Skip to main content

Sentinel Files For "Not Our Problem" Bankrupcty

  • Author:
  • Updated:

Confused cash management firm Sentinel deployed the “oops we had no idea what we were doing” escape pod late Friday, and filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The firm, which, up until recently, managed about $1.6 billion of assets, said that it decided Chapter Once was in "the best interests of the corporation, its creditors and other interested parties that a voluntary petition be filed ... in an effort to restructure the indebtedness of the corporation." Obviously, Chapter 11 has its critics, namely those who regard it as an extremely lenient and easy out offered to incompetent management at a failing company, but in Sentinel’s defense, it should be noted that the firm really, really had no idea what it was doing.
For starters, no one at Sentinel had a vague idea which regulatory body to contact about halting redemption requests from investors. So it put a bunch of names in a hat, pulled out “CFTC,” and went with that. The CFTC turned out to be wrong, and a representative from the organization did not hesitate to tell Reuters: "The CFTC has no authority in this area. This isn't something we do.”
Then, on Friday morning, clients accused Sentinel of selling assets too cheaply—at discounts of as much as 30 percent to market prices—and without asking permission first to Citadel, who was more than happy to take them on, just as it was Sowood’s, and Amaranth’s, too. Apparently a U.S. district judge agreed that Sentinel acted improperly, and blocked the sale of some of the $312 million in assets to Citadel, with a temporary restraining order.
What's up next in Sentinel's bag of tricks, pratfalls and eggs-on-one's-face? Stay tuned.
Sentinel files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy [Reuters]