The Department of Justice in Northern Ireland has said it expects management of a £300m court fund to transfer with the sale of stockbroking firm Davy.
According to reports, the sale of Davy’s capital markets and wealth management business to Bank of Ireland will be concluded next week.
Davy Private Clients is the appointed investment manager which provides investment services for the Courts Fund Office, within the NI Courts and Tribunals Service.
It administers funds, such as compensation, held in court on behalf of minors and individuals who cannot manage their own affairs because of mental incapacity. According to a statement of accounts presented earlier this year, the Court Funds Office held nearly £300m in court at the end of March 2020.
Davy was appointed investment manager in 2018 for five years, with the option to then extend the term for another five years.
It put itself up for sale earlier this year after a €4.1m Central Bank of Ireland fine over a 2014 bond deal for client Paddy Kearney, a Northern Ireland property developer.
The fine had raised questions over the continued presence in the firm of some of the executives who had been involved in the bond deal and allegedly benefited without Mr Kearney’s knowledge.
He is now bringing separate legal action against Davy and the executives in the Republic.
The Department of Justice said: “The potential sale of J&E Davy shares is a matter for the owners and therefore it is inappropriate for DoJ to comment on that matter.
"As things stand, it is our understanding that the services provided to the Court Funds Office by Davy UK will remain unchanged should there be any change of ownership. There is nothing at this stage to indicate otherwise.”
According to the Irish Times, Davy’s fund management and servicing unit will be sold in a separate deal to the Bank of Ireland transaction, which covers the firm’s capital markets and wealth management business.
It is understand the Courts Fund business is not part of the fund management and servicing unit.
Bank of Ireland declined to comment on whether the Courts Fund is included in the deal and on the timing of any transaction. Davy also declined to comment.