June 5, 2019 / 7:31 AM / 2 months ago

U.S. regulators probe embattled hedge fund firm City Financial

The seal of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission hangs on the wall at SEC headquarters in Washington, June 24, 2011. The database is emerging alongside a new program by the FBI's criminal profiling group in Quantico, Virginia, that is creating a series of behavioral composites to help agents investigate white collar crime. The more systematic approach by the SEC and FBI comes in response to the growth and complexity of financial crimes in recent years. Picture taken June 24, 2011. To match Special Report SEC/INVESTIGATIONS REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst (UNITED STATES - Tags: CRIME LAW POLITICS BUSINESS)

LONDON (Reuters) - U.S. regulators are investigating City Financial Investment Company, a London-based hedge fund firm that entered administration three months ago, according to a notice published at UK companies registrar Companies House on Tuesday.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) watchdog started an inquiry before two administrators from FRP Advisory were jointly appointed on March 21, the notice of administrator’s proposals said.

City Financial was hit by poor performance at its former flagship fund Decca, which it ultimately shut down alongside two other funds in a broader restructuring that, according to one source at the time, shrunk total assets to $1.2 billion by the end of 2018 from $3.3 billion a year earlier.

FRP and law firm Jones Day were cooperating with the SEC, the notice said. Forensic images of all IT systems had been taken and available accounting books, records and bank statements were being reviewed.

The administrators’ forensic team and Jones Day would “continue to liaise with the SEC and various third parties in order to address the SEC’s queries and attempt to source the necessary information requested”, the report said.

A spokesman for the administrators said because the investigation preceded the involvement of the administrators, he could not comment on the status or scope of the SEC investigation. An SEC spokeswoman declined to comment.

The Financial Conduct Authority said in March the funds managed by City Financial were not part of the administration because they were separate legal entities that had either been transferred to a new fund manager or were in the process of being wound down.

The regulator declined to comment on whether it was also investigating the firm.

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