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A costly business

Member: Nifa

The sale of personal shares in a house building firm has made the news, as the Director involved has said he sold them to fund his divorce settlement.  Joint Managing Director of Telford Homes plc, John Fitzgerald, sold 275,000 shares earlier this week, raising around £1.2m before expenses.  He still retains 107,718 shares in the company, representing about 0.18 per cent of the issued share capital.

The intricacies of the settlement are still to come out but the story highlights the importance of business valuations and the need to raise cash when it comes to divorce, which can be a very costly and complicated business.  It would appear from this case that the husband is being transparent in his dealings but in many cases, spouses are not, which is why retaining a forensic accountant is so important.

When an individual has built up a business, there can be a huge amount at stake and there needs to be a value put on the firm.  In these cases, forensic accountants would value the couple’s wealth and investigate any allegations of non-disclosure.  This could include tracing assets through a web of offshore locations or finding bank accounts that one spouse might know nothing about.

Sadly, in some cases, one party could decide to hide assets and keep their business life separate from their home life.  However, if a forensic accountant is brought in, they won’t get away with it. These experts will find the smallest trace and follow the trail to its conclusion.  Equally, if someone is suspected of hiding assets but hasn’t, a forensic accountant may be able to help him or her demonstrate their innocence.

Author: Roger Isaacs, 20 July 2015

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