up to 50m of devere client money trapped

The deVere Group has confirmed that approximately $50m of its clients’ money was invested in the now suspended Strategic Growth Fund.

up to 50m of devere client money trapped

As reported earlier this week, the Strategic Growth Fund was suspended in February after a long period of poor performance. As also reported, the administrators of the fund – a Guernsey based company called Fund Corporation – have terminated the investment adviser’s contract.

The investment adviser on the fund was a Swiss based company called United Asset Management (UAM) and, according to a letter dated 28 March from Fund Corporation, UAM is due to cease its role as investment adviser on 25 May 2013.

Fund Corporation was unable to confirm what the underlying assets of the fund were or provide contact details for the fund’s current investment adviser.

According to the commercial register of the Swiss Canton of Valais where UAM was based, the company was, until September 2012 owned 100% by deVere Group’s founder and chief executive Nigel Green.

A spokesperson for deVere said: “Green’s control of United Asset Management concluded some 12 months ago and his ownership was officially relinquished in September 2012.”

The ownership of the company was transferred at that point to a company called Frontier Investments Limited based in Gibraltar.

Documents obtained by International Adviser from Gibraltar Companies House reveal that Frontier was incorporated in July 2009 and has since changed its name to Titanium Advisers Limited.

'Unhappy with performance'

The current director of the company is Philip James Rose who is based in Dubai, according to the company registration. Rose is named as the investment adviser on the most recent available fund factsheet for the UAM Strategic Growth Fund.

According to the factsheet, Rose began his career at Scottish Widows Investment Partnership in 1999 as an investment director within its UK equity team. The factsheet says Rose moved to the UAE in 2009 to join Emirates NBD Asset Management where he was responsible for “several investment portfolios”. He left in November 2012 when he was made investment adviser to the UAM Strategic Growth Fund.

The list of past directors of Titanium Advisers also includes Stuart Teasdale, who was a director for two months between October and December last year. Teasdale also worked at Emirates NBD where he was head of distribution.

Another former director is Beverley Yeomans who, according to her Linkedin profile, is a PA in deVere’s main Malta office. Yeomans was director between November 2009 and October 2012.

The deVere spokesperson added that deVere was “unhappy with the performance” of the Strategic Growth Fund but was unable to provide contact details for investment adviser Philip Rose.

In a bid to explain the fund’s suspension, deVere said: “It is understood the administrators took the decision to freeze the fund as a large number of deVere clients were selling their holdings.”

The other named shareholder and director of Titanium Advisers is Sovereign Secretaries in Gibraltar.

Click here to read a copy of the letter sent to investors on 28 March.

Click here to read Monday's IA story revealing the suspension.

This article was amended on 05.03.14 to reflect the fact that the fund is not called the UAM Strategic Growth Fund

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