor between 2007 and 2013.”

    Grange Securities (owned by Lehman Brothers) advised and managed BMCC’s investment portfolio from 2006 to 2008.

    Please refer to the details in Council’s 19 Feb 2008 meeting, alternatively search for: “blue mountains city council” “grange securities” in google, it is the first result. You will also notice on that link that BMCC had structured securities sold to them by CBA, ANZ, Westpac (the Athena security), and ABN Amro Morgans.

    This article tries to imply that Oakvale was the one that got BMCC into their financial investment mess when it was not. Oakvale were appointed by BMCC in 2009, after the GFC, and after Grange Securities (and others as noted above) had sold BMCC its structured securities. At no stage did Oakvale sell any BMCC any sturctured securities.

    1. Thanks Sunil, I have amended the page to state 2008 as the commencement of Oakvale with BMCC. I checked it out and Oakvale was first engaged in mid 2008 to analyse and advise on BMCC’s situation.
      My page above makes no mention at all of BMCC’s failed investments or the GFC which you are completely correct in saying were through Grange Securities.
      The thrust of my article is that BMCC, for years engaged a financial advisor without any research or oversight. Until I started to kick up a stink about it in 2013 BMCC was completely unaware that Oakvale was in so much trouble. Even our neighbouring council Penrith was suing them.
      My page is not about investments, it is about a complete lack of scrutiny of contractors at BMCC. That said, it is worth noting that there has been no proper analysis of the quality of advice provided by Oakvale. BMCC is very happy to keep this one quiet.

  2. BMCC obviously has no system for regularly checking up on the contractors it pays. This lack of supervision could easily provide an environment where corruption could flourish.

  3. I run a small business so unfortunately deal with BM Council. I don’t want them knowing my name. I think the saying goes – Hell has no fury like a council scorned.

    1. Hi Robin, It has amazed me how many people I have talked to have said to me “Please don’t mention or publish my name”. I can understand this…a local Council has a lot of power over residents and in particular businesses.
      I have had a lot of emails from business people who are unhappy but very reluctant to speak up for fear of retributions.
      As a result I am encouraging people to contribute to this site with a nickname or alias if they feel more comfortable. I would rather this than they make no contribution.

  4. I can’t believe the arrogance of these people. I think they are used to getting away with murder. Great to have someone like you on the job.

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