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Simon Danaher

Up to $50m of deVere client money trapped in suspended UAM fund

From Products May 23 2013 BY: Simon Danaher , Online Editor , International Adviser

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

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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Daniel Zilke

Opinion Former

Posted by Daniel Zilke
OPINION FORMER
on Aug 30 2013 @ 23:56


It amazes me that Generali allowed this fund to go onto their fund platform and I am amazed that Nigel Green is not locked up. What year is this? How long is it before Devere does this again? They famously stole $150 million with the imperial consolidation fund ten years ago.

This astonishes me and I feel sorry for the average investor who has lost their own money. This tarnishes the offshore industry and there is some good guys out there.


P A

Opinion Former

Posted by P A
OPINION FORMER
on May 30 2013 @ 05:55


Your having a laugh, the clients informed!!!
The offshore industry was never forward enough to go backwards, its a breeding ground for the unscrupulous, that said people who buy from them and many others with the same MO pretty much deserve what they end up with.


PJ

Opinion Former

Posted by PJ
OPINION FORMER
on May 24 2013 @ 10:00


The key issue here is whether the clients were told of the make up of the fund and whether they could disinvest whenever they wanted to. The devil, no doubt, will be in the detail. What are the illiquid funds?

This is one of a few fund suspensions reported on by this journal. Any further news on the life settlement fund run by Managing Partners Limited?

When I was an IFA way back in the eighties, IMRO had a "better than best" rule. Effectively, if an IFA recommended a product that was owned by the same group then the client had to be informed of the potential conflict of interest and given a reason as to why that product was better than alternatives on the open market.In my case it was Hill Samuel, so if we recommend a TSB guaranteed income bond then it had to have the best rate on the market.

Have we gone backwards over the last 25 years?


P A

Opinion Former

Posted by P A
OPINION FORMER
on May 24 2013 @ 05:41


No conflict here then?

I am amazed any clients had the ability to try and sell or switch out of the fund, I also wonder if the ownership of the fund and its management had been disclosed to the end user?
Seriously it is now 2013 and this sort of skulduggery is allowed to happen.
Any Life Offices out there do even the most basic undertaking of due diligence??
It will be interesting to see just what this fund actually invested in.


Esteban

Opinion Former

Posted by Esteban
OPINION FORMER
on May 23 2013 @ 18:46


Oh dear, Mr Green. Your reputation is suffering and this time is seems to be all your own fault - no jealous ex-employees to blame. I do hope De Vere told these poor clients of the conflict of interest before they invested in this awful fund. Perhaps a regulator might like to investigate? I'd also like to see Mr Green explaining this one in his next YouTube video but my breath is not held.





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