Independent Insurance's liquidators Pricewaterhousecoopers (PWC) will not reveal the insurer's reinsurance deals because they do not want to alienate the reinsurers.
PWC liquidators Mark Batten and Dan Schwarzmann held a briefing on the progress of the liquidation on Monday and said Independent's reinsurance deals were its biggest assets, which they could not afford to jeopardise.
“There's been a lot of speculation, including possible misrepresentation by Independent, but we can't talk in public about reinsurance and we'd do nothing to prejudice our position with the reinsurers,” Schwarzmann said.
PWC has started an investigation into the failed insurer's financial state, including its position at June 17, the date it went into liquidation, and its movements shortly before.
“It could be months before we have a complete and accurate picture,” Batten admitted.
“We'll be looking at transactions that took place prior to June 17 to see if they were appropriate and if there are assets to recover if they were inappropriate.”
Michael Bright's personal pension, claims handling within the company and its reinsurance contracts will all be targeted in the investigation.
The liquidators, who hope to name the buyer for Independent's motorcycle business this week, said they could not comment on Bright's pension or the state of Independent's pension fund before the investigation concluded.
Schwarzmann also could not confirm whether evidence of claims mishandling had been uncovered but said Independent's claims manager Patricia Clarkson had been kept on through the redundancies, “because it's important you don't lose that expertise”.
“Patricia wasn't a director of the company, but we'll be talking to her and she'll be working under our guidelines now,” he said.
Schwarzmann said most employees were cooperating with the investigation.
The liquidators have not yet spoken personally to Bright. “We've had one or two correspondences with his solicitors,” Schwarzmann said.
Schwarzmann was a scheme administrator for Orion, a company that Bright worked for before its liquidation in 1992. He did not interview Bright during that liquidation.
He said information uncovered during the investigation would be passed onto the Serious Fraud Office and the Financial Services Authority.