You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Money Top Stories

Trigger-happy stockbroker gunning for Ecuadorian gold

Brisbane Times logo Brisbane Times 6 days ago Kylar Loussikian & Samantha Hutchinson
Shooting for the stars: Gary Mares. Illustration: John Shakespeare © Provided by Fairfax Media Pty. Ltd. Shooting for the stars: Gary Mares. Illustration: John Shakespeare

Gary Mares hit the headlines more than a decade ago as a Rene Rivkin sidekick.

As a consultant to The Rivkin Report, he backed the colourful stockbroker’s attempts to squeeze cash from then-listed technology outfit SecureNet and from International Wine Investment Fund.

a man wearing a suit and tie: Long-Term Asset Partners managing director Chris Craddock, with the fund's chairman Tony Shepherd, have lobbed a bid for GrainCorp. © James Brickwood Long-Term Asset Partners managing director Chris Craddock, with the fund's chairman Tony Shepherd, have lobbed a bid for GrainCorp.

These days, his latest endeavour is unlisted Ecuadorian gold mining hopeful Rio Dorado.

We gather Ecuador is not the safest of the South American republics, a view reinforced by the murders of three journalists from El Comercio only two months ago.

But even so, Mares’ approach to mine safety is somewhat direct.

“I got into trouble, because I said to Franco [Belli, another Rio Dorado board member] ‘well, if we have anybody enter the site what we should be doing is shooting and asking questions after the event,” Mares told the company’s shareholders in a closed Sydney annual general meeting this week, with no apparent irony.

Belli suggested this was a bad idea, according to Mares, who told shareholders he was unmoved.

Mares went on to say that his company had “a good relationship” with the Ecuadorian military.

Liberal Upper House MP Taylor Martin has been cleared of allegations made by the party's federal vice-president Teena McQueen. © Supplied Liberal Upper House MP Taylor Martin has been cleared of allegations made by the party's federal vice-president Teena McQueen.

This, he added, is handy when it comes to removing Colombians who had wandered across the border and into the (currently empty) mining tract.

“So the Ecuador military certainly, like, enjoy a little bit of Colombian target practice,” he said.

Mares told CBD he made the comments in “jest” before telling us just how dangerous a place Ecuador is.

Martin in the clear

Efforts by federal Liberal Party vice-president Teena McQueen to blow up a fellow party member have come to naught.

McQueen, who once told female MPs complaining about bullying to “shut up or put up”, was trying to unseat NSW Upper House MP Taylor Martin by making a series of allegations about his behaviour at a Gosford branch meeting.

Taylor had allegedly told her “you’re nothing but a spoilt f---ing b---h who has to get her own way”.

Well, she didn’t this time.

NSW Liberals director Chris Stone handed the claims, first revealed in the Herald, to Mick Symons, a one-time Independent Commission against Corruption head investigator.

a view of a city: The Barangaroo Delivery Authority, which is overseeing construction, has been kicked out of a UN program. © Brook Mitchell The Barangaroo Delivery Authority, which is overseeing construction, has been kicked out of a UN program.

Symons’ report is private, but fragments leaked to CBD read: “There was insufficient evidence to substantiate these allegations”.

“Other information provided also identified potential issues linked to the alleged conduct of Ms McQueen,” it continues, to nobody’s surprise.

Still, this bust up comes nowhere near the high point of Liberal factional disputes - the legendary Croatian Club branch stack of 2004 which required no less than eight police officers to break it up.

Making it grain

Why did it take Chris Craddock and his mates at Long-Term Asset Partners so long to get their $3.3 billion debt-fuelled GrainCorp takeover off the ground?

Part of the answer: it took a very long time to find an investment bank to advise them.

Craddock, a mysterious man who crashed for a year at the pad of GPT Group media manager Scott Rochford while working on the deal, went to Macquarie early on, no doubt thinking the bank’s enthusiasm for creative corporate structures would get him over the line. Sadly no luck.

Craddock then took his exotic takeover plans to Moelis Australia boss Andrew Pridham.

Lengthy negotiations ensued, but again, no success.

One banker aware of the Craddock’s entreaties to a conga-line of advisory outfits said it had originally been envisaged as a hostile takeover, but the plan was so complicated half the suits in the room couldn’t even wrap their heads around it.

Much of the deal still remains a secret.

But all that’s left between him and success? Only former Lazard banker John Wylie.

The ire of Ban Ki-moon

We get it.

Barangaroo Delivery Authority Craig Van Der Laan's a busy guy, having to replace a roster of staff (including former Herald editor Amanda Wilson and former NSW Police spinner Tim Archer) who have left the downtown waterfront authority of late.

So we don’t blame him missing the latest correspondence from United Nations HQ in New York, a missive informing them they had been kicked out of the UN Global Compact.

Nothing like taking up the cudgel against global slavery and corruption from your dark tinted corner office overlooking Sydney Harbour!

According to the authority, the compact was never a logical fit for the agency (despite them being a member since 2009).

You don’t say.

So while the agency might have been expelled, they didn’t want to be a part of it anyway, actually.

Loading...

Load Error

More From Brisbane Times

Brisbane Times
Brisbane Times
image beaconimage beaconimage beacon