|Ex-ASIC insolvency team|
member John Laird
Neither John Laird or Marc Robinson would comment on their departures from the Australian Securities and Investments Commission's (ASIC) insolvency unit when contacted this week. Laird invoked confidentiality constraints. Robinson did not respond to a request for comment.
Sources told SiN that Laird, who according to his Linked In profile led the unit's investigations on major corporate collapses, is setting up his own consultancy.
Robinson, a senior insolvency specialist, is said to be headed to the Australian Tax Office (ATO) to work as a law interpretation specialist on its cross-agency task force combatting illegal phoenix activity.
If the most recent figures are accurate, the departures of Robinson and Laird leave ASIC with 21 insolvency team members monitoring almost 700 registered liquidators. That's about 33 liquidators per staffer and is representative of a trend of declining staff numbers within the division charged with the supervision of registered insolvency practitioners.
ASIC's 2010/11 annual report stated that there were 28 insolvency division staff regulating 670 registered liquidators. In 2011/12, staff numbers were reported as 24. Liquidator numbers meanwhile had risen to 680.