Plan B: Cornerstone’s Collective Exit Strategy

Collapsed training college owners paid themselves $20 million 

7.30 Report      |    14 March 2016

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The ABC’s 7.30 Report has reported that the owners of a major training college that collapsed after the Government cracked down on ‘study now, pay later’ loans appear to have had a long-term plan to cut and run from the sector.

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Global Intellectual Holding, which owned a number of providers, including Keystone College and Aspire, was a vocational education giant and its demise has particularly hit students in one of Victoria’s most disadvantaged regions.

Former Keystone student Liz Jolley has been a disability pensioner for 30 years and was signed up to a $22,000 Diploma of Interactive Digital Media, which as she admits was clearly beyond her.

She was recruited by Jacob Di Battista, who worked for National Training and Development, the marketing arm of Global Holdings.  He trawled the streets of Broadmeadows, outside Centrelink and public housing, targeting everyone, including the homeless.  He told 7.30:

Whether you’re in a wheelchair, scooter, blind, disabled, don’t really care. You’re a target.

Liz Jolley

Click image to go to 7.30 Report

Sitting at the top of Global Holdings were Aloi Burgess and Roger Williams, who’d grown the company into an $80 million enterprise. But then in 2015, the government clamped down on many private college recruiting practices.  Having failed to sell the company, last month Burgess and Williams put it into liquidation.

This might have been a disaster for students and staff, but not for Burgess and Williams.  The last financial report filed by Global shows they had a Plan B, a trust called The Collective Exit Strategy.

Before Global collapsed, the company lent $4 million to each of the directors personal companies and paid each $6 million in dividends.

While the liquidator reported apparent breaches of directors’ duties to the corporate regulator, Burgess and Williams are nowhere to be found.

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