Taking a significant beating with legislative Act

19 May

Author: Myra Rego

Publications: FANEWS

Date Published: 19 May 2015

Intermediaries are governed by the Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services (FAIS) Act which governs their actions and regulates the way in which advice is given to a client. While this act has been a welcome addition to the industry, some intermediaries have been taking a significant beating by the Act.

This was yet again, the issue in the recent determination by the FAIS Ombudsman (FAIS Ombud). The case was between Daphne Auret Foster (hereafter referred to as the complainant), Vaidro Investments (hereafter referred to as the first respondent) and Andrea Moolman (hereafter referred to as the second respondent).

Facing stumbling blocks

In 2011, the complainant invested a combined total of R800 000 in a Relative Value Arbitrage Fund (RVAF). To make up R800 000, the first payment of R150 000 was made in February, followed by a payment of R550 000 in June and lastly, R100 000 in November.

The fund was managed and operated as a hedge fund – by one Herman Pretorius, (now deceased) – with no license of its own.

The investments were made in consequence of the recommendation and advice of the second respondent, who acted as the complainant’s financial adviser. The complainant states that the purpose of the investment was two-fold, namely capital growth for an imminent retirement, as well as the access to additional cash in the event of Mr Foster’s passing.

The complainant was advised that the RVAF would be less risky than investing in the JSE, in that the risks were better managed. In this regard, the complainant was advised that whilst the returns in good time would be less, conversely the returns during a downturn would not be as bad. In this respect, the complainant was advised and shown records indicating not only that the fund had shown good performance over a long period but that it even showed a positive return over the stock exchange crash of 2008.

Accordingly, the complainant, when asked by the Office what needs analysis was conducted by the respondent, replied that this was not necessary as the couple had other investments for their pension. Furthermore, the complainant advised that she was also offered another hedge fund; however, the respondent advised her that the RVAF was more secure and suitable to her requirements. The investment comprised all of complainant’s investable capital but constituted 15% of the couples total retirement savings.

The complainant blames the respondent for poor advice and the loss of her investment of R800 000. It was expected that the funds were to be invested and trade in the top 40 companies on the JSE and that certain measures would be in place to manage risk. Accordingly, the complainant states that the investment was misrepresented being in fact a Ponzi or fraudulent scheme and the complainant holds the respondents accountable.

A painted canvas

The FAIS Ombud invited the respondent to respond to the complaint. The respondent stated that the complainant’s husband wanted to invest in the RVAF, but wanted to do so in his wife’s name (the complainant) for tax purposes. The husband wished to meet with Herman Pretorius in order to ask several questions.

According to the respondent, the husband advised that he is well informed and knowledgeable regarding trading shares and that he himself in his own capacity trades Satrix top 402 and hence understood that the investment made use of a partnership agreement. No Financial Needs Analysis (FNA) was conducted as this was treated as a single need. The complainant required nothing more as he is already well invested for retirement.

The record of advice evidences that the complainant was warned by the respondent about the high risks of the product.

The respondent only provided factual information on hedge funds and did not provide advice. The respondent advised that Herman Pretorius explained the strategies and how the risk was managed. She stated that by having reasonable knowledge of Hedge Funds, she concluded that the strategy, as explained to her, was a suitable investment for the client. The respondent contended that she was satisfied that persons investing in the fund were fully appreciative and aware of the risks involved.

What is not in dispute, is that the complainant sought guidance from a licensed financial adviser; namely the respondent. In so doing, the respondent had a duty to ensure that the advice that was provided was correct and appropriate for the complainant’s circumstances. Other than taking an interest in his own financial affairs, there is no evidence that the complainant’s husband possessed any particular investment knowledge or experience. Had the complainant’s husband been the experienced investor the respondent makes him out to be, he would have certainly steered clear of RVAF.

Immeasurable accountability

The inescapable conclusion is that the respondent knew nothing about the fund or its underlying investment and was in no position to advise her clients to invest in it.

No sensible person having been given the correct material information or advice would have invested in RVAF. Nothing in the records explains why it was necessary to take such a risk with a substantial portion of the complainant’s capital.

The issue determined is that the respondent failed to act honestly, with care and diligence. The complaint is upheld and the respondents are ordered, jointly and severally, the one paying the other to be absolved, to pay to complainant the amount of R800 000.

Editor’s Thoughts:
We need to be honest and also admit that poor advice is also a major contributor in some of the FAIS determinations – it is such a pity that some “bad apples” give the industry a bad name and thus give professional advisers a harder time with selling and compliance with regulation. Please comment below, interact with us on Twitter at @fanews_online or email me your thoughts myra@fanews.co.za.

 

 

 

 

 

Belvedere: A closer look at Trinity

14 May

Author: Patrick Cairns

Publications: MoneyWeb

Date Published: 14 May 2015

CAPE TOWN – The allegations against Belvedere were first made in OffshoreAlert back in early March. The Miami-based publication claimed to have uncovered “one of the biggest criminal financial enterprises in history”.

There were suggestions that billions of dollars were at risk in what was a web of fraudulent activity.

Despite the size of the alleged scam, a peculiarity of the story is that there has been very little in the way of anyone coming forward to claim that their money is missing. The deVere Group raised the initial concerns about the Strategic Growth Fund, which was the focus of the recent actions by the Guernsey Financial Services Commission (FSC). It is worried about a total £30 million that it has not yet been able to recover from the fund.

No other investors have yet publicly come forward to state that they are worried about missing funds. The scale of what may or may not be compromised therefore remains a point of conjecture.

Much of the speculation around Belvedere has also suggested that everything with any connection to the group must be fraudulent. However, there are investment vehicles associated to Belvedere that are verifiably legitimate, and it is important not to overlook those details.

This is the case with the two sub-funds housed under the Trinity Global Fund in Guernsey. To understand this, it is necessary for some context.

Towards the end of April, the Guernsey FSC successfully applied to have three funds managed by Lancelot Management – the Global Mutual Fund PCC, Universal Mutual Fund ICC and Worldwide Mutual Fund PCC – placed under administration.

The FSC also applied to place a fourth fund, the Trinity Global Fund, under administration. That application was however adjourned to a later date, and has since been adjourned again.

Why is Trinity different?

Trinity is distinct from the other Lancelot-managed funds in Guernsey in that it is a unit trust, rather than a hedge fund vehicle. It currently houses only two sub-funds, the Armstrong Global Diversified Fund and the NeFG Global Diversified Fund.

There are strong connections to South Africa here: NeFG is a local fund manager and the Armstrong Fund is the offshore vehicle into which the MET Global Diversified Feeder Fund invests.

A ‘consent order’ was obtained in court that essentially requires Trinity’s trustee bank, the Royal Bank of Canada, to impose strict conditions on any transactions within these funds. This will stand until May 29, when the application to place Trinity under administration is now set to be heard.

Moneyweb has established that both the Armstrong and NeFG funds have long-only mandates and may only invest in listed securities. In both cases the underlying investments within these cells are exclusively in funds managed by South African asset managers – the likes of Coronation, Sanlam, Investec, Prescient and Stanlib.

Given what has taken place in Guernsey, certain reports have once again questioned whether the money in these funds is safe. The Head of Distribution and Client Services at MET Collective Investments, Kevin Hinton, stated some time ago that he was confident that the assets in the MET Global Diversified Fund could be validated, and he reiterated as much again to Moneyweb this week.

“I still stand by that comment,” Hinton said. “We’ve gone as far as to check the unit registers of the management companies themselves. When we originally got a document from the administrator Lumiere indicating what the underlying assets were, we went to each of those asset managers – the likes of Prescient, Investec and Stanlib – and validated that they were holding those units in their funds by that nominee vehicle.”

As such, he is satisfied that no investor money is compromised.

In the case of the NeFG, as reported towards the end of April, Moneyweb has seen copies of the fund valuation and portfolio valuations confirming its assets. It is invested in only three underlying funds – the RECM Global Fund, Coronation Global Managed Fund, and PSG International Global Flexible Fund – and the assets in each are identifiable and valid.

Moneyweb understands that the NeFG fund is in the process of cashing out its assets as the reputational risk has become too much. It is looking to relocate to another jurisdiction.

Guernsey

These matters taking place in the Royal Court of Guernsey have been the focus of the Belvedere story over the last few weeks. The application to the court to place the Lancelot funds under administration was accompanied by an affidavit sworn by Paul Yabsley, a senior analyst in the enforcement division of the Guernsey FSC that contained the first concrete details of suspicious trades. These had taken place within the Strategic Growth Fund cells of the Global Mutual Fund.

This is the fund about which deVere had expressed its concern.

The trades were a series of investments into the underlying cells of two Mauritius-domiciled funds: Two Seasons and Four Elements. These funds were both administered by Belvedere Management and managed by RDL Management.

The FSC was particularly concerned about what it termed “significant and systemic conflicts of interest” in these transactions, as Cobus Kellermann and David Cosgrove owned or managed entities involved at almost every level. It also submitted to the court that the financial positions which resulted may not have been valued correctly.

The four specific transactions in question were to the value of $10 million, $1 million, $1.5 million and $14 million. The Guernsey FSC also questioned the valuation of a property in Stellenbosch that was bought by one of the Mauritian funds for R28.5 million and sold two years later to another for R72 million.

The affidavit further questioned the sale and transfer of R14 million worth of shares in JSE-listed BKOne between funds linked to Kellermann. The transaction was instigated the day before Herman Pretorius murdered Basilues CEO Julian Williams and then committed suicide.

None of the other cells in either the Global Mutual Fund or any of the other funds placed under administration were specifically mentioned in the affidavit. However the FSC did state its belief that the conflicts of interest it uncovered could extend “to a number of other Managed Funds which have advisers with similar ownerships or investments into Four Elements and Two Seasons.”

It therefore requested that all the funds be placed under administration to allow for proper investigation into whether there was any contagion and to protect investors in the case of redemptions, since there is a risk that net asset values may be incorrect.

The specifics

What the affidavit also highlighted was the need to deal in specifics with regards to the allegations against Belvedere. Suspicious activity has been uncovered, and that must be dealt with on its merits.

The question of whether there has been contagion must be followed up. As that happens, more details may emerge.

It is, however, evident that not everything associated with Belvedere is fraudulent, or even suspicious. Within the Belvedere hive there are genuine funds running demonstrably valid mandates with assets that can be verified. One of the issues the regulators are facing, therefore, is the onerous task of separating the good from the bad.

The problem for investors is that until the regulators’ work is complete, they can’t know the difference. And unfortunately for any fund associated with Belvedere, that may be a death sentence.

Hof hoor van band tussen Cobus Kellermann, Herman Pretorius

10 May

Author: Nellie Brand-Jonker 

Publications: Netwerk24

Date Published : 10 Mei 2015

Die baasbrein agter Suid-Afrika se reuse-RVAF-piramideskema, wyle Herman Pretorius, word in hofstukke in Guernsey oor beleggingskemas genoem waarby die Kaapse batebestuurder Cobus Kellermann betrek word.

In die hofstukke daar word gesê van die hoogs riskante Suid-Afrikaanse beleggings wat Kellermann as ’n portefeuljebestuurder van ’n Guernsey-fonds gemaak het, was in maatskappye van Basileus Investments.

Wie was Basileus Investments?

Basileus Investments het in 2012 die nuus gehaal toe sy uitvoerende hoof, Julian Williams, in sy kantoor in die middestad van Kaapstad deur Preto­rius doodgeskiet is. Pretorius het homself daarna geskiet.

Volgens die hofstukkie is die JSE-genoteerde BK One gestig as ’n voertuig waardeur kapitaalinspuitings gemaak kon word om die Basileus-verwante maatskappye te ondersteun.

Paul Yabsley, die ondersoeker van Guernsey se finansiële owerheid, skryf in die hofstukke dat die Strategic-fonds in ’n stadium onder leiding van Kellermann direk en indirek deur fondse van Mauritius beleggings en lenings aan Basileus en sy verwante maatskappye gemaak het.

Die hofstukke verduidelik ook hoe die Strategic-fonds in wese R71 miljoen geleen het aan ’n maatskappy om ’n plaas in Helshoogte te ontwikkel en daarna weer R72 miljoen opgedok het om die plaas te koop – om dié lenings aan homself terug te betaal, volgens Yabsley.

Yabsley verwys na die skietvoorval op 26 Julie 2012 toe Williams deur Pretorius geskiet is, glo oor ’n dispuut oor geld wat Basileus se maatskappy AV Alloy aan hom moes betaal het.

Daar is berig dat dié geld deur Pretorius gebruik is om die beweerde piramideskema te finansier. Dit het later aan die lig gekom dat beleggers R2,2 miljard in Pretorius se Relative Value Arbitrage Fund (RVAF) belê het.

Belangebotsings?

Die hofstukke verwys ook na die hoogs omstrede transaksie wat Kellermann gedurende die week van die skietvoorval met BK One-aandele uitgevoer het om die aandele te verkoop. Kellermann was in daardie stadium die eienaar en portefeuljebestuurder van Ankh Analytic wat ’n Ankh-fonds bestuur het wat BK One-aandele besit het.

Ná die skietvoorval het BK One se aandeelprys skerp geval.

Volgens Yabsley is die BK One-aandele aan die Strategic-fonds verkoop teen die prys waarop dit op 25 Julie 2012 verhandel het.

Daar is geen bewyse tot die Guernsey finansiële kommissie se beskikking dat Kellermann in daardie sta­dium enige poging aangewend het om die skietvoorval van Pretorius en Williams en die negatiewe uitwerking wat dit waarskynlik sou hê op die BK ­One-aandele te openbaar nie, voer Yabsley aan.

“Alle aspekte van hierdie transaksie is hoogs twyfelagtig. Sonder twyfel is die Ankh-fondse se belange in BK One verkoop tot voordeel van beleggers in die Ankh-fondse en tot nadeel van die beleggers in die Strategic-fondse.

“Kellermann het groot belangebotsings gehad in alle dele van die transaksie met sowel Ankh as die Strategic-fondse.”

Yabsley sê Kellermann moes al in Junie 2012 bewus gewees het van die bewerings oor die bedrieglike beleggingskema van Pretorius.

Kellermann het onlangs aan Die Burger gesê die opdrag om die BK One-aandele te verkoop, is gegee ’n dag voordat Williams geskiet is. Volgens hom het dit verband gehou met die administrateur van Ankh se opdrag om sekuriteite te verkoop om likiditeit in die fonds te kry.

“Die vereffening van die aandele vind ’n dag of twee ná die transaksie plaas. Daar is niks ongerymd daaraan nie.”

Volgens hom is dit deur die Raad op Finansiële Dienste ondersoek, wat gelukkig was met die antwoorde.

 

Dienstekommissie onthul: Ponzi-manne ‘het lang geskiedenis’

6 May

Author: Marelize Barnard

Publications: Netwerk24

Date Published : 6 Mei 2015

KAAPSTAD. – Wat het die Ponzi-bedrieër wyle Herman Pretorius, die man wat hy doodgeskiet het, Julian Williams, en die beleggingsbestuurder van Welgemoed, Jacobus Kellermann, met mekaar te doen?

’n “Lang geskiedenis” – as dit van die Finansiële Dienstekommissie van die Britse eiland Guernsey (GFSC) afhang.

Die skietery waarin Pretorius op 26 Julie 2012 eers vir Wil­liams en daarna homself geskiet het, is in die Guernsey-hooggeregshof vir die eerste keer in openbare hofdokumente aan internasionale aandeletransaksies gekoppel.

Kellermann, wat net soos Pretorius spogeiendom in Welgemoed aangeskaf het – en ook soos Pretorius ’n voorliefde vir vinnige sportmotors het – word by dié aandeletransaksies betrek. Kellermann en sy sakevennoot, David Cosgrove, is die afgelope twee maande al hoe meer in die nuus oor die beleggingsfondse waarby hulle in veral Mauritius en ook Guernsey betrokke is en ondersoeke na hul betrokkenheid by die bestuur van internasionale beleggingsfondse.

Die Pretorius-skietery:

Pretorius en Williams se skietdood was ’n dag nadat Kellermann betrokke geraak het by die verkoop van 1,4 miljoen aandele in die beleggingsmaatskappy BK One, wat gebruik is as beleggingsmedium om beleggers te kry om in maatskappye te belê wat aan die Basileus-groep behoort het.

Pretorius se beleggers het in een van die Basileus-maatskappye, AV Alloy, belê. In Pretorius se poging om sy Ponzi-skema geheim te hou, het hy R40 miljoen aan Williams geleen om aan sy beleggers uit te betaal en daardeur te probeer voorgee alles gaan goed.

Williams en Pretorius het hieroor gestry, wat klaarblyklik tot die skietvoorval gelei het.

Op dieselfde dag van die skietvoorval is 1,4 miljoen aandele in BK One verhandel. Dit is aandele wat aan Ankh behoort het, ’n beleggingsfonds wat deur Kellermann bestuur is.

Die verkoop van aandele:

Die Ankh-aandele in BK One is volgens die Guernsey-hofstukke deur nog ’n entiteit, Citygate (’n maatskappy in Mauritius wat deur Kellermann en Cosgrove bestuur is), aan nog ’n entiteit, Strategic Cells, verkoop. Die verkoopsprys was glo teen die waarde van die aandele soos vasgestel die dag voor die skietvoorval.

Intussen het die skietvoorval ’n “dramatiese” impak gehad op die waarde van die BK One-aandele. “Alle aspekte van die transaksie” kan volgens die hofstukke voor die Guernsey-hooggeregshof op hoogste vlak bevraag-teken word. Daar word aange-voer dat Kellermann in ’n groot-skaalse belangebotsing was omdat hy namens Ankh én Strategic Cells opgetree het.

Kellerman het volgens die bewerings van die Guernsey Finansiële Dienstekommissie nie die nodige inligting van die skietvoorval of die moontlike negatiewe nagevolge wat dit op die BK One- en Basileus-aandele sou kon hê aan die relevante betrokkenes verklaar nie.

Wat sê Kellermann?

Kellermann het op 25 Maart aan Die Burger gesê hy was as raadgewer betrokke by ’n maatskappy wat genoteerde BK One-aandele gekoop het. Die beleggingspan het dit verkoop na aanlei-­ding van ’n versoek van die besturende maatskappy om kontant in die portefeulje te verhoog.

Kellermann en Cosgrove het gister deur hul regsverteenwoordiger, Werksmans-regsfirma, by navraag oor die bewerings in die Guernsey-hofaansoek gesê hulle gaan vir eers nie verder kommentaar lewer nie.

RVAF Update

22 Apr

Author: Paul Kruger

Publications: Moonstone

Date Published: 21 April 2015

Die Burger reported on Thursday, 16 April 2015, that investors who placed funds with the Relative Value Arbitrage Fund (RVAF) can expect to get some of their money back.

This information was contained in the latest progress report from the joint trustees of Herman Pretorius’s estate.

According to the article, receipts show that the RVAF group accumulated approximately R2.5 billion between 2004 and 2012 from investors and other sources. A summary of the group’s income and expenses by forensic auditors, appointed by the trustees, states that Pretorius used R753 million of the funds for payments unrelated to payments to investors.

Other unspecified payments amounted to R164 million.

At the time of Pretorius’s death, there was only about R2.1 million left in the RVAF bank account.

It is not clear just how much will become available for distribution to investors. The trustees indicated that they will be applying for the setting aside of judgements obtained to freeze certain of Pretorius’s assets to prevent it from being used. They have also successfully applied for the sequestration of Pretorius’s family trusts.

Broker Commissions

The article also states that R124.6 million was paid to financial advisers who convinced investors to place their funds in the RVAF. The trustees aim to approach these advisers on an individual basis to reclaim the fees paid to them by Pretorius. One such claim was already allowed by the courts, but there is currently an appeal against this finding.

The same broker also appealed against various determinations by the FAIS Ombud that he should repay investors the money they placed in the RVAF on his advice.

In total, 23 FAIS Ombud determinations were made in favour of complainants against a handful of advisers.

Investor Claims

A third article reminds investors who wish to lay complaints against advisers that they would have to do so soon, as they only have three years from the time they became aware of, or should reasonably have become aware of, the occurrence of the act or omission which gave rise to the complaint. Pretorius died in July 2012.

A Double Whammy

There are two sources of hope for investors. The final restitution after the trustees managed to wind up Pretorius’s estate, and/or the Ombud finding in their favour.

In view of a recent Appeal Board decision it appears unlikely that investors will be allowed to have the best of both worlds. They cannot reclaim their investment from the broker, and get a partial payment from the estate. It appears that, until such time as a final payment is made from the estate, the quantum of the loss cannot be ascertained with certainty.

The attempt to get advisers to pay back the “commission” they received is far more complex than what it seems.

In 2012, after the death of Pretorius, the FSB issued a media release on the RVAF in which it said:

” The ambit of the FAIS Act is focused on the rendering of financial services which typically involve three parties, namely a product supplier, an intermediary and a client. Unless a financial product is involved, the FAIS Act does not apply.”

And further on: “To the extent that investors were lured into any of his projects, such investors carried the risk and obligation to enquire into the merits before parting with their money, especially where above-average returns were being offered. The loss of so much money to so many investors is a sad state of affairs but one for which the regulator is not accountable.”

The outcome of the appeal case, referred to above, should provide clarity on this matter.

Justice for All?

Another consideration noted before in this forum, but as yet unresolved by the authorities, concerns the broker’s ability to reimburse clients.

With multiple claims resulting from both the trustees and the Ombud’s determinations, the chances are very good that the brokers involved may be forced to choose the insolvency option.

This could mean that clients will receive justice, but no compensation, while those who benefitted most will walk away scot free.

Such an outcome defeats the object of the exercise, and deserves serious attention.

Stoksiel-gelukkig

21 Apr

Author: Martie Pansegrouw

Publications: Rooi Rose Tydskrif

Date Published: Maart 2015

Om te trou of nie te trou nie, of om weer te trou of nie, is soms net hoe die meetsnoere vir ons val. Dis hoe jy dit hanteer wat saak maak.
Enkellopende vroue het lankal die negatiewe etiket afgeknip.

Om enkellopend te wees beteken nie meer soos in die vorige eeu dat jy nie opsies het nie. Jy het die keuse om te weier dat jou lewe deur die status van jou verhoudings gedefinieer word. Selfs die term “oujongnooi” is lankal nie meer relevant nie. Vroue trou in die dertig, veertig, vyftig of later in hul lewe… of glad nie. Party skei en wil nooit weer trou nie, en sommiges se lewensmaats sterf en hulle kry nie weer ‘n goeie plaasvervanger nie.

Daar is hope webtuistes en blogs waarop enkellopendes hul filosofiee deel. Een van die talle gewildes is die van Mandy Hale, ook bekend onder haar blog-lesers en Twitter-aanhangers as The Single Woman™. Haar leuse is “Life, love and a dash of sass” en sy verkondig “Single is the new fabulous!”  

Failed fund claims hit R12.3m

20 Apr

Author: Roy Cokayne

Publications: iOL -The Mercury

Date Published: 17 April 2015

REPORT  
THE total amount that three financial advisers need to repay 22 investors they wrongly advised to place money in the Relative Value Arbitrage Fund (RVAF) has now escalated to more than R12.26 million. 
This follows several further determinations issued by the ombud for financial advisory and intermediary services (Fais) Noluntu Bam against these financial advisers. None of the three financial advisers have filed notices of appeal against the determinations. The fund collapsed after its manager and trustee Herman Pretorius committed suicide in July 2013 after shooting dead his business partner Julian Williams. The Fais ombud last year issued 16 determinations against financial adviser Michal Calitz and/or Impact Financial Consultants to repay investors more than RIOm. The ombud has issued a further six determinations to date this year against financial advisors to repay their investment clients a total R2.24m. Five determinations were issued ordering financial advisor Andrea Moolman and/or Vaidro Investments to repay five of her clients a total of more than R1.6m. In one further determination, financial advisers Simon Morton and Carol Louw and/or Catwalk Investments 592 cc trading as Pinnacle were last month ordered to repay a client R600 000. Bam has made similar comments in the determinations issued to date related to RVAF, including that the complaints were about being advised to invest in a scheme that was not above board. She said neither Pretorius nor the RVAF itself was licensed “in any way”, which was a clear contravention of the Fais Act. 
Risks 
In the determination made by Bam against Vaidro Investments and/or Andrea Moolman in regard to a complaint lodged by Leon van der Walt, who invested R206 000, Bam said the issues principally pertained to the failure of Moolman to understand the fund and the risks to which she was exposing her clients when advising them to invest in RVAF. Bam added that there were no financial statements for RVAF and without financial statements “or so much as a fact sheet” Moolman could not have understood the economic activity that generated the returns of the fund. She said Moolman was unable to explain why RVAF was nowhere to be found in the documentation she used in support of recommendations she made to investors. “The inescapable conclusion is that respondent (Moolman) knew nothing about the fund or its underlying investment and accordingly was in no position to advise her clients to invest in it,” she said. Bam said Moolman had breached the general code, which required that a provider must at all times render financial services honestly, fairly, with due skill, care and diligence, and in the interests of the client and the integrity of the financial services industry. She said Van der Walt was in no position to understand the “any material investment or other risks associated with the product” as required by the code.

Belvedere allegations: Money in SA unit trusts is safe

20 Apr

Author: Patrick Cairns

Publications: MoneyWeb

Date Published: 14 April 2015

CAPE TOWN – The allegations that local fund manager Cobus Kellerman could be involved in a $16 billion (R200 billion) Ponzi scheme through the Mauritian-domiciled Belvedere Management Limited has caused a lot of consternation in South Africa. Many investors have been worried that money they put into unit trusts managed by Kellerman could be at risk.

Kellerman established Clarus Capital in 2009. Until July last year, Clarus managed a number of funds administered by MET Collective Investments, including the Clarus MET Equity Value Fund and the Clarus Optimal Fund.

These funds, although they still carry the Clarus branding, are now managed by Contego Asset Management. Contego is still awaiting approval from the Financial Services Board (FSB) to change their names.

Contego took over management of these funds after signing a new investment management agreement with MET Collective Investments in 2014. Since July last year, therefore, Kellerman has not been involved in these funds in any capacity.

However, even when he was managing these funds, there was no opportunity for him to take money out of them. The South African unit trust market is highly regulated and there are always custodians that stand between the investors and the fund managers to prevent any kind of fraudulent activity.

“In the history of unit trusts in South Africa there has never been any evidence of a fraudulent act,” says JC Louw, the Asset Management CEO at Contego. “Kellerman could not have touched the money in these funds.”

Every unit trust has an appointed administrator and fund trustee. These are reflected on the fund fact sheets.

The administrator is responsible for verifying the assets held in the fund, while the trustee is a bank which holds those assets in trust. In effect, the fund manager doesn’t actually handle any money. They run the fund off a spreadsheet.

“We can’t withdraw money and the trustee bank will not pay out to a third party,” Louw says. “The custodian will only pay out to a FICA verified bank account supplied by the investor.”

It is also not possible for a unit trust to invest in any unlisted instruments, so a manager cannot divert funds into an obscure holding that they can then raid. The assets held by the fund must always be verifiable by the administrator.

“So there is no evidence whatsoever of money that has gone missing and no evidence of irregularities in South African funds whatsoever,” Louw says. “South African unit trusts are safe.”

The scale of the allegations

The allegations about Kellerman and his partners at Belvedere, Irishman David Cosgrove and Mauritian accountant Kenneth Maillard were first made in an article on OffshoreAlert. It claimed that Belvedere “appears to be one of the biggest criminal financial enterprises in history”.

It based this on Belvedere’s submission to the Mauritian Financial Services Commission that it has $16 billion (R200 billion) of assets under administration, management and advisory. OffshoreAlert suggested that all of this is at risk.

The amount of money in question is huge. It almost matches all of the assets under management in Allan Gray’s South African unit trusts, and is almost twice as much as that managed by Nedgroup Investments in its suite of unit trusts.

However, Moneyweb made enquiries at a number of large local financial advisers and none had heard of Belvedere before the rumours broke. Nor did they have any knowledge of RDL Management – the investment management and advisory arm of Belvedere of which Kellerman is the 50% owner.

This is in rather stark contrast to Herman Pretorius’s R3.1 billion RVAF Ponzi, which was widely known when he committed suicide.

This may be an indication that there is not a lot of South African money with Belvedere. It also raises questions about the allegations in general.

It takes a long time to accumulate an asset pool of that size, and Belvedere is reported to have over 120 funds. So far, however, the only claim that anybody has not been able to recover money from any of them are those from the deVere Group.

deVere is an independent financial advisory group, and seems to be the primary source of information supplied to OffshoreAlert. It claims that clients lost money in one of the fund’s administered by Belvedere: the Strategic Growth Fund.

However, no other investors appear to have come forward to claim that any money invested in any of Belvedere’s other vehicles is unrecoverable. That doesn’t mean there isn’t impropriety going on, but it does raise questions about what evidence really exists.

Kellerman was not available for comment at the time of publication.

Investment red flags

16 Apr

Author: Hanna Barry

Publications: MoneyWeb

Date Published: 14 April 2015

JOHANNESBURG – Unregulated investment schemes may be a dime a dozen in South Africa, but they’re pretty easy to spot so there’s really no excuse to get caught out.

Be wary when promised abnormally high and consistently positive returns that are guaranteed even when the market is down, cautions Marc Alves, senior case manager at the Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services (FAIS) Ombud.

“It’s very difficult to get a 10% return in the market through an established financial services provider, so if someone is offering you 2% a month or 30% per annum, be very cautious,” he says.

The JSE’s All Share Index (Alsi) returned 7.6% last year. The Top 40 Index, which holds South Africa’s largest blue chip companies, returned just 6%. Listed Property and the Financial 15 (which includes the largest banks and insurers) fared significantly better, returning around 19% and 23% respectively.

But even at the upper end, these numbers are significantly lower than the 300% annual returns promised by Zantech Trading or the 2%-a-day returns promised by Chris Walker’s Defencex. Both schemes were found guilty of contravening the Banks Act and ordered to repay investors.

“Empower yourself with sound financial planning and don’t make decisions based on pressure and emotions,” advises Alves, noting that those exploited are often people who have not provided sufficiently for their retirement or other financial needs.

“Ask about the risks and how easy it is to get your money out. A lot of these schemes are willing buyer, willing seller. It’s difficult to get your money out if there is no willing buyer,” he points out.

Make sure you understand how the investment works (could you explain it to someone else?) and where your money is going, Alves adds.

Know the laws

If a company is providing a financial service it must be registered under the FAIS Act and have a financial services provider (FSP) licence number, issued by the Financial Services Board (FSB). An unregistered FSP would be in contravention of the Act. You can check whether a company has an FSP licence on the FSB’s website by running a search on the company’s name (‘Search for FSP name’).

Herman Pretorius’s Relative Value Arbitrage Fund (RVAF) was not a registered fund with the FSB. Yet it is believed to have amassed R1.8 billion from 3 000 investors.

Fortunately, because it fell within the definition of a financial product, the FAIS Ombud was still able to pronounce on it despite it not being registered and has made numerous awards in favour of consumers. Last year alone, one financial advisor was ordered to repay more than R10.7 million to around 20 consumers who he had advised to invest in the RVAF.

However, a number of schemes set themselves up so as to fall outside the definition of a financial product. This leaves consumers with very little recourse since financial regulators can only enforce the laws they have jurisdiction over and only where these laws have in fact been broken. If a company is not registered with either the South African Reserve Bank (Sarb), FSB or National Credit Regulator (NCR), ask why.

The role of financial advisors

Financial advisors approached by clients for advice on these products must do the appropriate due diligence on the product, Alves says. “We’re not saying there’s not a place for alternative investments, but definitely advisors should do their homework and make sure that the products are sound and meet all the criteria,” says Alves.

“If you don’t understand the product yourself, if you haven’t done any due diligence and can’t answer the questions, don’t advise on it and certainly don’t earn fees,” cautions Gavin Came, a financial planner with Sasfin Wealth.

“Product providers have over time caused more damage than intermediaries, although advisors have borne the vast majority of the regulator’s wrath,” he maintains. “When investments don’t pan out, the intermediary carries the can for an ill-designed product at best and a ponzi scheme at worst,” Came says.

Beleggers kry glo iets terug

16 Apr

Author: Marelize Barnard

Publications: Die Burger

Date Published : 16 April 2015

Goeie nuus vir beleggers wat in Herman Pretorius se beleggingskemas belê het, is dat hulle wél van hul geld sal terugkry.

Die gesamentlike trustees van die insolvente boedel van Pretorius se Relative Value Arbitrage Fund (RVAF) Trust het in die jongste vorderingsverslag dié nuus aan beleggers bekend gemaak.

“Dit is duidelik dat daar wesenlike fondse vir verspreiding onder beleggers beskikbaar sal wees,” lui die verslag.

Die trustees het aangedui dat hulle binnekort aansoeke in die Wes-Kaapse hooggeregshof gaan indien vir die tersydestelling van hofbevele wat verkry is om die bates van verskeie van Pretorius se entiteite te bevries.

Die trustees het die bates bevries uit vrees dat Pretorius se weduwee, Susan-Ann, die bates vir haar sou vat.

Nou is dit nodig om die hofbevele tersyde te stel sodat daar ’n vollediger prentjie verkry kan word van die bedrag geld wat vir beleggers beskikbaar is.

Beleggers wat reeds eise ingedien het, asook nuwe eise wat deur beleggers ingedien word, sal ingevolge die Insolvensiewet deur die trustees beoordeel word vir moontlike uitbetalings.

 Pretorius se geldsake van 2004 tot 2012: ’n Opsomming van Pretorius en die RVAF-groep se finansiële situasie van 2004 tot sy skietdood in 2012 toon volgens kwitansies dat R2,5 miljard van beleggers en ander bronne ingevorder is. 

Altesaam R2,1 miljoen van dié bedrag was ten tyde van Pretorius se dood in die RVAF-rekening. 

Vir eie gewin: Pretorius het R753 miljoen van dié geld gebruik vir alles behalwe uitbetalings aan beleggers, volgens ’n opsomming van die RVAF-groep se inkomste en uitgawes wat deur forensiese ouditeurs in opdrag van die trustees opgestel is.

Goeie nuus vir beleggers wat in Herman Pretorius se beleggingskemas belê het, is dat hulle wél van hul geld sal terugkry.

Die gesamentlike trustees van die insolvente boedel van Pretorius se Relative Value Arbitrage Fund (RVAF) Trust het in die jongste vorderingsverslag dié nuus aan beleggers bekend gemaak.

“Dit is duidelik dat daar wesenlike fondse vir verspreiding onder beleggers beskikbaar sal wees,” lui die verslag.

Die trustees het aangedui dat hulle binnekort aansoeke in die Wes-Kaapse hooggeregshof gaan indien vir die tersydestelling van hofbevele wat verkry is om die bates van verskeie van Pretorius se entiteite te bevries.

Die trustees het die bates bevries uit vrees dat Pretorius se weduwee, Susan-Ann, die bates vir haar sou vat.

Nou is dit nodig om die hofbevele tersyde te stel sodat daar ’n vollediger prentjie verkry kan word van die bedrag geld wat vir beleggers beskikbaar is.

Beleggers wat reeds eise ingedien het, asook nuwe eise wat deur beleggers ingedien word, sal ingevolge die Insolvensiewet deur die trustees beoordeel word vir moontlike uitbetalings.

 Pretorius se geldsake van 2004 tot 2012: ’n Opsomming van Pretorius en die RVAF-groep se finansiële situasie van 2004 tot sy skietdood in 2012 toon volgens kwitansies dat R2,5 miljard van beleggers en ander bronne ingevorder is. 

Altesaam R2,1 miljoen van dié bedrag was ten tyde van Pretorius se dood in die RVAF-rekening. 

Vir eie gewin: Pretorius het R753 miljoen van dié geld gebruik vir alles behalwe uitbetalings aan beleggers, volgens ’n opsomming van die RVAF-groep se inkomste en uitgawes wat deur forensiese ouditeurs in opdrag van die trustees opgestel is.

Pretorius het die miljoene rande eerder gebruik om onder meer vir homself luukshede, soos ’n Aston Martin-sportmotor (R1,7 miljoen), aan te skaf asook talle eiendomme en duur juwele vir sy vrou, Susan-Ann, en hul seuns.

Aandele vir homself gekoop:Pretorius het R80 miljoen gebruik om onder meer vir homself aandele in Wesizwe Platinum te koop, luidens die trustees se verslag.

Die trustees is nog in die duister oor waarom Pretorius verskeie groot bedrae in Wesizwe belê het.

Die vermoede is dat hy daarmee wou spekuleer in die hoop dat hy daardeur sy jare lange Ponzi-skema kon verdoesel.

  Makelaars: Die makelaars wat onder meer niksvermoedende pensioentrekkers oortuig het dat Pretorius se RVAF-groep ’n veilige keuse is om hul pensioengeld in te belê, het R124,6 miljoen se betalings van Pretorius ontvang, luidens die verslag. 

Vordering word tans gemaak met eise teen die onderskeie makelaars wat uitbetalings ontvang het. Wanneer die geld ingevorder word, sal dit meer geld vir beleggers beteken.

Susan-Ann het R4,18 miljoen van haar man ontvang.

Ander betalings wat deur Pretorius gemaak is (wat nie deur die forensiese ouditeurs gespesifiseer is nie) beloop R164 miljoen.

Die trustees noem verder dat Pretorius se familietrusts intussen met welslae gesekwestreer is.

Pretorius het oor die jare verskeie trusts gestig om homself, sy vrou en hul twee seuns te begunstig.

Die bates wat deur die trusts bekom is, sluit in ’n luukse vakansiehuis in Hermanus, die Pretorius-gesin se huis in Welgemoed en twee eiendomme vir sy seuns in onderskeidelik Higgovale en Claremont – wat intussen op openbare veilings deur die RVAF-trustees verkoop is.


KLEINGELD

R2,1 miljoen

Van die R2,5 miljard wat van beleggers ingevorder is, was net R2,1 miljoen in die RVAF-rekening oor.

Due Diligence and the Financial Adviser

13 Apr

Author: Paul Kruger

Publications: Moonstone

Date Published: 9 April 2015

Section 2 of the General Code of Conduct requires that ‘a provider must at all times render financial services honestly, fairly, with due skill, care and diligence, and in the interests of the clients and the integrity of the financial services industry.’

To the best of my knowledge, this does not require that a FSP must conduct a due diligence to the same extent required when mergers and takeovers are concerned. This is a formal process involving lawyers and accountants, and goes far beyond what can or should be expected from a financial adviser.

In a recent determination, the FAIS Ombud again referred to this thorny issue involving an investment in the Relative Value Arbitrage Fund (RVAF) run by the late Herman Pretorius.

In the formulation of the complaint, the determination reads:

Complainant contends that he was not informed by respondent that what he was investing in what was actually a pyramid scheme as opposed to a legitimate investment. Had he so known, he would never have invested and accordingly holds respondent accountable for his losses.

From the information supplied by the respondent, it appears that she was equally unaware that the scheme was, in its last years, run as a Ponzi scheme. In fact, this only materialised after the death of Pretorius.

In the determination under discussion, the following information is supplied by the respondent:

[12] Specifically questioned as to the due diligence she conducted, respondent advised that having been introduced to Abante Capital she visited the premises where Herman Pretorius explained the strategies and how the risk was managed. Having been introduced to the trading team, respondent then proceeded to ascertain whether Abante Capital was registered with the FSB. In addition thereto respondent confirmed with Momentum and Old Mutual and spoke to their fund managers about Abante Capital and their use of the fund in their portfolios.

[13] Respondent goes on to state that, having a reasonable knowledge of Hedge Funds, respondent concluded that the strategy is sound and when mostly top 40 JSE companies are invested into, this should be a sound fund. According to respondent, Mr Pretorius explained that the way that this fund operated the risks are relatively low.

[14] Respondent contends that she was satisfied that persons investing in the fund were fully appreciative and aware of the risks involved, both in that they attended presentations by Herman Pretorius but also in that respondent further explained the process and operation of the fund as she understood it. In this regard a written explanation of Board Notice 5711 was provided and explained to each client.

[15] As to the basis upon which respondent deemed RVAF to be a suitable basis for her clients, respondent advised as follows:

15.1. Many clients need a higher return on their investment to ensure that they reached their investment goals, and as an adviser it was her duty to ensure that all products and all investment avenues are explored on behalf of clients;

15.2. Given the various market crises, hedge funds could both act as a defensive strategy and outperform traditional investments in a downturn;

15.3. Researching the different hedge funds available in the country, respondent’s research showed that Abante Capital was one of three hedge funds in South Africa;

15.4 In 2008 Abante Capital won a hedge fund award. With regards thereto respondent provided a Symmetry multi manager document showing the market neutral category winner as ‘Abante Statistical Arbitrage.’

[16] The portfolio was explained to clients as a hedge fund which invested in shares on the JSE. It was explained that as in any investment involving shares the risk is of a high nature, however historically the loss in downside markets is lessened when hedge trading strategies are used.

[17] In this regard respondent states that hedge funds may actually be a lower risk than traditional investments as the target is to protect capital, increase defensive strategies, and obtain absolute returns under all market conditions as explained by Herman Pretorius.

Concerning the client’s knowledge of investments, the determination states:

With regards to the investment in RVAF, complainant was given to understand that the underlying investment was comprised of shares on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. To this end and having personally dabbled a bit in shares he understood that there were risks involved in the investment, chief amongst which was that the share market could go up or down;

The respondent’s version of the client’s profile states:

‘Mr VD Walt has a degree, a residential and commercial property portfolio, runs his own consulting practice and trades a share portfolio. He is investment savvy and understands how shares can be traded long and short for a profit in a bear market’.

Was the advisor negligent?

A recent Appeal Board ruling on this case contains the following interesting view:

What then constitutes negligence? The lack of skill or knowledge is not per se negligent. It is however, negligent to engage voluntarily in any potentially dangerous activity unless one has the skill and knowledge usually associated with the proper discharge of the duties connected with such an activity. Hence, in interpreting the meaning of “care and skill”, our authorities have held that a mandatory should always employ reasonable care and skill in exercising his or her mandate.

What is reasonable in the circumstances is measured against the “general level of skill and diligence possessed and exercised at the same time by members of the branch of profession to which the mandatary belongs. If a mandatary negligently falls to execute his mandate or he is negligent in exercising his mandate, he failed to act with “care and skill”. To act negligently means to act in a way that falls short of the standard of the reasonable person”. Hence the defendant is negligent if the reasonable person would have acted differently if the unlawful causing of damage was reasonably foreseeable and preventable.

It is difficult to see how the actions by the respondent, as outlined above, can be deemed to have been lacking in “… due skill, care and diligence…”, or negligent.



Piramideskema se eise kan begin verjaar

12 Apr

Author: Nellie Brand-Jonker 

Publications: Die Burger

Date Published : 12 April 2015

Beleggers wat geld verloor het in Herman Preto­rius se piramideskema, moet opskud as hulle nog eise wil instel teen die makelaars wat hulle oorreed het om in die skema te belê. 

Pretorius is in Julie 2012 dood nadat hy eers sy sakevennoot Julian Williams van die Basileus-groep en toe homself doodgeskiet het.

Sedertdien het dit aan die lig gekom dat beleggers R2,2 miljard in Pretorius se Relative Value Arbitrage Fund (RVAF) belê het.

Die RVAF-fonds het al sedert die vroeë 2000’s geld van beleggers gekry. Opbrengste van sowat 20% per jaar is belowe en is jare lank gelewer.

Noluntu Bam, ombudsman van finansiëlediensteverskaffers, het pas nog twee uitsprake gelewer ten gunste van beleggers wat in die RVAF-skema belê het. Dit bring die getal positiewe uitsprake op 23 te staan.

Sowat R13 miljoen moet reeds deur finansiële adviseurs terugbetaal word aan van die beleggers.

Franscois van Gijsen, direkteur van regsdienste van Finlac, wys daarop dat beleggers wat nog eise by die Fais-ombudsman wil indien, dit gou moet doen. In Julie sal dit drie jaar wees sedert die skietdood van Pretorius en dan kan die eise verjaar.

Hy help nou vier mense wat destyds in die RVAF-fonds belê het, om eise in te dien.

Oor die moontlikheid dat die eise kan verjaar, het Bam by navraag gesê die proses vereis dat ’n klagte “die ombudsman nie later moet bereik nie as drie jaar vanaf die datum dat die finansiële diens gelewer is of nie later nie as drie jaar vanaf die datum dat die klaer redelikerwys bewus geraak het of behoort bewus te geraak het dat iets fout is”.

Sy wou nie kommentaar lewer op ’n vraag of dit so is dat eise binnekort kan verjaar nie en sê: “Ons kan nie ja of nee op die vraag antwoord nie omdat elke saak op eie meriete gehanteer moet word.”

Die ombudsman het nie die mag om die verjaring van eise uit te stel nie.

Van Gijsen glo egter dit gaan moeilik wees vir beleggers om te bewys hulle het nie geweet dat iets fout is nadat die nuus oor Pretorius se selfmoord in Julie 2012 bekend geword het nie.

“As jy nie teen Julie ’n eis ingedien het nie, gaan jy die geleentheid verbeur.”

Volgens Van Gijsen het hulle ná Pretorius se skietdood in 2012 aanvanklik baie navrae gekry van beleggers wat wou weet hoe om klagte by die Fais-ombudsman in te dien. Min beleggers het egter opgetree teen die bepaalde makelaars – vermoedelik omdat hulle wag om te kyk wat uit die likwidasieproses spruit.

Die makelaar Michal Johannes Calitz wat in Stellenberg in Kaapstad woonagtig is, het in dié stadium verreweg die meeste geld terugbetaal. Daar is al berig dat sy kliënte op sy advies meer as R86 miljoen in die skema belê het. Daar is reeds 17 uitsprake teen hom om altesame R10 miljoen aan beleggers terug te betaal.

Die eerste belegger wat verlede jaar teen Calitz ’n uitspraak gekry het, het Vrydag gesê hy is nog nie die geld terugbetaal nie omdat Calitz besig is om by die Raad op Finansiële Dienste (RFD) te appelleer teen die uitspraak.

Belvedere Management: Massive Criminal Enterprise or Defamed Fund Manager?Posted on April 11, 2015 by

11 Apr

Author:  

Publications: naked capitalism

Date Published :11 April 2015

…….. Looking a little further afield in the Belvedere fund universe, we find some other nuggets.

First, Belvedere runs some onshore funds in South Africa, but a presumably rather sweaty independent audit, initiated very soon after Marchant’s article came out, says they’re fine.

Second, Belvedere man Cobus Kellerman had some wonderful investment timing when his Ankh Analytic sold out its indirect holdings in Basileus Capital on the very day its principal, Julian Williams, was shot and killed  by his former business partner Hermann Pretorius, who then shot himself.  Pretorius’ RVAF Trust then turned out to be a Ponzi. Basileus Capital got into difficulties too:

The empire of slain businessman Julian Williams appears poised for collapse, following the announcement that his Basileus Capital group has initiated “business rescue proceedings”.

Business rescue is an alternative to liquidation provided for under the updated Companies Act.

Also at risk are investors in the JSE-listed BK One, a capital-raising vehicle for Basileus.

There is a trail of related party trans­actions, comprising intercompany investments, loans and write-offs, which raise questions about how much of the cash Basileus was able to raise from investors actually made its way into the project “pipeline” of which it boasted.

Belvedere crops up in the BK One story again, benefitting handsomely from a relatively terrible BK One deal for shares in Avalloy:

The February report discloses that R52-million was used to buy shares in Avalloy from SA Superalloys and from a mysterious Mauritian investment fund called Four Elements. A further R11.6-million was spent in taking over a loan to Avalloy that Four Elements had extended. Part of the loan had been converted into shareholding, meaning BK One had bought an effective 10.5% shareholding in Avalloy at a cost of R65-million. In contrast, the Industrial Development Corporation got its 10% in effect for free – a bonus for providing a R35-million loan.

Even more curious is that an associate of Four Elements was the major subscriber to shares in BK One, accounting for nearly half of the R200-million raised. The second-biggest shareholder in BK One, with 17%, is another Mauritian entity, Two Seasons, which shares the same management team as Four Elements: Ken Maillard and David Cosgrove of Belvedere Management, Mauritius. A message left on Belvedere’s automated answering service went unanswered.

Third, Belvedere funds made (purportedly modest) investments in the very dreadful Harlequin Property scheme, famous in the UK, a  resort development company that sucked up £400Mn of investor funds and ran out of cash with hardly any of the promised development complete.

Fourth, David Cosgrove of Belvedere has some previous form:

The now exposed Belvedere Ponzi kingpin David Cosgrove is no stranger to the South African financial authorities. Just over a decade back, he single handedly collapsed JSE-listed financial services company mCubed after the Reserve Bank and SARS discovered he was helping clients to illegally ship money offshore.

Described by those who know him as a high-pressure salesman who considers laws and regulations the same way SA taxi drivers view traffic lights, Cosgrove used the institutional offshore allowance as a vehicle to prey on rich South Africans nervous about the country’s future.

When the scheme was discovered, the authorities levelled a R140m fine on mCubed, which in effect killed the business, a piece of which was later picked up by the equally corrupted Fidentia. As a result, Cosgrove is about as popular at the Financial Services Board and in SA financial circles generally, as Netanyahu would be at an ISIS gathering………..

Regstappe kom teen makelaars

8 Apr

Author: Marelize Barnard

Publications: Die Burger

Date Published : 8 April 2015

Wes-Kaapse makelaars wat miljoene rande gemaak het deur beleggers na die Ponzi-skema van wyle Herman Preto­rius te lok, weier nou om hul kommissiegeld terug te betaal.

Die trustees van Pretorius se Rela­tive Arbitrage Fund (RVAF) en Seca Trust se volgende stap is om “een vir een op die ry af” die makelaars met regstappe te dwing om die geld terug te betaal, het Rynette Pieters van Independent Trustees Dinsdag gesê.

Intussen het die ombudsman vir finansiële adviseurs en tussengangers (Fais) Dinsdag die makelaars Simon Morton en Carol Louw, voorheen verbonde aan Catwalk Investments 592 met ’n besigheidsadres in Durbanville, beveel om R600 000 te betaal aan ’n belegger wat deur hul toedoen by die RVAF belê het.

Morton, wat ’n kantoor in Durbanville gehad het, het intussen na Auckland in Nieu-Seeland geëmigreer. Louw woon in Goedemoed.

Die klaer aan wie die geld terugbetaal moet word, Nigel Andrew Freddy, noem in die klag wat by Fais ingedien is dat hy R450 000 van sy R600 000-beleggingsgeld by Allan Grey wou belê, maar dat Morton hom anders oortuig het.

Noluntu Bam, ombudsman vir finansiële diensteverskaffers, het bevind dat Morton en Louw “blindelings” aanvaar het wat oor Pretorius se RVAF aan hulle vertel is. ’n Behoorlike ondersoek na die bestuur van die RVAF-beleggings is nie gedoen nie en albei het versuim om hul plig teenoor die belegger na te kom.

Bam het verder bevind dat die belegger nie ’n ingeligte keuse kon maak nie omdat dit nie aan hom genoem is dat sy geld belê sou word in ’n entiteit wat nie gereguleer of geregistreer was nie.

Morton en Louw het as “geregistreerde finansiële diensteverskaffers versuim om die Fais-wetgewing na te kom en kan nié die skuld vir die beleggingskeuse op die belegger plaas nie”, het Bam bevind.

Morton is een van die makelaars wat ook miljoene rande kommissie moet terugbetaal – tussen R8 miljoen en R10 miljoen.

Nog ’n makelaar, Wilhelm Erwee van Moorreesburg, moet meer as R12 miljoen aan kommissie terugbetaal.

Die makelaar Michal Calitz van Impact Finansiële Konsultante in Bellville weier om R9,06 miljoen terug te betaal nadat regter Monde Samela ’n bevel daaroor in die Wes-Kaapse hooggeregshof gemaak het.

Calitz het aansoek gedoen om verlof tot appèl teen Samela se uitspraak en daar word gewag op ’n datum waarop die appèl aangehoor kan word.

Pierre du Toit van Mostert en Bosman, regsverteenwoordiger van die kurators, het gesê die volgende stap is om teen elkeen van die makelaars op te tree sodat al die kommissiegeld terugbetaal kan word.

Adviser who put clients in RVAF must repay R1.6m

4 Apr

Author: Angelique Arde

Publications: iOL

Date Published: 4 April 2015

The financial advice ombud has handed down five scathing rulings against financial adviser Andrea Moolman of Vaidro Investments in Wilro Park, Roodepoort, for advising her clients to invest in the Relative Value Arbitrage Fund (RVAF), which is in liquidation following the suicide of Herman Pretorius, the architect of the scheme. 

Although it was promoted as a hedge fund, the RVAF was a Ponzi scheme, according to the ombud. The fund reportedly owes more than R2 billion to about 3 000 investors, and the trustees of the fund have said that most, if not all, investors’ funds have been lost. 

In the first of five rulings handed down last month against Moolman, the Ombud for Financial Services Providers, Noluntu Bam, said her office had received a number of complaints from the adviser’s clients who were invested in the RVAF.

he key issues in all complaints were identical, and the essence of Moolman’s response was to renounce liability for any breaches of the Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services (FAIS) Act, the ruling states. Additionally, Moolman claimed she had carried out a due diligence on the RVAF and that her actions were in the best interests of her clients. 

All the investors who have lodged complaints against Moolman say she advised them that, not only had the RVAF won a top award in 2008, but it was part of a financial services provider (FSP) known as Abante Capital, which had been in existence for years. 

“In reality, Abante Capital was a separate legal entity and was licensed as an FSP by the Financial Services Board (FSB), while RVAF was not,” Bam says. 

There was no mention of Abante or its licence number in the contractual documents between clients and the RVAF, and client funds were transferred directly into the fund without the protection of a nominee account, the ombud says. “Furthermore, there were no financials or even so much as a fund [fact] sheet.” 

Without these, Moolman could not have understood the economic activity that generated the returns, she says. 

When, in November 2011, the first complainant heard a warning about RVAF and its lack of transparency, he took this up with Moolman. She reassured him that the fund had weathered the recession and sent him a survey of South African hedge funds. 

Bam says the survey is pertinent because it was sent to substantiate her advice, yet the RVAF was “conspicuously absent” from the survey. Moolman’s action placated her client but “provides evidence that the RVAF did not exist as a hedge fund”, Bam says. When asked to explain the glaring absence of the fund among the funds listed, Moolman’s response showed that she relied on the supposition that Abante was the fund manager. 

Bam’s rulings against Moolman refer to her determination Inch vs Calitz, which unpacks all the issues on the rendering of advice to invest in the RVAF. These relate to the adviser’s failure to understand the RVAF and the risks to which clients were exposed. 

The Inch ruling was the first of 16 rulings by Bam against financial adviser Michal Calitz, who has the Certified Financial Planner accreditation and who is a member of the Financial Planning Institute. Calitz received R8.4 million in share profits from the RVAF. 

In terms of the FAIS Act, a financial adviser must recommend products that suit your needs and your investment objectives, and the risk inherent in the product must suit your risk profile. Your adviser is also obliged to ensure that the investment that he or she recommends is legitimate, and that the person offering the investment, or acting as an FSP, is licensed. Pretorius wasn’t licensed as an FSP. 

In the five rulings, Bam has ordered Moolman to pay back more than R1.6 million to the complainants. 

Under new regulations passed last month, hedge funds will be regulated by the FSB. They must, by March next year, be regulated as collective investment schemes, offering you, the consumer, a great deal more protection. 

Although they were not regulated at the time of Moolman’s advice, any advice rendered in respect of a hedge fund was subject to the FAIS code of conduct and a notice issued by the FSB. 

In terms of this code, a hedge fund service provider must obtain a signed mandate from a client before rendering any intermediary service to the client, and the mandate must be approved by the regulator. An additional signed mandate, confirming the contents of the first, is also required. 

Bam’s ruling states: “The legislature has made every effort to require not only that a client be appropriately appraised as to the risks inherent in, and the processes and strategies followed by, a hedge fund, but that the client confirms such disclosure having taken place.” 

Bam says Moolman was out of her depth in advising on the RVAF and failed in her duties to her clients. 

“Quite simply, no adviser would have recommended this product as a suitable component of any investment portfolio had they exercised the required due skill, care and diligence,” she says.

Vrae oor beleggings: Herman Pretorius se spook loop weer

25 Mar

Author: Marelize Barnard

Publications: Die Burger

Date Published : 25 Maart 2015

NOG ‘N PONZI-SKEMA?

Kaapse sakeman praat vandag

Die Ponzi-bedrieër Herman Pretorius se spook loop weer in beleggingskringe.

En dié keer word daar weer ’n miljoenêr-beleggingsbestuurder van die ryk Kaapstadse voorstad Welgemoed genoem.

Die naam van Cobus Kellermann (39), ’n batebestuurder wat sakebande gehad het met Julian Williams wat in 2012 deur Preto­rius doodgeskiet is, word nou in nuusberigte genoem in verband met vrae wat ontstaan het oor beleggings van honderde miljoene rande.

Kellerman – met sakebelange so wyd as Somerset-Wes, Durban­ville, Mauritius en Switserland tot die eiland Guernsey in die Engelse Kanaal – woon twee strate van wyle Pretorius se ontwerpershuis wat verlede jaar vir R12,8 miljoen opgeveil is.

In 2012, toe ​Pretorius eers vir Williams, sy oudsakevennoot, en daarna homself in die middestad van Kaapstad doodgeskiet het, het dit bekend geword dat Kellerman se twee beleggingsfondse wat in Mauritius geregistreer was groot bedrae belê het in ’n maatskappy wat weer groot belê het in Basileus Capital, waarvan Williams die uitvoerende hoof was.

Dinsdag is in Sake berig Kellermann word verbind met ’n internasionale beleggingsgroep, Belvedere Management, wat uit Mauritius bedryf word en wie se kapi-taalgroeisyfers glo onder verden-king is.

Die Burger het Dinsdag Kellermann se huis in Welgemoed besoek om sy kommentaar te kry. ’n Man wat die interkom by ’n veiligheidshek geantwoord het, wou nie kommentaar lewer nie.

Hoewel in berigte verwys word na Kellermann se voorliefde vir vinnige motors, soos ’n rooi Ferrari, was daar geen sportmotors in die oprit nie, maar wel ’n Toyota Prado en ’n Isuzu-bakkie.

Met ’n tweede besoek aan die woning het ’n vrou, wat uit ’n wit VW Touareg geklim het, die veiligheidshekke haastig toegesluit. Sy het net voor sy die huis se deure toegemaak het, op ’n verslaggewer van Die Burger, Jason Felix, geskree: “Gaan weg, asseblief. Ons het geen kommentaar oor alles nie. Gaan net weg.”

Kellermann het intussen aan Johan Theron, prokureur van die regsfirma Werksmans, opdrag gegee om hom en sy sakevennoot, David Cosgrove, by te staan nadat “ongegronde en skadelike aanmerkings” deur ’n oorsese publikasie gemaak is “en nou ook deur plaaslike media herhaal word”.

Theron het gesê Kellermann en Cosgrove is bereid om vandag persoonlik vrae te beantwoord oor die aantygings, asook presies wat Kellermann se verbintenis met onder meer Basileus, Wil­liams en Pretorius was.

Bedrog: Enorme opbrengs altyd ‘n rooi vlag

24 Mar

Author: Hanlie Stadler

Publications: Netwerk24

Date Published : 24 Maart 2015

BESKERM JOUSELF SÓ TEEN PONZI-SKEMAS, ANDER BEDROG

Moenie belê in iets wat jy nie verstaan nie, moenie jou ore om die braaivleisvuur uitleen nie en moenie probeer vinnig ryk word nie. Dít is kortom die beste maniere waarop jy keer dat jy die slagoffer van ‘n Ponzi- of ander bedrieër word. Luister ook na die klankgreep wat ‘n Ponzi-skema maklike verduidelik.

Moenie belê in iets wat jy nie verstaan nie – selfs al ís dit ’n goeie belegging. As jy dit nie verstaan nie, weet jy nie wat die risiko van ’n belegging behels nie.

Moenie luister na kroegpraatjies nie – iemand wat besig is om geld te maak, kan beslis nie vir jou ’n objektiewe mening gee nie. Dis dalk nou net die ou wat nog betyds in ’n Ponzi-skema belê het om enorme opbrengste te behaal. Jy’s dalk die arme drommel wat belê wanneer die skema in duie begin stort.

Maar die belangrikste van alles is: Moenie onrealistiese verwagtinge oor opbrengste hê nie.

Dít is kortom die raad van Gavin Came, voorsitter van die komitee oor finansiële beplanning van die vereniging vir finansiële tussengangers van Suid-Afrika (FIA), na aanleiding van die nuutste beweerde bedrogspul wat oopgevlek is in die Suid-Afrikaanse beleggingswêreld.

’n Geoktrooieerde rekenmeester van Welgemoed in Kaapstad, Cobus Kellerman, word betrek by ’n beweerde Ponzi-skema wat via Mauritius sake gedoen het en na verneem word R200 miljard se bates onder bestuur het. Kellerman het na bewering bande gehad met Herman Pretorius, wat homself om die lewe gebring het toe sy bedrog aan die lig gekom het.

Duisende mense verloor jaarliks miljarde rande – dikwels hul aftreegeld – in twyfelagtige en bedrieglike “beleggings”. Hoe keer jy dat jy ’n slagoffer raak?

Lees Meer

Tighter regulation for hedge funds

14 Mar

Author: Bruce Cameron

Publications: iOL

Date Published: 14 March 2015

Hedge funds, which manage assets of more than R57 billion, mainly from retirement funds, will have to register as collective investment schemes by the end of March next year in terms of new regulations by National Treasury and the Financial Services Board (FSB).

This will result in far more protection for investors in hedge funds, which are currently unregulated. Until now, hedge fund managers have only had to register with the FSB as financial services providers.

The absence of regulation allowed things such as the massive Relative Value Arbitrage Fund scam, in which about 3 000 people invested about R2 billion in an unregulated fund posing as a hedge fund. The fund collapsed in 2013, when the person who ran it, Herman Pretorius, shot himself after killing his business associate, Julian Williams, after the FSB started a much-delayed investigation.

The regulations, which will be implemented from April 1, 2016, will require all new hedge funds to register in terms of the Collective Investment Schemes Control Act (Cisca), while existing hedge funds will have 12 months to register.

The regulations create two broad categories of hedge fund, each with different levels of regulation:

* Qualified investor hedge funds, which are limited to institutions, such as retirement funds, and very wealthy individuals who have large sums to invest. These funds are less rigidly regulated. Investors must be able to demonstrate to the fund managers that they have sufficient expertise to understand the workings and risks of hedge funds.

* Retail hedge funds, which are open to ordinary investors, although the minimum investment amounts are usually fairly high. They are more strictly regulated than qualified investor funds, and the risks they are allowed to take are more limited.

The new hedge fund regulations follow changes to regulation 28 of the Pension Funds Act four years ago that allowed retirement funds to invest significant amounts in hedge funds.

The regulations also come at a time when investors internationally are expressing greater caution about hedge funds, because of complexity, fraud, costs and poor performance. For example, in 2014, one of the world’s biggest retirement funds, the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, announced plans to start cashing in the US$4 billion it had invested with hedge funds, saying they were “too expensive and complex”.

The aims of the regulations are to:

* Provide investors in hedge funds with better protection;

* Assist in monitoring and managing systemic risk to the financial services industry;

* Promote the integrity of the hedge fund industry;

* Enhance transparency in the hedge fund industry, which traditionally has been ultra secretive; and

* Promote the development of financial markets.

The regulations state that hedge funds will be taxed on the same conduit basis as all other collective investment schemes, such as unit trust funds.

The conduit principle means that investors pay tax only when they receive returns. So any interest or dividend payments are taxed in the hands of the investor when they accrue; and income tax (if the investment is sold in less than three years) or capital gains tax apply to any gains or losses on the sale of an investment.

The regulations, in effect, accord hedge funds a special status in terms of Cisca. Unit trusts funds, which are also governed by the Act, cannot use the investment strategies and financial instruments that often form the backbone of hedge funds (see “What are hedge funds?”, below). For example, unit trust funds are not allowed to borrow to invest, nor can they use most derivatives.

But the regulations will not open the door to a “wild west”. There are strict controls, particularly in the case of retail hedge funds, on investment strategies, gearing and financial instruments.

The South African hedge fund industry grew its assets under management by R10.5 billion during 2014, ending the year with assets under management of R57 billion.

These assets are invested in 113 hedge funds, which are managed by 55 hedge fund managers (fund of hedge fund managers excluded).

‘WELCOME DEVELOPMENT’

The declaration of hedge funds as collective investment schemes by National Treasury and the Financial Services Board (FSB) is a welcome and long-awaited development, says Leon Campher, chief executive of the Association for Savings & Investment SA (Asisa).

Campher says Asisa partnered with National Treasury and the FSB for several years to regulate hedge funds, which had been pushing for clarity on product regulation.

“Generally, regulation assists with the growth and management of an industry, as it provides much- needed clarity to industry participants and investors alike. Consumers, whether they are institutional or retail, also find comfort in the fact that an independent body – the FSB – is overseeing the industry operations and structures that manage their investments,” Campher says.

He says that South African financial regulators accepted in 2007 that hedge funds needed some form of regulatory supervision. Initially, this was thought to be appropriate at only manager level, since hedge fund managers are held to higher experience standards, greater capital adequacy requirements and stricter qualifications than their “long only” peers. However, since the global financial crisis of 2008, South African and global regulators have been reviewing the situation.

REGULATIONS FOR QUALIFIED AND RETAIL FUNDS

Under the new regulations, general conditions apply to both retail and qualified investor hedge funds. For example, they are restricted in the main to using securities and derivatives that are listed on registered securities exchanges. There are also limitations on the percentage of a fund that may be invested in any one security. These limitations apply to all collective investment schemes, to reduce risk of a major loss if there was a total failure of a single underlying investment.

The specific conditions that apply to qualified investor funds include:

* They are restricted to “qualified investors”. This is someone who can invest a minimum of R1 million per hedge fund and who has demonstrable knowledge and experience in financial and business matters that enable the investor to assess the merits and risks of a hedge fund investment; or who has appointed a financial services provider who has demonstrable knowledge and experience to advise the investor about the merits and risks of a hedge fund. A qualified investor can be an individual or an entity, such as a retirement fund.

* There are limitations on investment strategies that expose an investor to a loss in excess of the value of its investment or contractual commitment to a fund.

* The fund manager must set a “value-at-risk”, which is a measure of the maximum expected loss of a portfolio over a specified period.

* Have sufficient liquidity (cash and easy-to-sell assets) that enable the manager to pay out investors within three months of an instruction to sell.

The specific requirements for retail hedge funds include:

* The fund must have sufficient liquidity to enable its manager to pay out investors within three months of an instruction to sell. A unit trust fund must pay out an investor within 48 hours, but, because of the contractual nature of derivatives, there are constraints on when the underlying investments of a hedge fund can be cashed in.

* The fund manager is limited to borrowing up to 10 percent of the value of a portfolio for liquidity purposes.

* The manager may borrow against the fund’s assets only for investment purposes, when borrowing funds for taking short positions or engaging in derivative transactions with counterparties (see “What is a hedge fund?”, below).

* Gearing (borrowing to invest) is restricted to a maximum of 20 percent of the total net asset value of the portfolio.

* Managers must report to the Financial Services Board monthly, within 14 days of the end of the month, all long and short positions in the portfolio, reflecting the market value and the effective exposure and value of each of the underlying investments.

* The fund may not invest in property, the portfolio of a fund for qualified investors or a private equity fund.

* If the portfolio includes derivatives, the manager must ensure that the fund’s exposure to derivatives does not exceed the net asset value of the portfolio.

WHAT IS A HEDGE FUND?

Hedge funds are similar to unit trust funds in that investors’ money is pooled to buy assets. The main difference is that hedge funds have more flexibility in the financial instruments and investment strategies they can use, and they can borrow money against their assets, to multiply returns (but they can also multiply losses).

Hedge funds should not be confused with hedging, which is an investment strategy to reduce potential losses.

Most hedge funds are more risky than unit trust funds. On average, they are far more expensive than unit trust funds, which reduces the returns.

Hedge funds use many different strategies to earn returns, from trading in stressed debt to finding small gaps in the prices of securities. Most of these strategies are not permitted in terms of the new regulations.

Most hedge funds, particularly more traditional ones, use what are called long-short strategies to provide superior returns, whether investment markets are rising or falling. These involve buying some securities long and selling others short.

Buying long means buying a security (bond or share) to hold on to it in the hope that it will increase in value.

Selling short is a bit more complex. The manager borrows (rents) shares from another investor and sells the shares in the expectation that the share price will drop. When the price drops, the manager buys back the shares at a cheaper price to give back to the original owner, making a profit on the difference between the selling and buying prices (less the rental).

There are many risks associated with hedge funds, which the regulations aim to reduce but do not eliminate. These include:

* Liquidity risk. It is often difficult to sell a fund’s underlying investments because of contractual or market conditions. In extreme market conditions, liquidity problems can cause a fund to collapse.

* Pricing risk. It can be very difficult to value the assets in a fund at a particular time.

* Counterparty risk. Hedge funds tend to deal with other parties when purchasing derivatives, borrowing securities and gearing (borrowing). There is a risk that a counterparty may fail to meet its commitments, which will have a knock-on effect on the fund.

* Short squeeze risk. This is the risk that the securities required for a shorting contract will not be available when required.

* Financial squeeze. This is the risk that a manager will be unable to borrow, or to borrow at an acceptable rate, frustrating the strategy followed by the manager.

* Timing risk. This is the risk that the manager simply gets it wrong.

How to lay a complaint with the FAIS Ombud

27 Jan

Author: Hanna Barry

Publications: MoneyWeb

Date Published: 26 January 2015

JOHANNESBURG – To help you navigate the world of financial services in 2015, Moneyweb has put together a guide to understanding how the complaints process of the Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services (FAIS) Ombud works. Since the FAIS Ombud handles complaints from members of the public against financial advisors and product providers it could come in handy.

1. Try make amends

Before submitting a complaint to the FAIS Ombud, you must try to resolve it with the responding party (financial advisor or product provider) within a six-week time frame. Once you’ve received the final word from the respondent and are still not satisfied, you then have six months to approach the Ombud with your complaint.

2. Fill out a form

Your complaint should be outlined in a six-page form under the How to complain tab on the Ombud’s website. You can phone the Ombud on 012 470 9080 if you need help completing the form, but it’s fairly self-explanatory. The form requires a detailed explanation of your complaint, including background, product details, as well as date-stamped phone calls and emails exchanged with the person or company you are complaining against. Supporting documentation, such as proof of your investment and any relevant correspondence you may have, should be attached to your complaint. There’s even a section that asks you to describe how you would expect your complaint to be resolved.

3. Know your limits

The Ombud has a jurisdictional limit of R800 000 per complaint and complainants must agree to forego any amount in excess of R800 000 in order for the Ombud to consider their complaint. However, it’s important to understand that one complaint can comprise a number of causes of action, which for the purposes of this rule are considered as separate complaints.

“Where a person makes an investment of R790 000 in July 2013 as a result of advice offered by their financial advisor and then in May 2014 a further amount of R1 million is invested, following the advice of the same financial advisor, the two transactions make two separate causes of action,” explains FAIS Ombud, Noluntu Bam.

“In other words, even though the person will send us one complaint detailing all the investments they made, the two transactions remain two separate causes to institute a complaint,” Bam tells Moneyweb.

If this complaint were to succeed, the full R790 000 would be awarded in respect of the first cause of action, while the second cause of action would be limited to R800 000. The complainant would ultimately walk away with R1.59 million.

Importantly, the Ombud is precluded from looking at complaints pending before a court of law. The office’s eventual determination has the effect of a civil judgment of the court.

4. Wait for an outcome

Once the FAIS Ombud has received your complaint, the office “may follow and implement any procedure which the FAIS Ombud deems appropriate, and may allow any party the right to legal representation,” an information leaflet on the Ombud’s website broadly explains.

The respondent is naturally given a chance to respond and the Ombud must first attempt to mediate a settlement between the parties. If the parties refuse to accept the Ombud’s recommendations, the Ombud will make a final determination. This could include either the dismissal of the complaint or the upholding of the complaint wholly or partially by compensating the complainant for financial harm suffered.

R10m for one advisor

Of the 9 400 odd new complaints received in the 2013/14 financial year, the Ombud settled 7 587 within the same year (including 49 determinations), returning around R30.6 million to consumers.

Of the 49 determinations made, 17 were made against Impact Financial Consultants CC and Michal Johannes Calitz in respect of Herman Pretorius’s Relative Value Arbitrage Fund (RVAF).

Excluding the annual interest accumulating from the date of determination to the date of final payment (varying between 9% and 15.5%), the total awards made to consumers in respect of this one advisor and product came to more than R10.7 million.

Investment red flags

13 Jan

Author: Hanna Barry

Publications: MoneyWeb

Date Published: 13 January 2015

If it sounds too good to be true…

JOHANNESBURG – Unregulated investment schemes may be a dime a dozen in South Africa, but they’re pretty easy to spot so there’s really no excuse to get caught out.

Be wary when promised abnormally high and consistently positive returns that are guaranteed even when the market is down, cautions Marc Alves, senior case manager at the Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services (FAIS) Ombud.

“It’s very difficult to get a 10% return in the market through an established financial services provider, so if someone is offering you 2% a month or 30% per annum, be very cautious,” he says.

The JSE’s All Share Index (Alsi) returned 7.6% last year. The Top 40 Index, which holds South Africa’s largest blue chip companies, returned just 6%. Listed Property and the Financial 15 (which includes the largest banks and insurers) fared significantly better, returning around 19% and 23% respectively.

But even at the upper end, these numbers are significantly lower than the 300% annual returns promised by Zantech Trading or the 2%-a-day returns promised by Chris Walker’s Defencex. Both schemes were found guilty of contravening the Banks Act and ordered to repay investors.

“Empower yourself with sound financial planning and don’t make decisions based on pressure and emotions,” advises Alves, noting that those exploited are often people who have not provided sufficiently for their retirement or other financial needs.

“Ask about the risks and how easy it is to get your money out. A lot of these schemes are willing buyer, willing seller. It’s difficult to get your money out if there is no willing buyer,” he points out.

Make sure you understand how the investment works (could you explain it to someone else?) and where your money is going, Alves adds.

Know the laws

If a company is providing a financial service it must be registered under the FAIS Act and have a financial services provider (FSP) licence number, issued by the Financial Services Board (FSB). An unregistered FSP would be in contravention of the Act. You can check whether a company has an FSP licence on the FSB’s website by running a search on the company’s name (‘Search for FSP name’).

Herman Pretorius’s Relative Value Arbitrage Fund (RVAF) was not a registered fund with the FSB. Yet it is believed to have amassed R1.8 billion from 3 000 investors.

Fortunately, because it fell within the definition of a financial product, the FAIS Ombud was still able to pronounce on it despite it not being registered and has made numerous awards in favour of consumers. Last year alone, one financial advisor was ordered to repay more than R10.7 million to around 20 consumers who he had advised to invest in the RVAF.

However, a number of schemes set themselves up so as to fall outside the definition of a financial product. This leaves consumers with very little recourse since financial regulators can only enforce the laws they have jurisdiction over and only where these laws have in fact been broken. If a company is not registered with either the South African Reserve Bank (Sarb), FSB or National Credit Regulator (NCR), ask why.

The role of financial advisors

Financial advisors approached by clients for advice on these products must do the appropriate due diligence on the product, Alves says. “We’re not saying there’s not a place for alternative investments, but definitely advisors should do their homework and make sure that the products are sound and meet all the criteria,” says Alves.

“If you don’t understand the product yourself, if you haven’t done any due diligence and can’t answer the questions, don’t advise on it and certainly don’t earn fees,” cautions Gavin Came, a financial planner with Sasfin Wealth.

“Product providers have over time caused more damage than intermediaries, although advisors have borne the vast majority of the regulator’s wrath,” he maintains. “When investments don’t pan out, the intermediary carries the can for an ill-designed product at best and a ponzi scheme at worst,” Came says.

Weelde met Ander se Geld

29 Nov

Almari Wessels

Huisgenoot

14 August 2014

Ons loer in die swendelaar Herman Pretorius se spogwoning met sy duur meubels, en vra die mening van twee binneversierders.

Daar is lang splete in die imposante veiligheidshek en terwyl ons vir die agent wag, kan ons nie help om solankndaardeur te loer om ‘n glimp te kry van die rykmanshuis daaragter waaroor al so baie geskryf en gegis is nie.
Die deel van die huis wat ons sien, is teleurstellend: Die gras is hopeloos te lank en die plante en bome lyk moeg en verwaarloos, glad nie wat mens in Welgemoed, een van Kaapstad se spogwoonbuurte, verwag nie.
Maar nou ja, die huis se gewese inwoners moes die afgelope twee jaar seker groter probleme as gras sny trotseer.
Die openbare veilingvan die kasarm by Van de Graafstraat 26 is een van die laastehoofstukke in ‘n opspraakwekkende drama wat op 26 Julie 2012 begin het toe die patriarg Herman Dempers Pretorius hom en sy oudsakevennoot Julian Williams in Julian se kantoor in Kaapstad doodskiet.
Die “beleggingsmagnaat” Herman is na sy dood as ‘n swendelaar ontmasker en die “fondse” waarin beleggers sowat R2,2 biljoen bele het, was toe eintlik piramideskemas.
En nou word die huis waarin Herman, sy vrou, Susan-Ann (53), en hul seuns van in die 20, Andrew en Christopher, gewoon het, opgeveil en kan die publiek vir die eerste keer sien hoe die binnekant lyk.
Susan-Ann is in Oktober verlede jaar finaal in die Wes-Kaapse hooggeregshof gesekwestreer nadat sy die aansoek hewig teengestaan het. Daarna kon die trustees van twee van haar man se “beleggingskemas”, die Relative Value Arbitrage Fund en Seca Trust, eindelik die huis laat opveil.
Die gesin se vakansiehuis op Hermanus is verlede jaar al vir R16,5 miljoen opgeveil en twee eiendomme wat Herman vermoedelik vir sy seuns aangeskaf het, ‘n huis in Oranjezicht en ‘n woonstel in Claremont, het onderskeidelik R4,9 miljoen en R3,2 miljoen gehaal.Herman en Susan-Ann het die Welgemoed huis in 22004 vir R2.5 miljoen gekoop, maar voor sy dood het Herman die waarde van die huis op R25 miljoen geraam nadat die gesin binne twee jaar sowat R13.3 miljoen aan bouwerk en binneversiering bestee het.
En vandag kom Huisgenoot kyk hoe die indrukwekkende glaspaleis wat met ander se geld gebou is, binne lyk. Ons het twee binneversierders genooi om saam te kom en hul indrukke te deel: Nico Alberts van Nico Alberts Interiors en Nicola Rossouw van House Couture Interior Design, albei van Kaapstad.
Van Buite
Mens mag nie alleen op die erf van 3200 m2 of in die huis ronddwaal nie, en die afslaer Claremart se agente kom haal mense by die elektroniese hek. Op versoek van Susan-Ann mag besoekers ook geen foto’s neem nie.
‘n Mens verstaan dadelik waarom die huis die bynaam glaspaleis gekry het: Al die glas skuifdeure en -vensters laat dit lyk of die buitemure van glas is.Die glas word afgewissel met moderne staalstruture en afrondings van sandklip versag die andersins strak en harde lyne. Die soort ontwerk is baie modern en tipies van hedendaagse Suid-Afrikaanse argitektuur, se Nico en Nicola.
Ingang en GrondVerdieping
Wanneer jy die huis deur die reuse glasdeure binnestap, is jou eerste indruk een van ‘n ontsaglike, gestroopte ruimte. Die grondverdieping is ‘n enorme dubbelvolume-vertrek met reuse glasvensters, gordyne en blindings wat twee verdiepings ver van die plafon tot by die vloer strek.
Die elegante kroonkandelaar van handgeblaasde glas hang ook twee verdiepings diep en is sowat R30 000 werd, se Nicola.
Die gordyne en blindings word met afstandbeheer oop-en toegemaak en is ontwerp om ‘n warm, knus dop vir die andersins koue en taamlik siellose omgewing geskep.
In ‘n hoek lei ‘n elegante marmer trap met glasrelings na die tweede verdieping. Die relings en raamlose glas moes ook nagenoeg R30 000 gekos het, raam Nicola.
Die meubels om die grondverdieping is gerangskik sodat dit vier afsonderlike vertrekke vorm wat inmekaarvloei en net geskei word deur afskortings wat sonder deure van die plafon tot op die grond strek.
Al die sagte meubelbedekkings is neutrale kleure, en tekstuur word verleen deur materiale wat wissel van ryk fluweel tot linne van aardse kleure, verduidelik Nico.
Die vloer is van marmer waarop spesiaal ontwerpte wolmatte in ligte skakerings plek-plek neergesit is, en teen die mure hang kontemporere kunswerke wat perfek met die kleurskema saamsmelt. Die matte is elk tussen R30 000 en R50 000 werd, skat die binneversierders.
Elke vertrek is met ‘n fokuspunt ontwerp, verduidelik Nico. Die fokuspunt van die hoof-leefvertek is ‘n lang, plat, supermoderne kaggel en die van die TV-kamer langs die kombuis is elegante, grys mure wat met materiaal oorgetrek is.
In die hoofleefvertrek staan ‘n L-vormige ontwerpersbank wat volgens hofdokumente R48 600 gekos het. Nicola raam die gesamentlike waarde van die banke en die stoele op die grondverdieping op sowat R130 000.
Twee kombuistafels wat op ‘n oop oppervlak langs die televisiekamer staan, is volgens Nicola sowat R55 000 elk werd. Die stoele is weg: Suasn-Ann het dit glo saamgeneem. “Met die stoele by sal die tafels sowat R150 000 elk werd wees.” se Nicola.
Die enorme kombuis bestaan uit drie lang, smal vertrekke met afskortings tussenin en is elke sjef se droom. Die toonbanke is met graniet afgewerk en die kaste is van kiaathout – “modern en goed afgerond”, meen Nico.
Aan die kombuis grens ‘n motorhuis met ‘n marmervloer waar die Pretoriusse se Aston Martin DB van R2,5 miljoen en ‘n Range Rover van sowat R1 miljoen waarskynlik geparkeer gestaan het.
Eerste Verdieping
Die poraal van die eerste verdieping het vloere van soliede hout. Reg langs die trap staan ‘n Barcelona-dagbed, ‘n ikoniese meubelstuk geinspireer deur die beroemde Duits-Amerikaanse argitek Mies van der Rohe.
Ons loop na die slaapkamers, wat almal volvloerwoltapyte het. Soos ‘n mens kan verwag, het die hoofslaapkamer ‘n weelderige instapkas. Die skrynwerk hier is spesiaal vir die vertrek ontwerp en met ‘n liggrys Duco-verf (‘n soort emaljeverf) afgewerk, verduidelik Nico. In die hoek van die instapkas is ‘n glasstort wat tot by die dak strek en op ‘n binnenshuise tuin afkyk.
Al die beddens in die slaapkamers het ‘n koppenent van Franse Linne en chenille wat van muur tot muur strek. Elke slaapkamer het ook ‘n en suite-badkamer met glasstorte, mmarmervloere en -mure en in die hoofslaapkamer is marmertrappies tot in die bad.
In wat vermoedelik die Pretorius-seuns se kamers was, staan rugbyballe en speelgoedbbeertjies nog op die rakke. Op die een kamer se vloer is drie lee Adidas-bokse opmekaargestapel.
Al die kamers het glasdeure wat na ‘n balkon lei van waar mens ‘n pragtige uitsig het op ‘n lang, nou swembad en die lower-groen boomtoppe van Welgemoed.
‘n Mens kan van hier af ook sien hoe verwaarloos die tuin eintlik is en die in die linker-hoek van die grasperk le ‘n verdwaalde rugbybal. Dis alles tekens van die lewe wat die ggesin eens hier op die omheinde erf gelei het.
Kelderverdieping
Nog ‘n paar stelle marmertrappe later kom ons in die kelderverdieping aan, waar die vertrekke is van waar die Pretorius-gesin hul elektrisiteit so opgejaag het. Volgens ‘n broon na aan die ondersoek het die gesin elke maand byna R40 000 aan krag bestee en as jy die wynkelder, gimnasium, sauna en rolprentkamer sien, kan jy verstaan hoekom.
Die wynkelder is van dak tot vloer van hout en die temperatuur word elektronies beheer, se Nicola. Die glasdeur daarheen is gesluit, maar jy kan sien die rakke dra nog tiientalle bottels wyn.
In die gang wat na die gimnasium en wynkelder lei, staan twee lae uitgekerfde houtbankke. Die rolprentkamer het meubels in ‘n Indonesiese styl: uitskopleerstoele en ”n lang, halfronde bank met sitplek vir maklik agt mense. Nicola skat die waarde van die meubels op sowat R80 000.
In die gimnasium is ‘n trapmeul, ‘n roeimasjien, verskeie gewigte, nog oefeninstrumente en neffens die gimnasium is ‘n piepklein sauna.
En Wat is die Kenners se Oordeel?
Die huis is vir hom koud en sielloos, is Nico se slotsom toe ons weer buite die elektroniese hek staan. Nicola stem saam – die decor is taamlik klinies en onpersoonlik, se sy, maar ‘n mens moet ook onthou dis mense se gekoesterde persoonlike besittings wat lewe aan andersins karakterlose vertrekke gee, en die is lankal hier verwyyder.

Ekstra Bronne: Die Burger, Moneyweb

Fais-wet: Wyer toesig nodig

7 Nov

Author: Ekonomiese Redaksie

Publications: Die Burger

Date Published : 7 November 2014

Verbruikersbeskerming is sterker as ooit, skryf Ian Middleton, besturende direkteur van Mast­head, maar daar is steeds gebreke.

Sedert die Wet op Finan­siële Advies- en Tussengangerdienste (Fais) in 2004 van krag geword het, het reguleerders – veral die Raad op Finansiële Dienste (RFD) – verskeie kodes en beginsels ingestel om te verseker dat elke finansiële-adviesonderneming kliënte se belange op die hart dra.

Dit sluit in die kode oor die billike behandeling van kliënte.

Voor Fais het Suid-Afrika ’n hoogs ongereguleerde finansiëledienste-omgewing gehad. Enigeen kon homself ’n finansiële raadgewer noem. Die hoofdoelwit met Fais was om mense wat finansiële raad betref, te beskerm en die professionaliteit en integriteit van die finansiëledienstebedryf te verhoog.

Die Fais-wet het standaarde vir bevoegdheid, etiek en werkwyse gestel om mense teen onbetroubare en beginsellose raadgewers te beskerm.

Raadgewers en die sleutelindividue moet gelisensieer word. Kliënte kan dus by die RFD nagaan of iemand geakkrediteer is en wat hulle by magte is om te verkoop. Adviseurs mag slegs binne hul kundigheidsveld raad gee of dienste lewer.

Raadgewers is ook onderworpe aan jaarlikse oudits en moet eksamens slaag.

Kliënte het nou ook ’n maklike, goedkoop en vinnige manier om dispute met hul raadgewer te besleg deur die kantoor van die Fais-ombudsman.

Dit bevoordeel kliënte, maar beklemtoon ook die belangrikheid van raadgewers. Deur kwalifikasies vir die bedryf amptelik te maak, het dit die beroepstatus van raadgewers verhoog.

Voldoening aan die Fais-wet verg regstreekse en onregstreekse koste – tyd en mensehulpbronne.

Dit het ’n groot las geskep vir klein raadgewende firmas en raadgewers wat alleen sake doen. Die aantal onafhanklike finansiële raadgewers het gevolglik afgeneem. Sommige het weens die reguleringshekkies uitgeval, ander het werk gaan soek by groter organisasies.

Die veranderinge was nie so erg soos in Brittanje nie waar soortgelyke regulasies jare voor Fais ingestel is.

Wat die raad van adviseurs betref, is ons in die algemeen positief.

Dit lyk dalk asof daar baie klagtes oor finansiële raadgewers is, maar dit moet in konteks gesien word.

Sowat 30 van die Fais-ombudsman se beslissings haal jaarliks nuusopskrifte, maar niks word gesê oor die miljoene kliënte wat voordeel getrek het uit die raad wat hulle oor lang- of korttermynpolisse of beleggings ontvang het nie.

Die doeltreffendheid van verbruikersbeskerming word egter verwater weens ’n reguleringsgaping.

Hoewel die RFD alle bedrywighede wat die onder die Fais-wet val, reguleer, beheer en monitor, lê baie beleggingskemas wat waarde vir verbruikers vernietig het en die opskrifte gehaal het buite die trefwydte van die RFD in ’n ongereguleerde ruimte.

Ons meen dat daar op ’n breër vlak toesig gehou moet word oor of die beloftes wat aan kliënte gemaak word, billik en bereikbaar is.

Wanneer ongereguleerde produkte aan kliënte bemark word in openbare advertensies in druk, op radio en op televisie, moet dié produkte en verskaffers gesien word as dat hulle die gereguleerde wêreld betree het en hulle moet as sodanig behandel word.

Met so ’n ingewikkelde doolhof van keuses moet kliënte seker maak dat hulle raad by ’n geakkrediteerde, gelisensieerde, professionele raadgewer kry.

As ’n kliënt so iemand raadpleeg en sy of haar raad volg, sal hulle ’n veiliger finansiële toekoms binnegaan. Niks klop daardie gemoedsrus nie.

■ Masthead help finansiëledienstemaatskappye aan wetgewing voldoen.

 

‘Wees ingelig, dan sal jy veiliger wees’

Nico van Gijsen, ’n gesertifiseerde finansiële beplanner en gereelde rubriekskrywer vir Sake, gee sy mening oor die Wet op Finansiële Advies- en Tussengangerdienste:

Die Fais-wet het myns insiens goeie bedoelinge, maar gaan in praktyk nie naastenby ver genoeg met sy doelstellings – die beskerming van die regte van mense – nie.

Mense is in die algemeen finansieel ongeletterd of minstens oningelig en naïef, veral oor langtermyn- finansiële beplanning. Die produkte is kompleks en daar is ernstige etiese probleme wat wetgewing nie oplos nie.

Die bedryf is te veel ingestel op verkope ten koste van gepaste finansiële advies. Die Fais-wet fokus ooglopend sterk op “advies”, maar is beperk in sy definisie: “Advies” is eers advies as ’n produk te sprake kom.

Dan is daar die malligheid in die beleggingswêreld. Dink maar aan die “skemas” wat verspot groot opbrengste belowe en dan bankrot speel.

Ek meen kliënte moet sterker begin staan. Hulle kan begin deur:

■ Net professioneel opgeleide finansiële beplanners te gebruik;

■ Elke brokkie advies skriftelik verduidelik te kry;

■ Nie poliskontrakte te onderteken voordat hulle dit deeglik deurgelees en seker gemaak het hulle verstaan dit nie;

■ Nie wolhaarstories oor beleggingsopbrengste te glo nie – die sakeblaaie skryf immers gereeld daaroor; en

■ Dit sal goed wees as sakeblaaie meer op persoonlike finansiële advies fokus en as mense dié blaaie lees, want dit is hoe jy ingelig raak oor jou eie finansies.

Calitz moet R8 m. betaal

17 Oct

Author: Marelize Barnard

Publications: Die Burger

Date Published : 17 Oktober 2014

Wyle Herman Pretorius se beleggingskema het “ ’n baie lae risiko en is gepas vir ’n mens wat op die punt is om af te tree”.

Dít was die raad wat die makelaar Michal Calitz van Impact Finansiële Konsultante in Bellville volgens ’n belegger verskeie kere aan hom gegee het toe hy tussen Augustus 2007 en Maart 2011 al sy aftreegeld by Preto­rius belê het.

Die belegger, Hendrik Carstens, is een van die mense wat Calitz by die ombudsman vir finansiële adviseurs en tussengangers (Fais) verkla het. Carstens het vyf keer beleggings met ’n totale waarde van R2,3 miljoen in Pretorius se Rela­tive Value Arbitrage Fund (RVAF)-trust belê en mettertyd R175 000 daarvan onttrek.

Die Fais-ombudsman, Noluntu Bam, kan slegs eise van tot R800 000 hanteer. Sy het Dins­dag beslis dat vir die een belegging van R1,9 miljoen Calitz slegs R800 000 hoef terug te betaal. Sy het egter die ander vier beleggings bygereken en gelas dat Calitz R1,19 miljoen aan Carstens moet terugbetaal.

Bam het Maandag nog ’n eis van R150 000, wat deur Jeanrich Ehlers ingedien is, teen Calitz toegestaan. Dit is die jongste van 13 suksesvolle eise teen Calitz en hy moet nou reeds meer as R8 miljoen aan beleggers terugbetaal.

Die Burger het vantevore berig dat Calitz die eise teen hom teenstaan.

Calitz voer aan dat daar geen kousale verband is tussen die skade wat beleggers gely het en sy optrede as makelaar nie. Die skade was nie sy (Ca­litz se) toedoen nie, maar die gevolg van Pretorius se bedrog.

Calitz is ook besig met ’n aansoek om verlof tot appèl teen ’n uitspraak van regter Monde Samela in die Wes-Kaapse hooggeregshof.

Dit is nadat Monde gelas het dat Calitz, sy beslote korporasie Impact Finansiële Konsultante en die maatskappy EQ Prop R9,06 mil­joen moet terugbetaal.) Vyf makelaars het reeds ooreenkomste aangegaan met die kurators van Pretorius se maatskappye en trusts en hulle het reeds R1,8 miljoen terugbetaal. ’n Verdere sowat R2,4 miljoen gaan deur dié makelaars terugbetaal word.

Kurators soek steeds Pretorius-miljoene

14 Oct

Author: Marelize Barnard

Publications: Die Burger

Date Published : 14 Oktober 2014

Die kurators van wyle Herman Pretorius se maatskappye en trusts soek steeds na die geld wat in sy beleggingskema verdwyn het.

In die jongste verslag deur die kurators se prokureurs, Mostert en Bosman, oor die soektog na geld word genoem dat die meeste van die makelaars wat kommissie van Pretorius ontvang het, reeds ondervra is.

Vyf makelaars het ooreenkomste aangegaan met die likwidateurs en hulle het reeds R1,8 miljoen terugbetaal. ’n Verdere sowat R2,4 miljoen gaan deur dié makelaars terugbetaal word.

In die gevalle waar makelaars nie vrywillig hul kommissies terugbetaal nie, is aansoeke in die Wes-Kaapse hooggeregshof teen hulle ingedien.

Een van die makelaars, Michal Calitz, is besig met ’n aansoek om verlof tot appèl teen ’n uitspraak van regter Monde Samela in die Wes-Kaapse hooggeregshof. Dit is nadat Monde gelas het dat Calitz, sy beslote korporasie Impact Finansiële Konsultante, en die maatskappy EQ Prop R9,06 miljoen moet terugbetaal.

Dit sluit in kommissie, ’n lening deur ​Pretorius en ’n geskenk van R250 000 wat Calitz aan die twee gesekwestreerde trusts van Pretorius moet terugbetaal.

Die bevel is gemaak ná ’n aansoek deur die kurators van Pretorius se gesekwestreerde Relative Value Arbitrage Fund (RVAF) en sy Seca-trust.

Lesers se mening op Facebook oor Pretorius en hul geld:

Quintin Papenfus: “Ek weet van twee gesinne wat al hulle spaargeld verloor het. Dit natuurlik by Pretorius belê. Hulle kry bitter swaar vandag. Hy het soveel mense ingeloop . . . ek twyfel of hulle ooit hulle geld gaan terug kry.”

Soekie Bester: “Ons was slagoffer van hierdie skelm mense, het uit onkunde ons jarelange makelaar geglo. Nee, ek kon nog nie hierdie mense hul gulsige luukse lewe op ander se swaarverdiende lewensgeld vergewe nie!”

Annatjie Jonker: “Ja Herman Pretorius . . . dit is ’n psigopaat wat mense so in die oë kon kyk en vertel hoe hy risiko bestuur, hoe dinge beheer word, ens., welwetende dat die alles leuens is.”

Philip Meiring: “Julle moet rondkyk daar is nog baie van Herman Pretorius se eweknieë in die rondte, hulle skroom nie om jou geld te vat nie.”

Swaer getuig oor weelde voor dood

11 Oct

Author: Marelize Barnard

Publications: Die Burger

Date Published : 11 Oktober 2014

Van die Hardekraaltjie-woonwapark in Voortrekkerweg, Bellville, tot ’n multi-miljoenrand-huis in Welgemoed – dít is die pad wat die swendelaar Herman Pretorius geloop het.

Pretorius kon nie altyd ’n Aston Martin, luukse vakansiehuis in Voëlklip, Hermanus, en juwele van honderdduisende rande vir sy vrou, Susan-Ann, bekostig nie.

Daar was ’n tyd nadat sy sake in George “verkrummel” het toe die Hardekraaltjie-woonwapark al uitweg was.

Dít was gister van die getuienis van wyle Pretorius se swaer, Srecko Antun Bilobrk, ’n Kroasiër wat hom jare gelede in Suid-Afrika gevestig het en met Susan-Ann se suster, Carol-Ann, getroud is.

Bilobrk, ’n elektriese ingenieur, het in die Bellville- siviele hof in die sekwestrasie-ondervraging oor Susan-Ann se geldsake getuig.

Bilobrk was die laaste familielid met wie Pretorius gaan gesels het voor hy op 26 Julie 2012 eers sy voormalige sakevennoot Julian Williams en daarna homself in die Icon-gebou in die Kaapstadse sakekom doodgeskiet het.

Pretorius het op die dag van die skietery van sy kantoorkompleks in die Tyger-waterfront in Bell­ville gery en onverwags by sy swaer se huis in Kampsbaai opgedaag. Pretorius het gesê hy is in die stad om Williams te kom sien.

“Hy het gesê hy het R100 miljoen aan Williams geleen om die geld van die mense in sy tuisdorp (Piketberg) te betaal. En dat die hele dorp gaan ontplof omdat die geld nie betaal is nie,” het Bilobrk getuig.

“Hy het gesê hy het ’n halfuur. Hy het koffie gedrink en was gespanne. Die mense in sy tuisdorp is nie betaal nie . . . En toe hoor ons die nuus ’n paar uur later,” het Bilobrk getuig oor Pretorius se laaste oomblikke.

Adv. Almero de Villiers, wat namens die kurators van Preto­rius en Susan-Ann se trusts optree, wou by Bilobrk weet wanneer Pretorius hom gevra het om na sy (Pretorius) se gesin om te sien.

Bilobrk het geantwoord nadat Pretorius teruggekom het van ’n vakansie in Turkye het hy “vir die eerste keer in sy lewe gesê hy voel bedreig.

Pretorius het gesê Julian (Wil­liams) is bipolêr en daartoe in staat om enigiets te doen. Hy het gesê hy voel bedreig en dat hy nou met ’n ander motor ry.

Bilobrk het hierna getuig dat Pretorius hom gevra het om na sy gesin om te sien. “Ek het gedink hy maak ’n grap.”

De Villiers het hierop aangevoer dat Pretorius se seun Andrew gesê het Pretorius het ’n sak geld vir Bilobrk gegee, waarop Bilobrk dit ontken het. “Ons het nooit enige geldelike ooreenkomste gemaak nie.”

De Villiers het Bilobrk gevra waarom hy dan maandeliks R35 000 aan Susan-Ann gee sedert haar man se dood – dit beloop al tussen R500 000 en R600 000.

“Jy moet dit kan insien dat dit lyk asof Herman Pretorius geld aan jou gegee het, wat jy nou uitdeel.”

Bilobrk het geantwoord hy verwag Susan-Ann sal die geld terugbetaal uit die polisgeld wat sy ná Pretorius se dood ontvang het. Hyself het nie ’n sak geld van Pretorius ontvang nie.

■ Pretorius het R2,2 miljard van beleggers ingevorder in ’n belegging-piramideskema.

Waar kry sy nou haar geld?
■ Susan-Ann Pretorius en haar regsverteenwoordiger, Etienne Naude, was nie gister by die sekwestrasie-ondervraging nie. Hulle het ook nie sekere dokumente en bankstate oorhandig soos wat die kurators van Susan-Ann se boedel van hulle geëis het nie.

■ Pierre du Toit van die prokureursfirma Mostert en Bosman het by navraag gesê Naude het laat weet hy oorweeg dit om ansoek te doen om ’n bevel dat hy sy bankstate moet oorhandig, te laat hersien.

■ Daar is polisgeld van R8 miljoen aan Susan-Ann uitbetaal ná haar man se dood. Die geld word in ’n trust bewaar. Sy kry maandeliks R35 000 van haar swaer om kop bo water te hou, en het nog nie van die rente of die R8 miljoen-kapitaal gebruik nie, luidens getuienis in haar sekwestrasie-ondervraging.

Weduwee juwele kwyt

10 Oct

Author: Marelize Barnard

Publications: Die Burger

Date Published : 10 Oktober 2014

Die weduwee van Herman Pretorius wat luukses van miljoene rande aangeskaf het met niksvermoedende beleggers se geld, het haar “verlore” diamantring van R400 000 aan die likwidateurs van haar boedel oorhandig.

Susan-Ann Pretorius het tydens haar sekwestrasie-ondervraging op 15 Augustus in die Bellville-landdroshof eers volgehou dat die ring weg is.

Nadat sy in kennis gestel is dat die tronk haar voorland kan wees as sy uitgevang word dat sy meineed pleeg, het Susan-Ann erken dat sy die ring met ’n diamant van 3,2 karaat het.

Dit was nadat sy aangevoer het dat die ring weggeraak het in Hermanus, waar die gesin ’n vakansiehuis gehad het.

Sy is tydens die sekwestrasie-ondervraging gevra om die ring en ander duur juwele aan die likwidateurs te oorhandig, wat sy sedertdien gedoen het.

Die juwele sluit twee horlosies in – ’n “goedkoper” Rolex van R36 400, asook ’n diamant-versierde Cartier-horlosie van R170 000 wat Preto­rius vir haar gekoop het.

Susan-Ann het eers ontken dat sy enigiets van dié horlosies weet.

Verder het sy ’n Tag Heuer-horlosie en twee deftige handsakke, ’n Tod’s en ’n Louis Vuitton, aan die likwidateurs oorhandig.

Susan-Ann en haar regsverteenwoordiger, Etienne Naude, is in Augustus deur adv. Almero de Villiers (vir die kurators) gevra oor sekere doku-mente, soos byvoorbeeld bankstate, wat hulle toe reeds ingevolge ’n dagvaarding moes oorhandig het.

Nóg Naude, nóg Susan-Ann het die dokumente oorhandig, en is beveel om dit teen vandag te doen wanneer die volgende ondervraging plaasvind.

De Villiers is bygestaan deur Pierre du Toit van Mostert en Bosman.

More rulings against Calitz up his bill to R6.8m

5 Oct

Author: Angelique Arde

Publications: iOL

Date Published: 4 October 2014

Over the past three months, the Ombud for Financial Services Providers has handed down eight more rulings against financial adviser Michal Calitz, who advised clients to invest in the Relative Value Arbitrage Fund (RVAF), a Ponzi scheme that was marketed as a hedge fund. This brings the number of rulings against Calitz to 12 and the total amount he must repay investors to more than R6.8 million.

The RVAF was “nothing short of a scam”, Noluntu Bam, the Ombud for Financial Services Providers, said in her first ruling against Calitz, which was handed down in June.

Following the collapse of the RVAF, in July 2012 Herman Pretorius, the mastermind of the scheme, shot his business partner before turning the gun on himself. The RVAF reportedly reaped in about R2.2 billion from investors.

In Bam’s first ruling against Calitz, she says Calitz conceded that he had received “profit share” from the RVAF amounting to about R8.4 million. This was contained in a report addressed to creditors, by the trustees of the insolvent fund.

Calitz, who operates from Bellville in the Western Cape, holds a Certified Financial Planner accreditation. This means he has a Post Graduate Diploma in Financial Planning and is a member of the Financial Planning Institute (FPI).

The latest rulings against him read much like the previous four. Bam holds Calitz and Impact Financial Consultants, a close corporation and an authorised financial services provider (FSP), jointly and severally liable to pay the complainants, as follows:

* Garvitte Lombard – R700 000;

* Hendrik du Plessis and Erna du Plessis – R800 000 each;

* Johannes Coetzee – R500 000;

* Hendrina Rautenbach – R701 350;

* Carolina Olivier – R360 000;

* Fiona King – R494 000;

* Loredana Hansen – R630 000; and

* Natalina Natali – R120 000.

In previous rulings, and repeated in the latest rulings, Bam says nothing in the evidence persuades her office that the complainants were aware of or could have understood the implications of what they were investing in. “In particular, there is no mention of the risks of investing in an unregulated entity, one without so much as a set of audited financials.”

Hedge funds are currently not regulated in South Africa. Hedge fund FSPs may operate, but are subject to a code of conduct.

Calitz contends that he dealt through Abante Capital, a licensed FSP, but Abante Capital is not mentioned in any contractual documentation, Bam says. A hedge fund must also obtain a signed mandate from the client and ensure that the client understands the risks.

Investors in the RVAF paid money directly to the RVAF, instead of to a nominee account, “a safety mechanism to distinguish investor funds from those of the service provider”, Bam says.

She says no adviser would have recommended the RVAF as a suitable component of any investment portfolio had they exercised the required skill, care and due diligence.

Bam’s first ruling against Calitz states that, in terms of the law, a financial adviser must carry out a needs analysis on his or her client, provide a record of advice, and make proper disclosure about product suppliers. Clients must be given details of the services the adviser is authorised to provide, and whether the adviser holds guarantees or professional indemnity cover.

Ashley Percival, an assistant ombud at Bam’s office, says the office of the ombud is finalising investigations in respect of other financial advisers who advised their clients to invest in the RVAF.

This week, Jacqui Grovè, the legal and compliance services manager for the FPI, told Personal Finance that Calitz’s disciplinary hearing is scheduled for November 10. Although the ombud’s rulings carry the weight of a High Court ruling, Grovè says an FPI member is “deemed innocent until found guilty by a competent FPI disciplinary panel of his or her peers”.

CFP vies oor rubriek

24 Aug

Author: Flippie Becker

Publications: Sake Rapport

Date Published : 23 August 2014

My kwalifikasie as gesertifiseerde finansiële beplanner (CFP) bevestig enersyds ’n minimum vlak van professionele kundigheid, maar word ook ondersteun deur ’n etiese kode waarvolgens die kliënt se belange eerste gestel word.

Ek is daarvan oortuig dat kliënte professionele, onafhanklike advies benodig om ingeligte finansiële besluite te neem. My eie finansiële welvaart is afhanklik van beleggers wat vertroue het in my dienste en produkte – daarom het ek ook ’n byltjie te slyp met die slim jakkalse agter eiendomsindikasies, valuta-spekulasie, piramideskemas en dies meer.

Sondagoggend 17 Augustus bel ’n kliënt my – hoogs ontstoke oor Nico van Gijsen se artikel “wat almal probeer swartsmeer om homself witter te laat lyk” (sy woorde).

Ek word gekonfronteer met: “Hoe kan julle toelaat dat julle en jul professie so beswadder word?”
Voorheen het ek al met Nico verskil oor die tegniese inhoud van sy artikels. Die eerste keer het hy darem ’n regstelling in die volgende Sake-Rapport geplaas. Dit is nie vir my die moeite werd om tyd te bestee om elkeen van sy artikels “na te sien” nie.

Wanneer my eie kliënt egter keelvol raak, móét ek optree.

Van Gijsen kritiseer finansiële beplanners met:

– ’n “Glimlag op die regte tyd”. Wat is fout met gemaklike verhoudinge met kliënte?

– “Oormatige kerkaktiwiteit”: Impliseer dit dat ’n beleggingsadviseur wat sy geloofsoortuigings uitleef noodwendig oneties en/of skelm is?

– “Breedsprakige uitlatings oor beleggings”: Hoe kan ek advies gee oor ’n vakgebied waaroor ek met my mond vol tande sit?

– “Kleurvolle grafieke oor hemelhoë opbrengste”: Die era van telegramme is verby – beteken ’n effe meer moderne benadering met die gebruik van tegnologie dat ek ’n onetiese of skelm adviseur is?

Die verantwoordelike adviseur gebruik juis tegnologie om prestasies in perspektief te stel en nie om wanvoorstellings te doen nie.

Enige redelike leser kan verwag dat hierdie “rubriek” praktiese raad sal gee wat help om sinvolle, ingeligte besluite te kan neem.

Die eintlike raad in hierdie verband (hoe jy jou finansiële beplanner kies) is so eenvoudig soos:
Jou betroubare konsultant of makelaar wat al die jare jou versekeringsportefeulje behartig, is nie noodwendig ’n kundige in beleggings nie. Daar is egter vele kundige beleggingsadviseurs wat die Wet op Finansiële Advies en Tussengangerdienste (Fais) in letter én gees nakom.

Kyk na bekende instansies wat jou belegging administreer, byvoorbeeld Aims, Allan Gray, Glacier van Sanlam, Investec, Momentum, Old Mutual, Stanlib, ensovoorts. Hierdie administrasieplatforms tree op as bewaarder van die onderliggende bates en is derhalwe in die eerste plek aanspreeklik vir
wanadministrasie in eie geledere. Daarby word die fondsbestuurder ook streng gekeur.

Moet nooit enige geld in die “adviseur” se bankrekening, sy firma se bankrekening, enige vreemde administrasieplatform of onbekende instansie se bankrekening inbetaal nie.

Evalueer die voorgestelde strategie en bepaal of jy so jou langtermyndoelwitte kan bereik.

Volg verwysings op van kliënte wat langer as drie jaar gelede dié stappe gevolg het.
Die inhoud van die rubriek is van weinig waarde om enige potensiële belegger te help om ingeligte besluite te neem.

Ooglopend is die doel slegs om sensasie te wek en dan doodluiters Van Gijsen se kontakbesonderhede onderaan te publiseer om sy eie persoonlike belange via Finlac te bevorder.

Dit getuig nie net van swak joernalistiek nie, maar is ook uiters onprofessioneel.

Nico sê: Ek hou ’n spieël op
Nico van Gijsen antwoord: Ek probeer nie kollegas “swartsmeer” nie.

Honderde kollegas en makelaars landwyd gebruik my rubrieke as ondersteuningsmateriaal wanneer hulle met kliënte konsulteer.

Ek kry gereeld briewe van dank en aanmoediging, veral van gerespekteerde CFP-praktisyns!

Ek kan glo dat die uitwys van wanpraktyke in die finansiële-dienstebedryf plek-plek seermaak. Dit is so bedoel. Ek grond dít wat ek sê op die klagtes van honderde lesers oor meer as 15 jaar se finansiële-rubriekskrywery.

Die waarheid ontsien niemand nie. Ek vra ook nie verskoning daarvoor nie.

Ek hou ’n spieël op. As jy nie hou van wat jy sien nie, moenie die spieël slegsê nie.

Hanlie Stadler, waarnemende nuusredakteur van SakeRapport, skryf:
Ons verwelkom hierdie debat met ope arms, want dit beteken ons lesers en mense in die bedryf kyk krities na dít wat ons skryf.

Wat interessant is, is dat Nico van Gijsen en Flippie Becker eintlik oor die basiese dinge saamstem: Daar is vrot appels in die finansiële-dienste- bedryf wat nié in beleggers se belang optree nie. Becker gee puik raad oor hoe jy die vrot appels uitken – ons hoop lesers neem dit ter harte.

Die konteks van Van Gijsen se rubriek was Michal Calitz, ’n gesertifiseerde finansiële beplanner (CFP), maar een van die vrot appels in die bedryf. Hy het as agent van Herman Pretorius opgetree.
Die punt is dat ’n kwalifikasie mense nie vrywaar nie.

Net soos daar skelm dokters, prokureurs en MBA-gekwalifiseerdes is, is daar skelm CFP’s. ’n Kwalifikasie is ongelukkig nié ’n waarborg van etiese gedrag nie.

Wat die aanklag betref dat ons Van Gijsen bevoordeel deur sy besonderhede onderaan te plaas: Ons plaas in beginsel ons rubriekskrywers se besonderhede onderaan sodat lesers kan vasstel of hulle is wie hulle sê hulle is.

Hy gee ’n enorme hoeveelheid gratis raad aan lesers. Hy verdien ook geen kommissie op beleggingsprodukte wat hy aanbeveel nie (Finlac het ’n kostestruktuur waardeur hy vir sy tyd vergoed word en nie ’n kommissiestruktuur nie), en daarom is ons gemaklik daarmee om hom as rubriekskrywer te gebruik.

Die debat oor die spesifieke rubriek is nou afgesluit, maar lesers bly welkom om my te kontak oor Sake-Rapport se inhoud. My e-pos-adres is hanlie.stadler@media24.com.

Miljarde soos Warren Buffett

22 Aug

Author: Gert Coetzee

Publications: Volksblad

Date Published : 16 August 2014

DRIE klein varkies het vir hulle huisies gebou. Die eerste een oorhaastig met strooi en flentermateriaal, en die tweede effe langsamer met stokke en plank. Nommer drie het eers vasgebyt in minder gerieflike toestande om duursame materiaal vir sy blyplek te vergader en toe ’n stewige woning gebou.

En toe die groot, slegte wolf – in die gedaante van inflasie – kom . . . Een van die puik finansiële fondsbestuurders op Volksblad en Jenwil se welvaartseminaar – in die Naval Hill-planetarium, ’n grootliks onontdekte Bloemfonteinse juweel – het dié storie ter illustrasie van die realiteite van beleggingsgroei vertel.

Kortom, ontbeer eers bietjie luukshede om ’n deeglike grondslag vir die aanvangsgroei van jou neseier te lê. Hoe langer die tydperk van jou belegging, hoe beter gaan jou vesting finansiële storms kan weerstaan. En ’n kleiner bedrag wat oor 30 jaar belê word, lewer dieselfde opbrengste as ’n veel groter belegging oor 20 jaar.

Met die treurmares van African Bank (Abil) se inploffing en baie hoopvolle beleggers se pynlike verlies van aftreegeld in die swendelryk van die afgestorwe “sakeman” Herman Pretorius vars in die geheue, moes meer mense eintlik die welvaartseminaar bygewoon het.

Dit is jammer beleggers het weens geldmarkfondse se Abil-blootstelling ’n verlies gely, juis omdat geldmarkfondse veronderstel is om veilig te wees. Eintlik is dit diegene wat vinnige, maklike kitsopbrengste najaag wat gewoonlik hul vingers verbrand. Iets wat te goed klink om waar te wees, ís te goed om waar te wees, soos Rothea van Biljon van Jenwil op die seminaar gesê het.

Dink aan daardie jong tannie op die TV wat danksy ’n “gewaarborgde” opbrengs van 18% op 54 ’n lady of leisure kan wees.

Van die fondsbestuurders – van Sanlam Beleggingsbestuur, Glacier van Sanlam, Prudential, Allan Gray, Coronation en Sanlam Privaat Welvaart – op die seminaar is legendes in die bedryf. Hul fondse klop inflasie en die Johannesburgse aandelebeurs se algemene indeks deurentyd.

Dit wil gedoen wees met ander wolwe soos stagflasie, wisselvalligheid, waardevermindering en negatiewe wêreldtoestande wat dreig.

Met mense wat vandag 80, 90 en selfs 100 jaar oud word, en langer afgetree is as wat hulle gewerk het, is die groot uitdaging om hul geld so te belê dat ná hul maandelikse gebruik én inflasie dit nie in waarde krimp nie, maar op hul oudag minstens dieselfde geldwaarde sal hê.

Die fondsbestuurders se deeglik geïllustreerde voorleggings bevestig aandele bly die beste langtermyn-beleggings. Mits beleggers waagmoed het om nie hul geld te onttrek as die mark wipplank ry nie. Op kort termyn bring dit hoër risiko mee, en is diversifikasie – in effektetrusts, staatseffekte, eiendom, buitelandse fondse en, ja, die geldmark – raadsaam vir verskansing.

Die aandele-indeks trek by meer as 51 000 punte. Gaan dit oor ’n jaar op 60 000 staan of dalk tuimel tot by 18 000 waar dit in 2008 gaan draai het? Of deur die bodem val soos in 1929 se berugte Swart Dinsdag of 1988 se Swart Maandag? Ons weet nie. Beleggingskundigheid berus nie op die luukse van nabetragting nie.

’n Leek kan met ’n gelukkige geldskuif van een risiko-klas na ’n ander die mark dalk een keer klop, maar nie twee keer nie. Beleggings is nie ’n dobbelspel nie.

Vir dié geldleek klink basics en dissipline na die wenresep, soos in die lewe, ook vir beleggings.

En kry vir jou ’n kundige, betroubare adviseur wat nes jy oor jou swaarverdiende geldjies voel.

Laastens, of dalk eerstens, moet ’n mens jouself seker afvra wat welvaart is en wat jy daarmee – vir jou en andere – sou wou bereik.

Soos Warren Buffett wat net met die kleinste moontlike geldstukkie van ’n telefoonhokkie sou bel, maar later miljarde dollars aan Bill en Melinda Gates se stigting geskenk het.

‘Watter geheime draaie ry hy?’

19 Aug

Author: Marelize Barnard

Publications: Die Burger

Date Published : 19 August 2014

KAAPSTAD. – Watter geheime draaie het wyle Herman Pretorius gery voor hy op 26 Julie 2012 eers sy voormalige sakevennoot en daarna homself in die Kaapse middestad geskiet het?

Dít is een van die tergende vrae wat ontstaan het toe Susan-Ann Pretorius, weduwee van Pretorius, Vrydag deur die kurators van haar gesekwestreerde boedel in die Bellville-landdroshof ondervra is.

Op vrae hoe sy deesdae geldelik oor die weg kom, het sy geantwoord dat haar swaer maandeliks R30 000 aan haar gee.

Susan-Ann het Vrydag getuig dat die dag waarop haar man gesterf het, hy aan haar swaer gesê het indien daar iets met hom gebeur, moet die swaer na Susan-Ann en die Pretorius-egpaar se twee seuns omsien.

Pretorius het die dag waarop hy sy eertydse sakevennoot, Julian Wil­liams, in sy kantoor in Kaapstad geskiet het, ’n vergadering met ondersoekers van die afdeling vir finansiële adviseurs en tussengangerdienste (Fais) in sy kantoor in die Tyger-Waterfront in Bellville gehad.

Pretorius het aangedui dat hy na die badkamer gaan, maar het in plaas daarvan weggery van sy kantoor.

Wat gebeur het in die tydperk tot hy Williams geskiet het, is onseker. Dit blyk wel uit Susan-Ann se getuienis dat hy ’n gesprek met haar swaer gehad het.

Sedert Pretorius se dood is ’n lewenspolis van R8 miljoen aan die Penta-trust uitbetaal, wat belê is en waaruit Susan-Ann nog nie geld gebruik het nie.

Op ’n vraag van adv. Almero de Villiers, wat namens die kurators van Preto­rius en Susan-Ann se trusts optree, of sy nie van die R8 miljoen gebruik nie, het Susan-Ann gesê sy kry R30 000 per maand van haar swaer.

Dit is onduidelik wat van Pretorius se testament geword het.

De Villiers het Susan-Ann Vrydag uitgevra of sy kort ná Pretorius se dood na die bank gegaan het om in die veiligheidskassies in ’n kluis na sy testament te gaan soek. Gevra of sy die testament daar gekry het, het sy “nee” geantwoord.

RVAF adviser ordered to repay R4.25m to clients

18 Aug

Author: Roy Cokayne

Publications: iOL

Date Published: 18 August 2014

THE TOTAL amount financial adviser Michal Johannes Calitz and his financial advice consultancy have been ordered to date to repay investors for advising them to invest in the Relative Value Arbitrage Fund (RVAF) has risen to more than R4.25 million.
This follows an eighth determination and order being issued against them by ombud for financial services providers Noluntu Bam. In the latest determination, Bam ordered Calitz and/or Impact Financial Consultants to repay widow Hendrina Rautenbach R701 350.
The RVAF is in liquidation. It collapsed after the fund’s manager and trustee Herman Pretorius committed suicide in July last year after shooting dead his business partner.
Rautenbach claimed she and her late husband had one meeting with Calitz prior to investing the first R600 000.
They subsequently made four further investments in the RVAF totalling a further R890 000 plus £25 000 (R442 115) in what Rautenbach believed was the UK or international component of RVAF. The various investments made in RVAF totalled R1.17m but Rautenbach subsequently withdrew R473 350.
Rautenbach recalled being advised by Calitz that Pretorius was a clever investor with an excellent track record and had a team of highly qualified people who invested in a variety of shares in the stock market.
Rautenbach and her late medical doctor husband ended up investing more than half of their retirement savings in the RVAF. She denied ever being advised that they were investing in a hedge fund or that it was not registered with the Financial Services Board (FSB).
“Calitz, as an FSB-registered financial broker, should not in the first place have invested any of our capital with a non-registered financial fund. We trust Calitz to invest our hard-earned retirement capital in safe, gilt-edged investments producing an income on which we would/could rely in our retirement years,” she said.
Calitz claimed that at no stage was Rautenbach brought under the impression that the investment would be in shares on the JSE or in unit trusts but it was explained that the RVAF was a hedge fund and that it was not regulated by the FSB.
He added that the option to invest in hedge funds was explained to Rautenbach’s husband and was not in contradiction with his risk profile.
However, Bam said nothing in the documents that Rautenbach and her late husband were required to retain persuaded her office that they were even aware or could have understood that they were investing in a hedge fund.
Bam referred to a previous determination, which dealt with the key issues pertaining to the rendering of advice to invest in the RVAF. These included Calitz’s failure to understand the RVAF, the risks he was exposing his clients to when advising them to invest in this fund and the material deficiencies in the RVAF application forms.
Bam stressed that no adviser would have recommended the RVAF as a suitable component of any investment portfolio had they exercised the required due skill, care and diligence and in rendering financial advice, Calitz had failed to act in accordance with the Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services Act.

Investors need to wise up to Ponzi schemes

18 Aug

Author: DAWIE DE VILLIERS

Publications: Citizens Alert ZA

Date Published : 17 August 2014

Investors need to wise up to Ponzi schemes – Sharemax and directors schemed to defraud public, says Fais ombud

With many South Africans – and retirees, in particular – struggling to make ends meet, they become easy pickings for fraudsters operating get-rich-quick investment scams, also known as Ponzi schemes.

In their search for high returns on investments, South Africans seem to repeatedly entrust their hard-earned savings to operations which, at best, have short-term track records and, at worst, knowingly sell promises that they are unable to deliver on.

Investors buy into these promises without fully understanding how these operators achieve their alleged returns.

Over the past five years, the following schemes – which have had traumatic consequences for unsuspecting investors – come to mind: Fidentia, Leaderguard, Sharemax, King Group, and the Herman Pretorius saga.

There is a golden thread running through this list: each one promised a return far superior to that of the financial market, at a very low risk. In hindsight, such promises were too good to be true. But why do we continue to move from one such scandal to the next?

Spotting a Ponzi or pyramid scheme is relatively easy. Here is a checklist to arm yourself against fraudsters:

1. Insist on proof that the investment vehicle is registered with the Financial Services Board (FSB).

If it isn’t, and your money gets lost, you have no avenues of recourse open.

2. Compare the interest rates on offer with the global and local investment landscape (for example, interest rates and economic growth rates).

If the national interest rates are at 5 or 6 percent, and someone is offering you a guaranteed return of 30 percent, it is likely to be a fraudulent scheme. Having realistic expectations of investment returns is the cornerstone of any sensible investment strategy.

3. Be wary of consistent returns.

By their very nature, financial markets are fluid instruments fluctuating daily.

If a scheme offers consistent, guaranteed returns and it is not underwritten by an insurer or bank, it is most likely not invested in secure financial instruments and should, therefore, be closely scrutinised.

4. Look carefully at the track record of the institution and individual offering the investment opportunity.

And this means not just taking their word for it. Contact the FSB, contact the editor of the personal finance section of the newspaper, and ask reputable brokers for their opinion. In an economic downturn, your best bets are very well-established investment houses with solid track records and healthy cash reserves.

Don’t be fooled by professional-looking documentation or reporting.

5. Practise steps 1 to 4 above, no matter who you hear about the scheme through.

Unfortunately, many unsuspecting investors are introduced to Ponzi schemes through intermediaries, such as friends and family, and this provides them with a comfort factor. This does not mean they are safe. It is possible that those family and friends will equally become victims.

6. Don’t be comforted if the scheme has paid out regularly to those family or friends.

This is a classic characteristic of a Ponzi scheme. In order to appear legitimate, they pay out, as promised, for a period of time to allow word-of-mouth to market the scheme on their behalf. Then, when there are enough investors, they pull the plug and make off with the money.

7. Trust your instincts. Common sense and gut feel can be great defences against falling for Ponzi schemes.

Ask yourself why you have been given an opportunity to make fabulous returns on your investment. Why have you been so lucky to get this unbelievable opportunity to multiply your wealth? What’s so special about you?

8. Be extremely wary of “opportunities” to invest your money in franchises or investments that require you to bring in subsequent investors to increase your profit or recoup your initial investment.

No legitimate investment house employs this strategy – in short, it is a very big clue that something dodgy is brewing.

Whatever your reason for investing, it is vital to have a goal, a timeline and reasonable expectations.

By investing in regulated investment products – such as unit trusts or mutual funds – you are investing in products that have an enormous amount of governance.

Before investing, you must be sure that you are trusting your funds to a person, people or an institution that has shown that it can consistently deliver returns over an extended period of time.

Long-standing institutions with proven track records are often the wisest choice.

Please contact an accredited financial adviser to discuss these collective investment schemes.

* De Villiers is chief executive officer, Sanlam Structured Solutions.

Background

Named after Charles Ponzi, an Italian immigrant to the US who convinced New Yorkers to invest in coupons yielding fabulous returns in the aftermath of World War I, most Ponzi schemes have the following modus operandi: investors are wooed by fantastic returns, with the older investors in the scheme getting paid from the proceeds of the newer investors. But the scheme only lasts as long as it attracts new investors.

South Africans in search of high returns have also been caught out. Names that spring to mind include Barry Tannenbaum – who fleeced billions from wealthy individuals in 2009 – Masterbond, Ovation, Fidentia and, most recently, Herman Pretorius.

Hoe ken jy ’n geldhiëna uit?

17 Aug

Author: Nico van Gijsen

Publications: Rapport

Date Published : 17 August 2014

Met oëoopmaaktyd Maandagoggend tref twee berigte my: die African Bank-drama en die Herman Pretorius-debakel.
Die eerste is die gevolg van swak, persoonlik meen ek roekelose, sakebesluite; die ander ’n onderduimse geldmaakslenter.
Die twee het heelwat gemeen. Albei is nalatig of roekeloos met kliënte se geld. En albei kan lei tot finansiële verlies of selfs permanente ellende.
Hoe beskerm jy jou neseier teen swak besluite by die bank? Of, in die geval van Pretorius-agtige beleggingsfoefies, teen geldhiënas wat meer in hul eie sak belang stel as in jou welvaart?
Die makelaar oor wie die Pretorius-berig eintlik gaan, Michal Calitz van Impact Financial Solutions, het glo miljoene rande se kommissie verdien uit sy vriend Pretorius se slenterskema.
Calitz, ’n professionele finansiële beplanner met die gerekende CFP-titel, is deur die ombudsman vir finansiële adviseurs en tussengangerdienste gelas om enkele van sy talle slagofferkliënte hul geld terug te betaal.
Ek en baie ander professionele finansiële beplanners vertrou die Instituut vir Finansiële Beplanning (FPI) sal ook optree om sy lede en die vertroue van hul kliën­te in die instituut te beskerm.
Ek maak dié punt, want ek kry gereeld die vraag: Wie kan ek vertrou met my geld? In die lig van die geval Pretorius/Calitz kán ek die vraag nie onomwonde antwoord nie. Dit smeer af aan almal.
Maar kom ons probeer. Eers banke. Wie onthou vir Saambou? Die feit is, banke kán in die moeilikheid kom.
Vir jou as belegger is die gevaarlig die veel hoër rente-opbrengste wat aangebied word. As groot banke soos Absa, First National Bank (FNB), Standard Bank of Nedbank rente-opbrengste van so 5% adverteer, hoe kry ’n klein, niksseggende ou bankie dit reg om dubbeld soveel rente aan beleggers te bied?
Hy leen jóú geld aan mense wat reeds ’n slegte skuldnaam het. Hoërisikoleners. Die troosprys vir dié risiko wat jy loop, is die hoër rente-opbrengs – totdat alles in duie stort.
En laat ek waarsku: Daar is nóg rente-trane en ellende op pad. Hou maar dop.
Die gevaarligte met makelaars, of sogenaamde beleggingsraadgewers, is moeiliker om raak te sien: ’n glimlag op die regte tyd, oormatige kerk-aktiwiteit, breedsprakige uitlatings oor beleggings en kleurvolle grafieke oor hemelhoë opbrengste het ek al by dié geldhiënas teëgekom, alles om naïewe en goedgelowige – en ja, dikwels gierige – beleggers van hul spaargeldjies te ontneem.
Die een vraag wat van jou ’n maklike beleggingsprooi maak, is: “Watter opbrengs kan jy vir my kry?” Dis soos bloed vir ’n hiëna.
Maak liewer eers seker dat die persoon aan wie jy jou sake wil toevertrou, werklik as jou agent optree.
Vra die logiese vrae: Weet hy of sy wie ek is, wat my omstandighede is, wat my behoeftes is? Indien nie, hoe kan hy of sy aanbevelings doen? Daar móét mos ’n ander agenda wees.
As jy iemand aanstel, laat hy of sy die raad skriftelik gee, met ’n rede vir elke aanbeveling en hoe dit in watter behoefte van jou voorsien. Dit is hoe jy jouself kan beskerm.
Moenie blokkie-en-kruisie-advies aanvaar nie. Dit is nikswerd snert.
Nico van Gijsen, CFP is besturende direkteur van Finlac en ’n lid van Fisa.

Lesers kan navrae aan hom stuur by Raad met jou Rande, Posbus 8422, Johannesburg 2000 of nico@finlac.com. Twiet: @Nicovangijsen

‘Ek was net ‘n huisvrou

17 Aug

Author: Marelize Barnard

Publications: Rapport

Date Published : 16 August 2014

Vrydag was ’n baie lang en baie moeilike dag vir die Kaapse miljoenêr-huisvrou en weduwee, Susan-Ann Pretorius (53).

Buiten dat sy gepeper is met vrae oor geld wat sy van haar ontslape piramideskema-swendelaarman sou gekry het, moes sy ook ’n ring met ’n diamant van 3,3 karaat, ’n Tag Heuer-horlosie, asook haar Tod’s- en Louis Vuitton-handsakke aan die kurators van haar man se gesekwestreerde trusts oorhandig.

Op 26 Julie 2012 het ondersoekers van die afdeling vir finansiële adviseurs en tussengangerdienste (Fais) haar man, Herman (55), ondervra by sy kantoorkompleks in die Tygerwaterfront in Bellville.

Herman het homself verskoon en gesê hy gaan toilet toe, maar het in sy Aston Martin-sportmotor geklim, na sy eertydse sakevennoot, Julian Williams, se kantoor in die Kaapstadse middestad gery en eers vir Williams en daarna homself doodgeskiet.

Sedertdien het dit aan die lig gekom dat beleggers R2,2 miljard in Herman se piramideskema belê het.

Nou moet Susan-Ann al die vrae beantwoord. “Ek het niks te doene gehad met die besigheid nie,” het ­Susan-Ann Vrydag gesê toe adv. Almero de Villiers (vir die kurators) haar ondervra het.

“Ek het die huissake behartig. Ek het ons kinders (Christopher en ­Andrew) grootgemaak . . .na die tuin omgesien . . . kos gekook. Ek was nie net ’n lui huisvrou nie.”

Volgens De Villiers probeer die kurators vasstel of en hoe sy baat gevind het by betalings as trustee van sommige van Herman se trusts of as ’n beguns­tigde.

“Kan ek net iets sê? Ek is seker maar dom. Sedert 1991 het ek niks te doene gehad met my man se besigheid nie.”

Volgens haar het sy het nooit rede gehad om te glo hy is nié die man saam met wie sy 31 jaar lank was nie.

“Dit is alles goed wat nou uitkom,” het sy Vrydag gesê.

Op Herman se begrafnis op 1 Augustus 2012 in die NG kerk Welgemoed het dr. Braam Hanekom, wat die diens behartig het, gesê Herman het vroeër aan hom genoem hy het ’n toekomsvisioen gehad dat hy “baie mense gaan seermaak”.

Herman, wat graf toe is met die geheim van wat hy met die miljarde rande in beleggersgeld gedoen het, het nêrens vir sy onderneming, Abante Capital-groep, behoorlik boekgehou nie.

In die meeste gevalle het hy nie skriftelike ooreenkomste gesluit nie.

In twee gevalle het hy sommer R30 miljoen beleggersgeld uitgeleen met mondelinge ooreenkomste.

Groot bedrae wat hy van beleggers ontvang het, is nooit in ’n bankrekening gedeponeer nie. Net ’n breukdeel van beleggers se geld is deur batebestuurders belê en bestuur.

Herman het wel spogeiendom en -besittings aangeskaf – volgens ’n e-pos wat hy kort voor sy dood geskryf het, was dit in daardie stadium R126 miljoen werd.

Dit het ingesluit:

* ’n Aston Martin DBS ter waarde van R2,5 miljoen (ná Herman se dood vir R1,7 miljoen verkoop);
* ’n Vakansiehuis in Voëlklip, Hermanus (in April 2013 vir R16,5 miljoen opgeveil);
* ’n Kantoorkompleks in die Tygerwaterfront (intussen opgeveil);
* ’n Marmer-paleis in Welgemoed wat in Susan-Ann se naam geregistreer was en Vrydag opgeveil is vir R12,8 miljoen (selfs die motorhuis van dié spoghuis het marmerteëls);
* Twee eiendomme vir sy seuns in Higgovale en Claremont in Kaapstad (intussen opgeveil);
* ’n Vakansiehuis op Malgas naby Swellendam.

Ringe, sakke

Susan-Ann het Vrydag eers ontken dat sy nog in besit is van ’n ring met ’n diamant van 3,3 karaat. Sy het eers aangevoer dat dit by hul vakansiehuis in Hermanus weggeraak het, maar tydens ondervraging het sy erken sy het dit steeds. Sy moes dit daarna aan die kurators oorhandig.

Vir Susan-Ann se 50ste verjaardag het Herman vir haar ’n armband van R105 000 gegee. Sy moes dit ook aan die kurators oorhandig. Ook haar Tag Heuer-horlosie, asook haar Tod’s- en Louis Vuitton-handsakke.

Maar van ’n diamant van 1,7 karaat ter waarde van R98 900 wat Herman gekoop het of ’n Rolex- en Cartier-horlosie ter waarde van R170 000 weet sy niks.

“Miskien het hy dit vir iemand anders gekoop. Ek weet nie,” het Susan-Ann Vrydag gesê.

Al wat oor is in die luukse Pretorius-woning

17 Aug

Author: ANIKA MARAIS

Publications: Beeld

Date Published : 16 August 2014

KAAPSTAD. – Susan-Ann Pretorius is haar huis gister binne net drie minute kwyt.

Pretorius, weduwee van die swendelaar Herman Pretorius, se luukse huis in Welgemoed, Bellville, is gistermiddag deur ClareMart opgeveil.

Die hamer het ná net drie minute op R12,8 miljoen (kommissie ingesluit) geval nadat ’n plaaslike bieër die huis namens ’n oorsese koper gekoop het. Die koper en die bieër wou anoniem bly.

Die huis – met onder meer sewe slaapkamers, ’n gimnasium, ’n rolprentteater, ’n sauna en ’n wynkelder – is teen ’n “goeie prys” verkoop, het die afslaer, Jonathan Smiedt, hoof van ClareMart, gesê.

“Ons navorsing toon dat daar tussen R15 miljoen en R20 miljoen aan die huis bestee is. En dit was agt jaar gelede, onthou. As dié huis in die Atlantiese kusgebied gestaan het, sou ons dit vandag vir R25 miljoen tot R30 miljoen verkoop het.

“Vir die woonbuurt waarin die huis geleë is, is dit egter ’n goeie prys. Nie ’n winskopie nie, maar ’n goeie prys.”

Ongeveer 30 mense het gister as moontlike kopers by die veiling geregistreer, maar net vier het uiteindelik gebie.

Die huis was voor die veiling oop vir besoekers om deur te stap.

Sandra Simpson, ’n belegger wat geld in Pretorius se piramideskema verloor het, het die veiling bygewoon.

Ek het hard vir die geld gewerk wat ek by hom belê het. En ons het hom almal vertrou. Hy was vriendelik en vreeslik met sy Bybel onder die arm.
Sandra Simpson, ’n belegger wat geld in Herman Pretorius se piramideskema verloor het.
​“Dit is walglik om te sien hoe skaamteloos en sonder enige skuldgevoel ons geld gesteel en op dié huis uitgegee is. Ek was ses maande depressief nadat ek my geld verloor het.

“Ek het hard vir die geld gewerk wat ek by hom belê het. En ons het hom almal vertrou. Hy was vriendelik en vreeslik met sy Bybel onder die arm,” het sy vertel.

Twee vroue wat naby aan die drieverdiepinghuis in De Graaffstraat 26 woon, het ook na die huis kom kyk.

“Ja, die huis het ’n mooi uitsig, maar dis darem baie koud. Dit lyk nie gemaklik om hier te woon nie,” het die een vrou gesê.

“Die huis pas glad nie in die omgewing nie. Dit staan lelik uit. Die dag toe hulle die huis begin bou het, het ek aan my tuinman gesê: ‘Wat gaan hier aan? Bou hulle nou ’n 7-Eleven hier oorkant?’ ” het die ander vrou vertel.

Die huis het gister net enkele artikels gehad wat daarop dui dat Susan-Ann Pretorius tot onlangs nog in die huis gewoon het. Sy moes aan die begin van die maand uittrek en kon net ’n bed en ’n yskas saamneem.

In die studeerkamer het ’n pienk leesbril, wat oor die toonbank gekoop kan word, voor die rekenaar gelê. In die snippermasjien langs die lessenaar het versnipperde papiere, wat soos bankstate lyk, uitgepeul.

In die gimnasium het haar handgeskrewe oefenprogram en oefenhanddoek agtergebly. Sy het ook ses botteltjies bloekomolie in die sauna vergeet.

Die verkoop van die huis sal vroeg volgende week deur die trustees bevestig word.

Weduwee sal haar ring gee

17 Aug

Author: Marelize Barnard

Publications: Weduwee sal haar ring gee …nadat sy gesê het dit is weg

Date Published : 16 August 2014

Susan-Ann Pretorius gister buite die Bellville-landdroshof waar sy vrae beantwoord het in ’n sekwestrasie-ondervraging. Sy het in die ondervraging ingestem om ’n ring van R400 000 aan die likwidateurs te oorhandig nadat sy eers aangevoer het dat dit ’n paar jaar gelede weggeraak het. Foto: Lulama Zenzile
KAAPSTAD. – “Ek het nie die ring nie . . . Dit was nie die ring nie.”

En toe Susan-Ann Pretorius hoor sy kan tronk toe gaan vir meineed: “Ja, ek het die ring. Ek sal dit vir jou bring. Dit sal nie vir my enige geluk bied nie.”

Gister was ’n moeilike dag vir Pretorius, weduwee van die swendelaar Herman Pretorius.

Terwyl sy in ’n sekwestrasie-aansoek in die Bellville-landdroshof met vrae gepeper is oor juwele van honderdduisende rande wat ná Pretorius se dood soek geraak het, is haar spoghuis ’n paar kilometer verder in Welgemoed, Bellville, opgeveil.

Sy het in die ondervraging deur adv. Almero de Villiers (vir die kurators) eers volgehou dat haar troupand – met ’n diamant van 3,2 karaat en ’n waarde van R400 000 – ’n paar jaar gelede by die gesin se vakansiehuis in Voëlklip, Hermanus, weggeraak het.

De Villiers het gevra watter ring sy op haar man se begrafnis gedra het, waarop sy geantwoord het dat dit ’n namaaksel was.

De Villiers het dit weer gestel dat Pretorius die geleentheid het om te antwoord of sy steeds in besit van die ring van R400 000 is.

Hy het genoem dat ’n persoonlike assistent van Preto­rius reeds getuig het dat sy (Pretorius) die ring op haar man se begrafnis gedra het.

Sy het weer geantwoord sy het nie die ring nie. Die ring wat sy op die begrafnis gedra het, was ’n namaaksel.

De Villiers het hierna aangevoer dat juweliers ingeroep sal word om te sê of dit die ring aan haar vinger is wat op begrafnisfoto’s gesien kan word. As dit dieselfde ring is, sal sy in hegtenis geneem en tronk toe kan gaan weens meineed.

Hierna het Pretorius bevestig dat sy steeds die ring het en dit sal oorhandig.

Gister se sekwestrasie-ondervraging het bly draai om duur juwele en waar dit tans kan wees.

Pretorius het bevestig dat sy ’n armband ter waarde van R105 000 by haar man gekry het vir haar verjaardag. Sy het ook ’n Tag Heuer-horlosie wat sy aan die likwidateurs sal oorhandig.

Ek het nie die ring nie . . . Dit was nie die ring nie.
Susan-Ann Pretorius
​Sy het egter ontken dat sy enigiets weet van ’n diamant van 1,7 karaat wat R98 800 werd is, ’n Cartier-horlosie van R168 000 en ’n “goedkoperige” Rolex-horlosie van R36 400.

Sy het gister ook twee waardevolle handsakke, ’n Tod’s en ’n Louis Vuitton, saam met haar na die ondervraging gebring om aan die likwidateurs te oorhandig.

Die ondervraging is tot 10 Oktober uitgestel.

Pretorius se regsverteenwoordiger is Etienne Naude. De Villiers is bygestaan deur Pierre du Toit van Mostert en Bosman.

Susan-Ann Pretorius se huis vir R12.8 m opgeveil

16 Aug

Author: ANIKA MARAIS

Publications: Die Burger

Date Published : 15 August 2014

KAAPSTAD. – Die bod is Vrydagmiddag op R12.8 miljoen op Susan-Ann Pretorius se ontwerpershuis in Welgemoed toegestaan.

Die ​spoghuis is om 12:00 deur ClareMart opgeveil, nadat Pretorius vroeër vanjaar finaal gesekwestreer is.

’n Plaaslike bieër het namens ’n internasionale koper die huis gekoop. Die koper wou anoniem bly.

Die veiling was binne net drie minute afgehandel.

Die huis is gebou met die geld van beleggers wat R2,2 miljard by Herman Pretorius, Susan-Ann se man, belê het.

Talle ​belangstellendes het op 3 Augustus saamgedrom om die huis van nader te besigtig voor die veilig op 15 Augustus.

Makelaar moet sy Pretorius-miljoene terugbetaal

15 Aug

Author: Marelize Barnard

Publications: Die Burger

Date Published : 14 August 2014

KAAPSTAD. – Die makelaar Michal Calitz, wat beleggers gelok het om meer as R86 miljoen by die swendelaar Herman Pretorius te belê, moet miljoene rande aan kommissiegeld en ‘n “kontantgeskenk” terugbetaal.

Regter Monde Samela het in die Wes-Kaapse hooggeregshof uitspraak gelewer in ‘n aansoek deur die kurators van Pretorius se gesekwestreerde Relative Value Arbitrage Fund (RVAF) en sy Seca-trust.

Die kurators het ‘n aansoek by die hooggeregshof ingedien dat Calitz R6,54 miljoen aan die RVAF en nagenoeg R380 000 aan die Seca-trust moet terugbetaal.

Verder is geëis dat Impact Finansiële Konsultante (’n beslote korporasie waarin Calitz ’n 80%-aandeel het) ook sowat R2,1 miljoen aan die twee trusts moet terugbetaal.

In die beëdigde verklaring van Lambertus von Wielligh Bester, een van die kurators, en hofdokumente wat in die aansoek ingedien is, word genoem dat Calitz tussen 28 Februarie 2005 en 31 Mei 2012 meer as R6 miljoen in betalings ontvang het uit die RVAF as wins of kommissie omdat hy beleggers na Pretorius verwys het.

Van die Seca-trust het hy R377 155 ontvang.

Pretorius het ook net minder as R1 miljoen aan Calitz geleen. Van dié geld is R750 000 aan Pretorius terugbetaal deur Calitz se kommissiegeld van die lening af te trek. Pretorius het die res, R250 000, as ‘n geskenk aan Calitz gegee en hy het dit aanvaar.

Die kurators het aangevoer die betalings was deel van ‘n onwettige beleggingskema, of Ponzi-skema.

Calitz het op sy beurt aangevoer dit is geld wat hy vir dienste wat gelewer is, betaal is en waarop hy belasting betaal het.

Samela het gelas Calitz moet die geld – met rente bygereken – terugbetaal.

Pretorius-makelaar moet opdok, beveel hof

15 Aug

Author: Marelize Barnard

Publications: Die Burger

Date Published : 15 August 2014

KAAPSTAD. – Dit is onaanvaarbaar dat finansiële raadgewers toegelaat word om regulasies te oortree in ruil vir kommissie.

Dít was gister die bevinding van regter Monde Samela in die Wes-Kaapse hooggeregshof toe hy gelas het dat die makelaar Michal Calitz miljoene rande se kommissie en ’n geskenk moet terugbetaal wat hy by Herman Pretorius gekry het.

Samela het uitspraak gelewer in ’n aansoek deur die kurators van Pretorius se gesekwestreerde Relative Value Arbitrage Fund (RVAF) en sy Seca-trust. Hy het gelas dat Calitz, sy beslote korporasie Impact Finansiële Konsultante, en die maatskappy EQ Prop R9,06 miljoen moet terugbetaal. Dit sluit in kommissies, ’n lening deur Pretorius en ’n geskenk van R250 000 wat Calitz aan die twee gesekwestreerde trusts van Pretorius moet terugbetaal.

In die beëdigde verklaring van Lambertus von Wielligh Bester, een van die kurators, asook hofdokumente wat in die aansoek ingedien is, word aangevoer dat Calitz tussen 28 Februarie 2005 en 31 Mei 2012 meer as R6 miljoen uit die RVAF ontvang het as wins of kommissie omdat hy beleggers na Pretorius verwys het.

Van die Seca-trust het hy R377 155 ontvang.

Pretorius het ook net minder as R1 miljoen aan Calitz geleen. Van dié geld is R750 000 aan Pretorius terugbetaal deur Calitz se kommissie van die lening af te trek. Pretorius het die res, R250 000, aan Calitz geskenk en hy het dit aanvaar.

Samela het verder gelas dat rente op dié bedrae ook deur Calitz betaal moet word. Die kurators het aangevoer dat die betalings deel van ’n onwettige beleggingskema, of Ponzi-skema, was.

Calitz het op sy beurt aangevoer dat dit geld was wat hy betaal is vir dienste wat gelewer is en waarop hy belasting betaal het.

Samela het in sy uitspraak gesê daar is nie behoorlike finansiële state gehou vir die RVAF en Seca Trusts nie. Die trusts is ook nie geregistreer as finansiële instellings, ’n bank of onderneming wat finan­siële dienste lewer nie.

 

M O D E R N A R C H I T E C T U R A L LY D E S I G N E D

14 Aug

CATALOGUE-EMAIL-VERSION-26_VD_GRAAF_WELGEMOED

RVAF adviser faces R3.5m repayments

13 Aug

Author: Roy Cokayne

Publications: iOL

Date Published: 14 August 2014

THE OMBUD for financial services providers has issued a seventh order against financial adviser Michal Johannes Calitz along with his consultancy, increasing to more than R3.5 million the total amount to date that they have been ordered to repay to investors for giving advice to invest in the Relative Value Arbitrage Fund (RVAF).

In her latest determination, the ombud, Noluntu Bam, ordered Calitz and/or Impact Financial Consultants to repay Johannes Matthys Coetzee R500 000.

Bam previously ordered Calitz and/or Impact Financial Consultants to repay Loredana Hansen from Durbanville, Cape Town R630 000; Garvitte Lombard of Ferndale, Johannesburg R700 000; Dr Craig Stewart Inch of Mpumalanga R500 000; Martha Jooste R165 000; Dr Johannes Hartshorne from Cape Town R460 000; and Robert Whitfield-Jones R600 000.

The RVAF is in liquidation. It collapsed after the fund’s manager and trustee, Herman Pretorius, committed suicide in July last year after shooting dead his business partner.

Coetzee said he was introduced to Calitz by a friend in 2007 and Calitz had invested his pension fund monies in unit trusts and a money market fund in February 2008.

He said Calitz had advised him a year later to disinvest R500 000 and place it into the RVAF Trust when Coetzee visited Calitz to discuss the performance of his unit trusts and money market fund.

Coetzee said he had relied exclusively on the advice and recommendation of Calitz when making this investment, stressing that he had no prior knowledge of the RVAF and neither the risks nor the product were explained to him.

He contacted Calitz on July 12, 2012 because of negative publicity surrounding the fund but was assured by Calitz that there were no risks and that there was no need for him to retrieve his investment.

Coetzee added that he had e-mailed Calitz on July 20, 2012 with an urgent request for the financial adviser to provide him with written feedback on the allegations against the RVAF and advice on the continuation of the investment but did not receive a response.

He said that Calitz did not properly apply his mind when advising him to switch a substantial amount of his investment to RVAF and as a professional adviser should have properly investigated and assured himself of the credibility of the fund.

Coetzee stressed that Pretorius was taking in millions of rand in investments but was not registered with the Financial Services Board, the RVAF never produced any financial statements, was not audited and did not have any third party verification of returns.

Calitz claimed he discussed alternative investments, such as hedge funds, and the workings of a hedge fund with Coetzee in 2008, regular statements were sent to Coetzee, there was no reason to believe the investment was not above board, and the option to invest in hedge funds was not in contradiction with Coetzee’s risk profile.

Bam in her determination referred to a previous determination, which dealt with key issues pertaining to the rendering of advice to invest in RVAF.

These included Calitz’s failure to understand the RVAF, the risks he was exposing his clients to when advising them to invest in this fund and the material deficiencies in the RVAF application forms.

Bam stressed that no adviser would have recommended the RVAF as a suitable component of any investment portfolio had they exercised the required due skill, care and diligence and in rendering financial advice, Calitz had failed to act in accordance with the Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services Act.

Makelaar sê verlies is nie sy skuld nie

13 Aug

Author: Marelize Barnard

Publications: Die Burger

Date Published : 12 August 2014

KAAPSTAD. – Die rede waarom beleggers die geld verloor het wat hulle by die oorlede swendelaar Herman Pretorius belê het, was die gevolg van Pretorius se bedrog en “nie die optrede van ’n makelaar nie”.

Dít is die verweer van die makelaar Michal Calitz van Impact Financial Consultants teen wie die ombudsman vir finansiële adviseurs en tussengangers (Fais) die laaste tyd ’n rits besluite geneem het.

Die Fais-ombudsman het Calitz gelas om van sy kliënte se geld wat by Pretorius belê was, terug te betaal.

Calitz het aangedui dat hy dié beslissings gaan betwis. Hy sal dus geen geld in dié stadium terugbetaal nie.

Jean Kotzé, Calitz se prokureur van die prokureursfirma Laäs en Scholtz, het gister gesê ingevolge die regulasies van die Fais-ombudsman het Calitz 30 dae tyd nadat ’n beslissing gelewer is om aan te dui of hy appèl wil aanteken.

“Calitz voer aan dat daar geen kousale verband is tussen die skade wat beleggers gely het en sy optrede as makelaar nie. Dit was nie Calitz se toedoen nie, maar die gevolg van Pretorius se bedrog,” het Kotzé gesê.

“Die skade wat deur beleggers gely is, is ook nie die gevolg van professionele nalatigheid of Fais-regulasies waarby daar nie gehou is nie.”

Volgens Kotzé is daar van die kliënte wat klagtes by die Fais-ombudsman ingedien het wat steeds sy dienste as makelaar gebruik.

“Dit wys hulle besef die skade wat hulle gely het, is te wyte aan Pretorius se bedrog en nie Calitz se betrokkenheid nie.”

Die moontlikheid bestaan dat dié beleggers hoop dat Calitz se versekering die eise teen hom sal dek.

Beleggers het op advies van Calitz meer as R86 miljoen in Pretorius se skema belê.

Calitz het ook ’n aansoek in die Wes-Kaapse hooggeregshof teengestaan waarin die kurators van Pretorius se gesekwestreerde Rela­tive Value Arbitrage Fund (RVAF)-trust en sy Seca-trust geëis het dat hy diensgeld wat aan hom betaal is, moet terugbetaal.

Die kurators het ’n aansoek by die hooggeregshof ingedien dat Calitz R6,54 miljoen aan die RVAF-trust en byna R380 000 aan die Seca-trust terugbetaal.

Calitz het op sy beurt aangevoer dat hy geregtig is op al die betalings aan hom. Volgens hom is dit geld wat in die normale verloop van sy sake met Pretorius se Abante-groep aan hom betaal is.

Regter Monde Samela het in Mei vanjaar uitspraak voorbehou.

Makelaar moet vyf se R2,4 m. teruggee

11 Aug

MARELIZE BARNARD
Die Burger
10 Augustus 2014

KAAPSTAD. – “Daar is geen risiko nie. Ek het van my eie geld ook daar belê.”

Michal Calitz, eienaar van Impact Financial Consultants, het volgens ’n belegger in wyle Herman Pretorius se piramideskema haar met dié woorde oortuig om haar aftreegeld by Pretorius te belê.

Die belegger, Martha Jooste, is een van vyf beleggers wat suksesvolle eise by die ombudsman vir finansiële adviseurs en tussengangers (Fais) ingedien het om Calitz te dwing om hul beleggings terug te betaal.

Calitz moet R2,4 miljoen en rente aan dié vyf terugbetaal.

R165 000: Die ombudsman, Noluntu Bam, het in haar uitspraak in Jooste se aansoek uitgewys dat Jooste ’n klerk was met ’n halfdagwerk. Sy het al haar geld (R165 000) in Oktober 2004 in Pretorius se Rela­tive Value Arbitrage Fund (RVAF) belê vir haar aftrede. Volgens Jooste is sy nooit raad gegee oor die RVAF as verskansingsfonds nie. Calitz het haar glo wel gerusgestel dat daar geen risiko was nie en dat hy van sy eie geld daarin belê het.
R460 000: In nog ’n aansoek is Calitz gelas om R460 000 plus rente aan Johannes Hartshorne te betaal. Hartshorne se vrou het by Calitz navraag gedoen oor die RVAF en Pretorius, waarop Calitz haar verseker het dat Pretorius ’n man van integriteit was. Maar in die twee weke voor Julie 2012 toe Pretorius eers ’n oudkollega en daarna homself doodgeskiet het, het Calitz vir Hartshorne gebel en gesê hy is ongemaklik met die situasie by die RVAF. Calitz het in daardie stadium sy kliënte gewaarsku om eerder hul beleggings te onttrek, of Pretorius te gaan spreek. Dit was te laat.
R600 000: Bam het gelas dat Calitz aan Robert Whitfield-Jones R600 000 met rente moet betaal vir twee beleggings – van onderskeidelik R350 000 en R250 000 – wat op sy aanbeveling in die RVAF gemaak is.
R500 000: Calitz moet ook R500 000 plus rente van 15,5% per jaar aan Craig Inch terugbetaal. Inch het jare lank pensioengeld bymekaar gemaak en dit op Calitz se aanbeveling in die RVAF belê.
R700 000: Calitz moet ook R700 000 aan Garvitte Lombard terugbetaal.

Beleggers het op advies van Calitz meer as R86 miljoen in Pretorius se skema belê.

Susan-Ann se huis van R13,3 m.

7 Aug

Author: Marelize Barnard

Publications: Die Burger

Date Published : 07 August 2014

Binneversiering alleen is etlike miljoene rand werd, meen kenner

KAAPSTAD. – “Projek Van De Graaf – Nuwe huis in Welgemoed”.

Dié droomhuis van Susan-Ann Pretorius in Welgemoed wat aanstaande week opgeveil word, het die tjeks laat loop na ’n internasionaal bekende argitek, ’n net so bekende binneversierder, en die meesterbouers wat die argitektoniese wonder gebou het.

Aan die meesterbouers Bos en Punt is tussen 23 Februarie 2005 en 25 Oktober dieselfde jaar nege tjeks uitgemaak met bedrae van tot R1,6 miljoen elk.

Die internasionale argitekfirma Stefan Antoni Olmesdahl Truen Architects (SAOTA) het die Welgemoed-gesinshuis vir wyle Herman Pretorius en sy vrou, Susan-Ann, ontwerp.

Hiervoor is nog tjeks uitgemaak – onder meer een vir R148 000.

Die binneversiering is behartig deur Antoni Associates.

Dit is onbekend wat die dubbel erf in Welgemoed oorspronklik gekos het alvorens die drieverdiepinghuis daarop gebou is.

Luidens hofstukke wat by die Wes-Kaapse hooggeregshof ingedien is in die sekwestrasie aansoek teen Susan-Ann, is genoem in die tydperk van 23 Februarie 2005 tot 16 Januarie 2007 is R13,3 miljoen betaal aan die bouers en ontwerpers vir die projek.

Geld wat volgens die likwidateurs van Pretorius se besigheidstrusts as deel van ’n bedrogspul van beleggers se geld oorbetaal is om vir die Pretorius-gesin se luukse lewe te kan betaal.

’n Lys van 115 aankope vir die binneversiering van die huis is vantevore as deel van die aansoek by die hooggeregshof ingedien.

Met Susan-Ann se sekwestrasie is gelas dat sy uit die huis moet trek.

Sy het dit blykbaar Saterdag gedoen, ’n dag voor die huis Sondag as skouhuis oopgestel is vir belangstellende kopers.

Die huis is Sondag weer as skouhuis oop vir die publiek. Dit word op 15 Augustus met meubels en al op die plek opgeveil.

Wat sê ’n kenner:

Jacques Paulsen, van Paulsen Designs, se kommentaar nadat hy ’n paar foto’s van die huis gesien het:

  •  “Hierdie gesinswoning – met al sy luukse bykomstighede en binneversiering gedoen tot in die fynste besonderhede en gedetailleerde kontemporêre styl – is beslis met ’n baie fyn oog beplan . . .
  •  Tydloos, maar tog van pas sodat dit nege jaar later nog steeds kan kers vashou by die tipiese wonings van dieselfde kaliber aan die Atlantiese kus se eksklusiewe woonbuurte.
  •  Die argitektuur spreek vanself. Die vloei van die vertrekke verleen die idee dat hierdie huis ontwerp is met die oog om te onthaal en ook vir gesinsbyeenkomste.
  •  Die kuns is definitief en spesifiek beplan om die argitektuur te komplementeer.

Dit is ’n fyn balans waar die argitektuur en die binneversiering in perfekte harmonie is.

  •  Na my mening sal ’n huis van hierdie standaard se binne-ontwerp en -versiering in vandag se ekonomie jou in die omgewing van R3 miljoen tot R4 miljoen kos.”

(Dit sluit die struktuur, swembad, gimnasium, motorhuis met marmerteëls, ontwerpte tuin en goeie adres uit).

 

 

 

 

The Late Herman Pretorius’ Welgemoed Family Home to Go Under ClareMart‘s Hammer

5 Aug

Author: Property Wheel

Publications: Property Wheel

Date Published: 04 August 2014

The luxury fully furnished designer family home belonging to the wife of the late Herman Pretorius, who was implicated for his involvement in various hedge fund investment schemes, will be presented for public auction by the ClareMart Auction Group on site in Welgemoed on Friday, August 15 at 12 noon. This final auction of Pretorius linked properties is that of 26 Van De Graaf Street, which forms part of the Insolvent Estate of Mrs Susan Ann Pretorius and is instructed by Progressive Administration.

“Our Group has been instructed to sell various properties associated with Pretorius, his family and his companies and began the process of winding up the various matters in 2013, starting with the much publicized auction of the family’s Voelklip beach house in Hermanus. We then proceeded to auction with a Claremont apartment in Liquidation which was associated with Pretorius and his RZT Zelpy 4005 (Pty) LTD company, and we are now finally to dispose of the Welgemoed estate, to be vacated by Mrs Pretorius at the end of July” says Group Chief Executive Officer, Jonathan Smiedt.

The multi-level fully automated and integrated four bedroom home is situated atop the Welgemoed crest and offers spectacular views from almost every vantage point and was architecturally and interior designed by a leading South African based firm. “The Avant-garde villa styled modern masterpiece boasts a marble entrance hall with water feature which leads on to an open plan living area comprising two lounges and two dining areas” says Smiedt. The state of the art fully fitted kitchen which is to be sold equipped with all the Siemens appliances is complimented by marble counter tops.

For entertainment there is a home theatre with a large flat screen audio visual system, complete with Bose surround sound speakers and the unique residence boasts a wine cellar. Fitness and leisure pursuits are catered for by an equipped gymnasium with sauna as well as an outdoor extra length rim flow swimming pool. “The pool is located on a wraparound marble patio which is complimented by a bathroom and which enjoys an open braai area” says Smiedt. Upstairs is accessed via a glass and marble staircase and comprises three en-suite bedrooms as well as a fourth master bedroom with dressing area all of which lead on to a wraparound balcony with views of the immaculately landscaped gardens and mountains beyond.

Further features of this singular home which has an estimated replacement value in excess of R20million, include an en-suite flatlet and for convenience there is a storage area, a double garage and all-call air phone with speakers. “Security has been given paramount importance and the residence is protected by electric fencing and an alarm system with CCTCV” adds Smiedt.

The luxurious and exclusive property as well as all of its tasteful, sophisticated and well-appointed furnishings, fixtures and fittings will be on show on Sunday, August 3 from 2pm to 5pm and Sunday, August 10 from 2pm to 5pm. The auction will take place on-site on Friday, August 15 at 12 noon and for information contact Andrew Koch or Twane Scholes on 021 425 8822 or visit http://www.claremart.co.za

More woes for hedge fund adviser

4 Aug

Author: Angelique Arde

Publications: iOL

Date Published: 03 August 2014

The Ombud for Financial Services Providers has handed down another ruling – the fifth so far – against financial adviser Michal Calitz, who advised a number of his clients to invest in the Relative Value Arbitrage Fund (RVAF), which turned out to be a scam.

Calitz was paid R8.4 million in share profits from the RVAF before it collapsed in July 2012, the month the master-mind of the scheme, Herman Pretorius, committed suicide. The RVAF collected an estimated R2.2 billion from about 3 000 investors.

In the latest ruling, ombud Noluntu Bam ordered Calitz to repay Garvitte Herman Lombard R700 000.

According to the ruling, Calitz alleged that he did not introduce Lombard to the RVAF. He claimed that another of his clients who had invested in the scheme had. He also claimed that he told Lombard that the RVAF was an unregulated hedge fund, and that the fund manager, Abante Capital, was registered with the Financial Services Board. He contested that Lombard was satisfied with the risk and that the funds invested constituted about 10 percent of Lombard’s portfolio. The RVAF investment was to diversify the client’s portfolio.

In the latest ruling, ombud Noluntu Bam ordered Calitz to repay Garvitte Herman Lombard R700 000.

According to the ruling, Calitz alleged that he did not introduce Lombard to the RVAF. He claimed that another of his clients who had invested in the scheme had. He also claimed that he told Lombard that the RVAF was an unregulated hedge fund, and that the fund manager, Abante Capital, was registered with the Financial Services Board. He contested that Lombard was satisfied with the risk and that the funds invested constituted about 10 percent of Lombard’s portfolio. The RVAF investment was to diversify the client’s portfolio.

But in her determination, Bam refers to her first ruling against Calitz and the “key issues”: his failure to understand the entity and the risks to which he was exposing his clients, whose funds were transferred directly into the RVAF “without even the protection afforded by a nominee account”.

“Quite simply, no adviser would have recommended this product as a suitable component of any investment portfolio had they exercised the required due skill, care and diligence,” Bam says.

Lombard relied on Calitz’s advice, and Calitz failed to act in accordance with the Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services Act.

Calitz is the owner of Impact Financial Consultants, an authorised financial services provider in Bellville, Western Cape. He is a member of the Financial Planning Institute and is an accredited Certified Financial Planner.

Beleggers bekyk Pretorius se huis

4 Aug

Author: Marelize Barnard

Publications: Die Burger

Date Published : 04 August 2014

Foto: liza van heerden

KAAPSTAD. – Die swembad is nou groen en die gras is lank, maar die miljoenêrshuis se motorhuis het steeds die marmer­teëls waarop wyle Herman Pretorius sy Aston Martin kon trek.

Die ontwerpershuis van Susan-Ann Pretorius in Welgemoed, wat met die geld gebou is van beleggers wat R2,2 miljard by Pretorius belê het, is gister vir die publiek oopgestel. Die huis word op 15 Augustus deur ClareMart opgeveil nadat Susan-Ann gesekwestreer is.

’n Egpaar wat R1,7 miljoen by Pretorius belê het, was van die mense wat na dié moderne huis kom kyk het.

“Dit is maar deel van ’n mens se manier om dinge te verwerk. Dit is regtig ’n hartseersaak en tragies dat jy mense met jou hele lewe vertrou en dan gebeur dít,” het een vrou gesê terwyl sy voor die groot elektroniese hekke gewag het vir die afslaers om ’n volgende groep mense in die huis toe te laat.

“ ’n Mens belê vir jou oudag, en dan is daar boggerol.”

Mense kon tussen 14:00 en 17:00 die miljoenêrshuis besigtig. Sommige mense agter in die ry het omgedraai toe die wind snerpend geraak het.

Die huis het drie vlakke met ’n uitsig oor Welgemoed. Selfs uit die bad in die hoofslaapkamer is daar ’n uitsig op die Bolandse berge.

In die gimnasium is daar verskeie hoogs elektroniese oefenmasjiene en die een muur is net spieëls. Daar is ’n platskerm-televisie teen ’n ander muur.

Die fliekkamer het losstaande leermeubels. Hier het daar gister ’n DVD van Tiger Woods gelê. In een van die twee motorhuise is verskeie gholfstelle. Vier stelle word saam met die huis en inhoud opgeveil.

Van die huisware wat Susan-Ann opgeëis het en nie op die veiling is nie, sluit in ’n marmerlessenaar, ’n driestuk-sitkamerstel, ’n 46-duim-platskermtelevisiestel, 12 eetkamerstoele, ’n cappuccino-maker, ’n dubbeldeur-yskas, ’n koningingrootte bed, wasmasjien en tuimeldroër in.

Die huis is ook volgende Sondag tussen 14:00 en 17:00 op skou voor dit later vandeesmaand opgeveil word.

 

26 VAN DE GRAAF STREET, WELGEMOED

2 Aug

AUCTION DATE: FRIDAY, 15 AUGUST, 2014 AT 12H00
WEBREF: 8023

http://www.claremart.co.za/auction/26-van-de-graaf-street-welgemoed

ARCHITECTURALLY DESIGNED MODERN MULTI LEVEL HOME WITH SPECTACULAR VIEWS & LANDSCAPED GARDENS
INSOLVENCY
EXTENT: 3238m²
Marble entrance hall with water feature
Open plan fully fitted kitchen with Siemens appliances
Marble counter tops
2 x Lounges
2 x Dining areas
Wrap around Marble patio
Bathroom
All call air phone with speakers
Outside Braai area
Long narrow rim flow pool
Glass & Marble stair­case
Double Garage
Wine Cellar
Theatre room with large flat screen & Bose surround sound speakers
Gymnasium & Sauna
Storage area
En-suite flatlet
All Suite Upper level with 3 En-suite Bedrooms
Master suite with dressing area, walk in bathroom
Wrap around balcony accessible to all bedrooms
Alarm
CCTV
Electric Fencing
Pipe music facilities
Landscaped gardens

http://www.claremart.co.za/auction/26-van-de-graaf-street-welgemoed

Kan Pretorius-slagoffers van banke eis?

1 Aug

Author: Die Burger leser

Publications: Die Burger – Briewe Kolom

Date Published : 1 August 2014

Na aanleiding van ’n leser se verwysing (DB, 25.07) na die Herman Pretorius-debakel:

’n Vraag wat by my op­gekom het, is of beleggers wat geld by Pretorius belê het, ’n eis om skadevergoeding teen sekere banke kan instel.

Dit is nou die banke by wie hulle geld inbetaal het ten gunste van Pretorius – as daardie banke nie destyds sy besonderhede, soos vereis ingevolge die Fica-wetgewing ten tyde van die opening van sy bankrekening, na behore gekontroleer het nie.

Willem Smit

Durbanville

Stilte oor Herman Pretorius verbaas

25 Jul

Author: Sê Maar Net – Tygerberg

Publications: Die Burger – Briewe Kolom

Date Published : 25 Julie 2014

Almal skryf briewe en SMS’e aan Die Burger oor “Die Stem” wat “daardie man wat praat in plaas van sing” op ‘n fees gesing het. Dit gaan my verstand te bowe dat niemand tot dusver geskryf het oor die “skatryk” Herman Pretorius van Welgemoed nie. Dis nou hy wat soveel mense uit hul spaargeld geswendel en toe homself en sy vennoot doodgeskiet het.
Nou sien ek in die koerant sy huis word op 3 Augustus op ‘n veiling verkoop. Ek moes twee keer lees verlede Dinsdag, 15 Julie, net om seker te maak dat ek reg lees dat die vrou R13 miljoen se verbeterings aan die huis aangebring het. Dit skrei ten hemel!
Het niemand wat hier uit hul geld verkul is, iets te sê nie – hulle of hul familie of vriende hier in Bellville?
Ek vra maar net, want eintlik ken ek nie iemand wat só verkul is nie, want ons mense is maar skugter met ons ou geldjies – nie so geldgierig om gou ryk te word nie.

Sê Maar Net
Tygerberg

Ponzi king’s estate bringing in millions – but not enough

22 Jul

Sunday Times
20 July 2014
Nashira Davids

http://www.timeslive.co.za/sundaytimes/

About R20-million could be added next month to the kitty being accumulated to compensate 3000 investors who lost a total of R2.2-billion in Herman Pretorius’s Ponzi scheme.
The Cape Town mansion he shared with his wife, Susan, will be auctioned on August 15. With decor reportedly worth R13-million, it is expected to sell about the same as his Hermanus beach villa, which brought in R17.8-million last year.
zpretorius, from the tiny Western Cape village of Piketberg, rose to become a high-flying businessman with a fleet of luxury cars, at least two mansions and millions in his bank account.
But the good life came to a sudden end when he shot dead his business partner, Julian Williams, reportedly after an argument over money, and then turned the gun on himself.
Since then, the full extent of his scam has come to light and the trustees of the fund he ran have been trying to find his assets.
It is not an easy job, because books and other records were not properly kept and no financial statements were compiled, making it difficult to reconstruct business transactions.
What the trustees did uncover was a life of opulence paid for with money invested in his Relative Value Arbitrage Fund Trust.
Much like her husband’s investors, Susan “lost everything”, her lawyer, Etienne Naude, said.
Susan, who is the registered owner of the Welgemoed house, was sequestrated in October last year.
Naude said his client “is saddened about having to lose that house as well”.
According to the auctioneers ClareMart, the cost of the land and the construction of the home totalled about R20-million.
“There have been countless queries from potential buyers,” said a spokesman for the group.
The house has a marble entrance hall, marble counter tops and wraparound marble patio.
It has its own theatre, gymnasium and sauna, and boasts an excellent view and landscaped gardens.
Pretorius’s estate was sequestrated in the High Court in Cape Town last year.
Judge Owen Rodgers found that Pretorius had “attractedlarge sums from gullible members of the public (many of them from country towns in the Western Cape) by promising above average returns of 14% to 25% per annum – the time-honoured method originally made famous in the 1920s by Mr Charles Ponzi”.
Rodgers noted that Pretorius had no income apart from that derived from his investment scheme and that his wife had not worked since 1991.
But they had 10 properties, reportedly worth R116.9-million, and six cars, including an Aston Martin DBS and a Range Rover.
Rodgers remarked that Pretorius’s wife had said that she and her adult sons “know very little about the investment business and cannot be held accountable if it should transpire that Mr Pretorius acted unlawfully”. Other properties sold include: A luxury three-bedroom apartment in Claremont that fetched R3.3-million; A luxury beach villa in Hermanus – featuried on the cover of House and Leisure magazine in 2012 – scooped up for R17.85-million; Vacant land in Hermanus, auctioned for R 863 840; and “A-Grade” office space at the TygerWaterfront with 51 parking bays, sold for R14.9-million.
They also owned a property in Oranjezicht, vacant land in Wesfleur and a holiday home in Malgas were also on the list of sales.
Piet Serdyn, 73, of Moorreesburg, said he lost all his retirement savings when he invested with Pretorius shortly before his suicide.
He has little hope of getting any of his money back.
All we, as investors, can do is sit and wait. There is nothing we can do about it.

Hedge fund scam: more rulings

21 Jul

Author: Angelique Arde

Publications: iOL

Date Published: 20 July 2014

Michal Calitz, the financial adviser who was paid R8.4 million in share profits from the Relative Value Arbitrage Fund (RVAF), which was, in fact, a scam, has been ordered to compensate two more clients who lost money after he advised them to invest in it.

The RVAF collapsed after Herman Pretorius, the mastermind of the scheme, shot his business partner and committed suicide in July 2012. The scheme collected an estimated R2.2 billion from about 3 000 investors.

In the two latest rulings by the Ombud for Financial Services Providers, Calitz has been ordered to repay Dr Johannes Hartshorne R460 000 and Martha Jooste R165 000.

This brings to four the number of rulings by ombud Noluntu Bam against Calitz (Personal Finance reported recently on the previous two rulings, and the reports can be viewed at http://www.persfin.co.za).

Calitz is the owner of Impact Financial Consultants, an authorised financial services provider with offices in Bellville, Western Cape. Calitz is a member of the Financial Planning Institute (FPI) and an accredited Certified Financial Planner.

Bam’s latest rulings show that in the weeks leading up to Pretorius’s death, Calitz advised both Hartshorne and Jooste to disinvest from the RVAF – “but by that stage it was already too late”.

In both cases, Calitz had been an adviser to the complainants for many years.

Hartshorne contends that Calitz never told him that neither the RVAF nor Pretorius were registered with the Financial Services Board (FSB) and that there could be potential risks.

“On the contrary, Calitz told [Hartshorne’s] wife that Pretorius was a person of integrity and that the RVAF was performing well.”

Hartshorne also told the ombud that Calitz did not carry out a risk assessment on him.

Jooste complained that Calitz assured her that there was no risk of investing in the RVAF and that he had invested some of his own money in the fund, which “was managed by professional people with industry experience”.

Jooste’s R165 000 was her entire investible capital and had been sitting in an Absa money market investment account before Calitz persuaded her that the RVAF was her best option.

In response to both complaints, Calitz claims to have explained to his clients the workings of a hedge fund and that these instruments are not regulated but that investment manager Abante Capital through which the investments were channelled was registered with the FSB.

But in both determinations, the ombud says the key issues, as with previous rulings against Calitz, pertain to the rendering of advice to invest in the RVAF – principally, Calitz’s “failure to understand the entity and the risks to which he was exposing his clients”.

She reiterates that no adviser would have recommended the RVAF as a suitable component in “any” investment portfolio had they exercised the required due skill, care and diligence.

The FPI responds

Jacqui Grovè, the legal and compliance services manager for the FPI, says that when the news broke about the RVAF, the FPI launched an enquiry to find out whether any FPI members might have been involved in the scheme.

By the end of last year the FPI had evidence of the possible involvement of two members, she says.

“Our investigation was made difficult by the fact that, despite our best efforts, we could not find sufficient verifiable evidence with respect to these members. We then took a decision to await the results of the ombud’s investigation.”

The release of the financial advice ombud’s determinations has provided the FPI with [the] information [needed] to proceed with disciplinary action, Grovè says.

“We are now proceeding as speedily as possible, having regard for due process, with finalising hearings. We shall publish the results of these hearings.”

Although the ombud’s rulings carry the weight of a high court ruling, Grovè says an FPI member is “deemed innocent until found guilty by a competent FPI disciplinary panel of his or her peers”.

She says the institute’s purpose is to benefit the public by ensuring that its members can be trusted always to put their clients interests’ first.

Pretorius-weduwee se spoghuis gou opgeveil

15 Jul

Author: Marelize Barnard

Publications: Die Burger

Date Published : 15 Julie 2014

KAAPSTAD. – Susan-Ann Pretorius, weduwee van die swendelaar Herman Pretorius, se ontwerpershuis met sewe slaapkamers, ’n wynkelder, gimnasium, sauna, private bioskoop en “marmer net waar ’n mens kyk” gaan in Augustus opgeveil word.

Dié miljoenêrshuis in Welgemoed en sy “internasionaal ontwerpte inhoud” is met Pretorius se swendelaarsinkomste gebou en ingerig. Beleggers het R2,2 miljard by Pretorius belê.

Nadat Susan-Ann in die Wes-Kaapse hooggeregshof gesekwestreer is, het die trustees van Pretorius se Relative Value Arbi­trage Fund (RVAF) en Seca Trust die afslaers ClareMart gekry om die huis op te veil.

Altesaam 11 bedrae wat aan Bos & Punt-bouers vir bouwerk aan die eiendom betaal is, wissel van R34 200 tot R1,6 miljoen elk. Altesaam R13,3 miljoen is binne twee jaar aan bouers en binneversierders betaal.

Susan-Ann was te alle tye die geregistreerde eienaar van die ­eiendom in Van de Graaffstraat in Welgemoed.

Die weelde word gewys in foto’s waarmee die veiling geadverteer word. Die veiling is op 15 Augustus op die perseel. Die eiendom en inhoud word as ’n eenheid opgeveil.

Jonathan Smiedt, uitvoerende hoof van ClareMart, het gister gesê die huis is eksklusief ontwerp en is “dié huis om in te woon” in die noordelike voorstede.

“Dit is nie jou alledaagse huis nie. Elke hoek en muur is met ’n spesifieke doel ontwerp en afgewerk.

“Die mure is afgewerk deur Marmoran, ’n onderneming wat bekend is vir sy dekoratiewe muurafwerking. Die geoutomatiseerde stelsel sluit in ’n verkoelde wynkelder, en daar is pragtige groot marmerteëls.”

Wanneer Smiedt die huis beskryf, gebruik hy die woorde “duur . . . duur . . . duur” in elke sin.

Die private bioskoop het ’n reuseskerm en sitplek vir sowat 50 mense. Langsaan is die geoutomatiseerde wynkelder.

Dan is daar nog die marmerstoep reg rondom die huis, die ontwerperstuin en die uitsig.

’n Lys van altesaam 115 aankope vir die binneversiering van die huis is vantevore as deel van die aansoek om Susan-Ann se sekwestrasie by die hooggeregshof ingedien.

Dit sluit in ’n sitkamerbank van R59 353, nóg een van R33 375 en ’n koffietafel van R17 800 vir een van die sitkamers.

Nog ’n sitkamerbank vir die Pretorius-gesin se gesinskamer het R48 600 gekos. Twee tafels, een van R35 283 (vir ’n eetkamer) en ’n ander van R45 157 (vir ’n braaikamer), is ook op die lys van aankope.

Met Susan-Ann se sekwestrasie is gelas dat sy al die meubels in die huis moes agterlaat en slegs basiese huisware, soos haar bed en ’n yskas, verwyder.

Die eiendom en inhoud kan op 3 en 10 Augustus deur voornemende kopers besigtig word.

Hedge fund scam: second ruling

13 Jul

Author: Angelique Arde          

Publications: iOL

Date Published: 13 Jul 2014

The Ombud for Financial Services Providers has handed down another ruling against financial planner Michal Calitz of Impact Financial Consultants in Bellville.

Calitz earned R8.4 million in so-called share profits from the Relative Value Arbitrage Fund (RVAF), which purported to be a hedge fund but was, in fact, a scam.

The RVAF collapsed after its architect, Herman Pretorius, shot himself in July 2012. The fund is in liquidation, and its trustees have indicated that some, if not all, investor funds have been lost.

Both of Bam’s rulings against Calitz are the result of complaints by clients who invested in the RVAF on his advice.

The latest ruling states that, acting on Calitz’s advice, Robert Whitfield-Jones invested two amounts in the RVAF: R350 000 in March 2009 and R250 000 in February 2012. The money for both investments came from Whitfield-Jones’s unit trust fund investments. Calitz told his client that he could earn a better return if he invested in the RVAF.

Whitfield-Jones says he knew nothing about the risks associated with investing in a hedge fund and trusted Calitz to render the best advice, particularly because they had a relationship that went back several decades.

Holding Calitz accountable for his loss of R600 000, Whitfield-Jones turned to Bam for compensation.

In her determination, Bam refers to her previous ruling against Calitz in which she found that, “on the objective evidence, he could not have conducted even the most basic due diligences on the RVAF”.

The issues pertain to Calitz’s failure to understand the RVAF and the risks to which he exposed his clients when he advised them to invest in it, she says.

“Quite simply, no adviser would have recommended this product as a suitable component of any investment portfolio had they exercised the required due skill, care and diligence,” Bam says.

Whitfield-Jones, as a client of a registered financial adviser, relied on Calitz’s advice when he made the investment. When rendering financial services to clients, the financial services provider is required to act in accordance with the Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services Act and its code of conduct. Calitz failed in this regard, Bam says.

She ordered him and his company, jointly and severally, to pay Whitfield-Jones R600 000.

Calitz holds a postgraduate diploma in financial planning and has the Certified Financial Planner accreditation. He is a member of the Financial Planning Institute (FPI), which has its own code of conduct.

The FPI has yet to discipline any of its members who advised clients to invest in the RVAF. In October 2013, the FPI said it was expecting to hold disciplinary hearings in December. The outcomes of the disciplinary hearings would be published once the appeal period had expired. But to date no outcomes have been published. Personal Finance has had no response to questions put to the FPI’s legal and compliance services manager.

Pretorius: Makelaar moet geld teruggee

10 Jul

Author: Marelize Barnard

Publications: Die Burger

Date Published : 10 Mei 2014

KAAPSTAD. – ’n Makelaar wat beleggers na wyle Herman Pretorius se beleggingskema gelok het, moet R500 000 plus rente terugbetaal aan een van dié beleggers.

Die ombudsman vir finansiële adviseurs en tussengangers (Fais), Noluntu Bam, het ’n bevel gemaak dat die makelaar van Bellville, Michal Calitz, en sy beslote korporasie, Impact Finansiële Konsultante, die R500 000 en rente van 15,5% per jaar moet terugbetaal.

Die klaer in die saak, Craig Inch, het jare lank pensioengeld bymekaargemaak en dit op Calitz se aanbeveling in Pretorius se Rela­tive Value Arbitrage Fund (RVAF) belê.

Inch se geld was vantevore in die geldmark belê en hy het dit nooit oorweeg om dit in ’n verskansingsfonds te belê nie.

Volgens Inch se weergawe in sy aansoek by Fais het Calitz hom verseker dat dit ’n stabiele fonds is en Inch se geld is op 30 Maart 2010 by RVAF inbetaal.

Hy wou op 26 Julie 2012 sy geld onttrek, maar het ’n dag later uitgevind dat Pretorius dood is.

Preto­rius het op 26 Julie 2010 selfmoord gepleeg nadat hy ’n oudkollega, Julian Williams, doodgeskiet het.

In die Fais-ombudsman se uitspraak word genoem dat Calitz aangevoer het dat hy nie verantwoordelikheid kan aanvaar vir wat blyk die “doelbewuste poging van een persoon was om beleggers te bedrieg nie”.

Verder word genoem dit is kommerwekkend dat Inch se geld reeds op 30 Maart 2010 in die RVAF Trust se bankrekening inbetaal is, terwyl ’n ooreenkoms daaroor eers op 7 April onderteken is. Die belegging is gemaak “voor enige dokumente onderteken is”.

Bam het verder gesê daar is geen bewyse deur Calitz gebied dat die ware risiko aan Inch verduidelik is nie.

“Nóg Pretorius nóg die RVAF was gelisensieer . . . Calitz moes geweet het dat die Fais-wetgewing nie nagekom is nie.”

Verder is daar geen behoorlike boekhouding of rekords deur Pretorius gehou nie. Dit is ’n belangrike kwessie wat Calitz nie kan verduidelik om te bewys dat hy ’n behoorlike ondersoek na die RVAF se sake gedoen het nie.

“Dit is duidelik dat Calitz blindelings aanvaar het wat aan hom gesê is oor die RVAF, want hy het beslis nooit die moeite gedoen om navraag te doen oor die finansiële state wat nooit bestaan het nie,” lui Bam se uitspraak.

Are industry regulators preserving the integrity of the industry?

9 Jul

Author: Jonathan Faurie

Publications: FANews

Date Published: 9 Jul 2014

Are we as an industry being protected by the regulator? We often receive determinations sent to us by the office of the Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services Ombudsman (FAIS Ombud), and there is a common thread in most of the determinations. There are certain advisers in the industry who seemingly have a blatant disregard for the Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services (FAIS) Act and they think that they can get away with defrauding clients.

Predictably they do not always get away, as the Ombud have an open door policy for the public to raise any concerns that they have regarding an adviser. The Ombud then investigates the claim and if it is found that the adviser is guilty a fine will be imposed. But is this enough? This is the question we are left with to reflect on after reading a recent determination handed down by the FAIS Ombud.

Negotiating a normal client interaction

Dr Craig Inch (complainant), a dental practitioner, was seeking an investment plan that would best suit his needs and help grow his savings. After recommendation by a college, the complainant arranged a meeting with Michal Calitz (respondent) to discuss the possible investments which would be best for the complainant.

During the original discussion, a number of unit trusts were discussed and it was recommended that the complainant look into these unit trusts. A follow-up meeting was arranged and the respondent made mention of a hedge fund that the complainant’s college, who was a client of the respondent, had spoken of. The fund was doing well and the complainant asked the respondent if he knew of any other funds which operated in a similar manner. The respondent recommended the Relative Value Arbitrage Fund (RVAF).

The complainant was hesitant to invest in a high risk fund as he was thinking of investing his whole life savings into this fund and could not afford to lose it. In the complainants version to the Ombud, he said that he made this very clear to the respondent. He asked the respondent to explain the RVAF in more detail to which the respondent explained that the fund took long positions in stocks which were expected to increase in value and short positions on stocks which were expected to decrease in value.

The complainant then asked about the performance of the fund to which the respondent assured him that the fund’s performance was in the region of twenty percent per annum.

The plot thickens

The respondent apparently told the complainant that a hedge fund was not regulated in the same way as a unit trust portfolio. The respondent then assured the complainant that the RVAF fund did have all of the correct paperwork and documentation. During the investigation of the Ombud, it was clear that this was not the case.

With regards to the fee structure, the complainant was told (as he remembers it) that he did not have to pay a fee and instead that twenty percent of the profits generated from the fund would be used as a fee.

The complainant obviously felt uneasy about the investment because he once again mentioned his reluctance to invest in a high risk vehicle as he would be investing his whole life savings of R600 000. He asked the respondent how much he should invest and the respondent recommended the complainant invest R500 000. The complainant was assured about the stability of the fund and that it was not influenced by market fluctuations. The respondent reiterated that many of his clients invested in the fund and that he was also an investor in the fund.

When the complainant wanted to withdraw R600 000 from the fund, he emailed a letter of intent to the fund, to which he was informed of the death of Herman Pretorius who was a fund manager and a trustee of the fund.

Opening a can of worms

Unlike many other recent determinations, the respondent did respond to the allegations made to the Ombud.

In his defence, the respondent said that the complainant asked about the RVAF and not the other way around. In the record of advice there was also no indication that the respondent mentioned to the complainant that hedge funds are not regulated in the same way as unit trust funds.

Two articles on a prominent media site unsettled the respondent and prompted him to withdraw all of his client’s savings out of the RVAF. However, he did not mention what particular aspects of the articles made him withdraw the funds.

The respondent further adds that he cannot accept responsibility for what seems to be one person’s deliberate intention to defraud investors.

Unearthing a long list of infringements

The list of aspects of the FAIS Act which the respondent infringed on in this case was very extensive and took up twenty pages in the Ombud’s determination, which can be read here.

One of the most important aspects of the FAIS Act which the respondent contravened was the poor selection of the vehicle in which the funds were invested. During the Ombud’s investigation it was found that there was no financial needs analysis done. The respondent did not present a range of options which could have been invested in other than the RVAF and the complainant never received any documentation that the RVAF was the fund that his capital was invested in. There was also a significant grey area on who the respondent was representing.

Was justice served?

Upon the death of Herman Pretorius, the RVAF went into liquidation and all of the capital invested in the fund was lost. However, the complaint was upheld by the Ombud as it ruled that the capital should never have been invested in this fund in the first place. The respondent was instructed to pay the complainant R500 000 and interest at a rate of fifteen point five percent per year.

What is the role of the Financial Services Board (FSB) in this debacle? Despite the fact that Calitz should have been dealt with by the regulator long before this determination took place, the issue is what will happen to Calitz now? The ruling of the Ombud can hardly be described as a slap on the wrist, but if he is allowed to continue practicing, is justice being served? In all fairness, the FSB should suspend Calitz and never allow him to practice again.

Editor’s Thoughts:
The financial services industry operates on public perception. If the public thinks that one adviser is fraudulent, they may paint a lot of other advisers in the industry with the same brush. The FSB has a duty to fight for the reputation of the industry. Is it fulfilling its role? Please comment below, interact with us on Twitter at @fanews_online or email me your thoughts jonathan@fanews.co.za.

FSP Due Diligence Responsibilities

7 Jul

Author: Paul Kruger

Publications: Moonstone

Date Published: 3 Jul 2014

On Monday, we briefly outlined the background to the first complaint against an advisor who invested client funds in Herman Pretorius’s Relative Value Arbitrage Fund.
In his response to the complaint, the advisor stated, amongst other arguments that he, after reading about possible problems, “…contacted Mr. Pretorius to further investigate the matter. Mr. Pretorius advised me in a meeting at his office that the FSB had visited him and found nothing untoward.”
“If the FSB with all the investigative means at its disposal was not able to detect improper “hedge fund” activities by Pretorius, it surely cannot expect me to have done so.”
He also attached a copy of an e-mail from Tefo Moatshe of the FSB to another adviser dated the 11 May 2009 which states:
“Hedge funds are currently not regulated in South Africa – we only regulate a person who manages a hedge fund portfolio. This means that a person who renders financial services to a client to invest in hedge funds is not a financial services provider and not required to be licensed.”
The Ombud responded to this as follows:
“It is neither considered necessary nor appropriate of this Office to comment on the allegation that the FSB failed to pick up contraventions despite, according to the respondent, the FSB having investigated the business activities of Pretorius on more than one occasion.”
“Whatever the alleged failure on the part of the Financial Services Board, (no opinion is expressed by this Office on this allegation), the respondent’sfailure to conduct even the most basic due diligence is inexcusable. Even more so, given that not only was the respondent directly and regularly interacting with Pretorius and the RVAF, but as discussed hereunder, the respondent was more than amply qualified to pick up on any irregularities.”
The Ombud then expands on the respondent’s membership of a professional body, his obligations under its code of conduct and his professional qualifications.
I find it difficult to reconcile this conclusion with the information published in the media release by the FSB in August 2012 in response to media reports:
“During May 2011 it was brought to the attention of the FSB that Pretorius was “selling shares in unlisted companies” and “promoting these ventures” by making representations to the community.
As the selling of unlisted shares may constitute a financial service as contemplated by the FAIS Act, the FSB followed up on the information which it subsequently received in order to establish whether or not Pretorius was acting in contravention of the FAIS Act, given also the fact that he was not licensed in terms of the FAIS Act.
Some of the findings given were:
“Based on the information supplied in response at the time the FSB was satisfied that:
The private equity or venture capital projects embarked upon or supported by Mr Pretorius did not constitute an activity which was subject to FSB regulation.
Pretorius’s activities did not require a FAIS licence at the time.
The manner in which Pretorius indicated that capital would be raised from investors and the investment vehicle used for the raising of such capital also did not point towards any activity which was subject to FSB regulation or otherwise unlawful…”
The explanations provided to the FSB concerning the nature of the trusts as investment vehicles were such that it could not be established with certainty that their activities were subject to FSB regulation. Some of the ventures were designed for individuals who could properly be considered to be involved in a private domestic affair.”
“Following further complaints received by the FSB in May/June 2012 against Mr. Pretorius it was decided that a formal inspection should be conducted on the affairs of Pretorius and the various investment vehicles utilised in order to establish whether or not the activities of the investment vehicles were subject to FSB regulation. The inspection was under way at the time when Pretorius allegedly committed suicide.”
“There are media reports indicating that concerns were raised with the FSB more than 8 years ago regarding Pretorius’ involvement in hedge funds. In this regard, the FSB wishes to clarify that at that time that these concerns were raised the regulator could not establish any evidence of Pretorius’ activities in hedge funds or any irregularities with regard to the issues that were raised at the time. Further, the FSB wishes to categorically state that, as detailed above, appropriate action was taken from the time that the allegations first surfaced, and that the investigation into this matter is on-going.”
“Concerns have also been raised about how the FSB “allowed what amounts to a gigantic Ponzi scheme to continue under its nose.” Once again, it must be remembered that schemes that are operated outside of and actively in secret from the regulator cannot be said to be operating under the regulator’s nose. Accordingly, to the extent that there was a Ponzi scheme in Pretorius’ activities, such a scheme would have been operated in strict secrecy from the FSB.”
“The FSB is of the view that if there was any non-compliance by Pretorius, it was well-designed not to be subject to regulatory scrutiny. To the extent that investors were lured into any of his projects, such investors carried the risk and obligation to enquire into the merits before parting with their money, especially where above-average returns were being offered. The loss of so much money to so many investors is a sad state of affairs but one for which the regulator is not accountable.”
– See more at: http://www.moonstone.co.za

Investor obtains order for R500 000 refund in RVAF scam

1 Jul

Author: Roy Cokayne          

Publications: iOL

Date Published: 1 Jul 2014

Investor obtains order for R500 000 refund in RVAF scam

Noluntu Bam, the ombud for financial advisory and intermediary services (Fais), yesterday ordered Impact Financial Consultants in Bellville and/or financial adviser Michal Johannes Calitz to repay dentist Dr Craig Stewart Inch the R500 000 he invested in the RVAF.

Bam said the RVAF was nothing short of a scam and initial reports by the joint trustees indicated that most, if not all, investors’ funds had been lost.

She said there were many areas where Calitz was remiss and in direct contravention of the Fais Act. At its simplest, if Calitz had merely requested a set of properly audited financials, the scam would have been revealed, she added.

Bam said this would have been part of basic due diligence. Not only was this elementary step omitted but deficiencies were similarly evident in the lack of any form of proper due diligence study into the fund, its underlying investments or their structure.

Inch said he had trusted Calitz because he was correctly registered as a certified financial planner, a member of the Financial Planning Institute and his company Impact Financial Consultants was correctly licensed with the Financial Services Board (FSB).

He was dismayed that Calitz had not made certain that the investment platform he would be investing his money into was legal, correctly registered and had performed all the necessary due diligences. He had also not checked that RVAF’s fund manager was FSB-licensed, there would be third party verification of returns and valid financial statements and the fund would be correctly audited.

“Calitz acted unethically by investing my money in this ‘hedge fund’. I would never have invested a cent had I known this information.”

Bam said that apart from the issue around the risk profile, the circumstances surrounding the investment were essentially not in dispute, leaving what were essentially allegations about the failure to comply with the Fais Act, including questions of due diligence, appropriateness of advice, licensing and disclosure related to licensing, whether Calitz acted in the interests of his client and the integrity of the financial services industry.

She added that there was no evidence that a need analysis was conducted on Inch and the decision to place the majority of Inch’s savings into such a high risk investment without any diversification defied logic.

Bam said the substantial sums in commissions received by Calitz could simply not be justified when considering the poor quality of advice offered to Inch. She said these commissions were only revealed in a report to creditors in June last year by the trustees of the insolvent estate of the RVAF and a letter dated August 15 last year in which attorneys acting for Calitz conceded that he had received a so-called profit share of R8.44 million.

“Yet on the objective evidence, Calitz could never have conducted even the most basic of due diligences on the RVAF. Calitz placed the funds in a scheme which did not have so much as a financial services provider number, nominee account or even audited financials.

“Schemes such as the RVAF cannot exist without professionals such as Calitz turning a blind eye to legislative requirements,” she said.

FAIS Ombud Rules on RVAF Investment

1 Jul

Author: Paul Kruger

Publications: Moonstone

Date Published: 1 Jul 2014

The reasons for the sad ending to the Relative Value Arbitrage Fund, for both investors and advisors, are evident from this, the first determination by the Ombud on the Herman Pretorius saga.

A client, who invested R500 000 in 2010, complained to the Ombud after losing all his savings when the mastermind behind the fund reportedly committed suicide.

The Ombud quotes the following “important points” from the complaint:

‘I had trust in the respondent as he was correctly registered as a certified financial planner. He was a member of the FPI. His company was FSB licensed. I would never have invested my money in any investment platform by not doing it through a registered financial services provider/certified financial planner. The fact that he is a registered financial services provider makes it certain in my mind that whatever investment platform he would be investing my money in would be:

  • legal
  • correctly registered
  • have all the necessary due diligence performed by himself
  • the fund manager (of RVAF) would be FSB licensed
  • there would be third-party verification of returns
  • there would be valid financial statements
  • the fund would be correctly audited

This, I understand, is not the case at all. I am dismayed that none of the above 7 points were fulfilled and I declare that the respondents acted unethically by investing my money in this “hedge fund”. I would never have invested a cent of my money into this fund had I known this information’ (own emphasis).

The Ombud then proceeds to dissect the evidence in terms of the legal obligations of the advisor, including the following:

  • The duty to identify the client’s needs
  • Disclosures in terms of section 4 and 5 of the Code
  • Information on the product supplier
  • The Code of Conduct for Discretionary Financial Services Providers
  • Risk and hedge fund strategies disclosure as required by the discretionary code and
  • Authorisation to conduct business as a financial services provider

Having dealt at great length with all of the above, the Ombud concludes:

“There are so many areas where the respondent was clearly remiss and in direct contravention of the FAIS Act that it is difficult to recap without repeating all that has already been discussed. At its simplest, had the respondent just requested a set of properly audited financials, the scam would have been revealed. This would have been part of basic due diligence. Yet not only was this (sic) most elementary of steps clearly omitted, but similarly, deficiencies are evident in the complete lack of any form of proper due diligence into the investment vehicle, underlying investments or their structure.”

She quotes from the ground-breaking Durr vs ABSA Bank Ltd and Another 1997 (3) SA 448 (SCA), case which states:

“The important issue is that even if the adviser himself does not have the personal competence to make the enquiries, I believe it is incumbent upon him to harness whatever resources are available to him or if necessary to ask for professional, legal or accounting opinion before committing his client’s funds to such an investment”.

Concerning the respondent’s obligations as a member of a professional body, she states:

“The Code of Ethics requires that the 2nd respondent undertake to act in a manner that displays exemplary professional conduct and maintain the abilities, skills and knowledge necessary to provide professional services competently. In short, the 2nd respondent was certified to a standard above and beyond that of the average financial adviser and must be held to this standard.”

A thorough reading of this determination is highly recommended to all investment advisors. In particular, the views of the Ombud on due diligence will clarify an aspect which is still very murky for many of us.

In Thursday’s Moonstone Monitor we will discuss the Ombud’s view on why the FSB failed to identify problems with the RAVF during on-site visits, which is also discussed in this determination.

Please click here to download the full determination.

 

Continue reading this article

‘Hedge fund’ advice slammed

22 Jun

Author: Angelique Arde

Publications: iOL

Date Published: 22 June 2014

The Ombud for Financial Services Providers has handed down a scathing determination against a financial planner who placed R500 000 of his client’s savings in the Relative Value Arbitrage Fund (RVAF), which was a scam posing as a hedge fund.

The RVAF collapsed after the architect of the scam, Herman Pretorius, reportedly shot his former business partner and then himself in July 2012.

The determination handed down by ombud Noluntu Bam this week reveals that adviser Michal Calitz of Impact Financial Consultants in Bellville, Western Cape, earned R8.4 million in so-called share profits from the RVAF, “yet on the objective evidence he could not have conducted even the most basic due diligence [tests] on the RVAF”.

Calitz placed his client’s funds in a scheme which did not have a financial services provider number, nominee account or even audited financials, Bam’s determination states.

“Schemes such as the RVAF cannot exist without professionals such as Calitz turning a blind eye to legislative requirements,” Bam says.

Calitz holds a post-graduate diploma in financial planning and is a member of the Financial Planning Institute (FPI). This entitles him to call himself a Certified Financial Planner (CFP). He was certified to a standard above that of the average financial adviser and “must be held to that standard”, Bam says.

The ruling follows a complaint by a dentist, Dr Craig Inch, who became Calitz’s client because a friend had recommended him.

According to the ruling, Inch’s friend had told him about a hedge fund that had been performing well, and the dentist asked Calitz about it or others of a similar ilk. Calitz said he did know about it, and mentioned the RVAF.

Not knowing much about hedge funds other than that they can be risky, Inch asked Calitz to explain the fund. Calitz replied that the fund manager was a gentleman he knew very well and that the fund used a technique involving long-short strategies.

When Inch asked about the risks of losing capital due to poor decision-making by the fund manager, Calitz said that although this was possible, the fund had done consistently “very, very well” and provided a return of 20 percent a year without much deviation.

Calitz explained that hedge funds are not regulated in the way that unit trust funds are, but that this fund has “all the correct paperwork”.

Bam says the RVAF had no paperwork by way of registration or licence whatsoever, and in that regard was conducting business illegally.

With all his savings (R600 000) in a money market fund, Inch was not willing to invest his capital with a high risk of loss. But Calitz assured him that the fund was not influenced by market fluctuations. Furthermore, not only had many of his clients invested in the RVAF, but so too had he. Based on this assurance, Inch deposited R500 000 into the RVAF’s bank account on March 30, 2010, the ruling says.

On July 26, 2012, Inch instructed Calitz that he wanted to withdraw R600 000. The following morning, he heard of the death of Pretorius, “the fund manager and trustee of the RVAF”.

The RVAF is in liquidation, and the trustees have indicated that some, if not all, investor funds have been lost. Bam’s ruling says that in a letter dated November 2012, Calitz wrote: “It is presumed that Dr Inch’s funds are lost, although no definite finding has been made by the liquidators.”

Inch told the ombud he trusted Calitz because he is a CFP and his company is registered with the Financial Services Board (FSB). This led him to believe that the product he was investing in was legal and registered, that Calitz had done the necessary due diligence, that the fund manager was licensed with the FSB, that there were valid financial statements and that the fund was audited.

“This is not the case at all. Had I known this, I would never have invested a cent in this fund,” Inch told the ombud. Calitz acted unethically by investing his money in this “hedge fund”, he says.

In response to questions from Bam’s office, Calitz did not provide evidence of having done a financial needs analysis, justifying investing Inch’s savings in a hedge fund, “which is high risk”, or a record of advice, to explain what other products were considered.

Bam says while Calitz supposedly had the qualifications and experience, “he either failed to properly understand what he was dealing with, or, more worryingly, turned a blind eye in favour of lucrative commission, which he received from the RVAF” .

Bam says Calitz ignored the very legislation designed to protect his client, which led to his client’s loss, and ordered him and his company pay Inch R500 000.

Bam’s office has also referred the determination to the FPI.

Read Article

It’s been a year and a half since Herman Pretorius’s Ponzi collapse?

6 Jun

Author: Julius Cobbett

Publications: Twitter

Date Published: 21 May 2014

CobbettTwitter

Pretorius se vrou moet uit spoghuis trek

8 May

Author: Marelize Barnard

Publications: Die Burger

Date Published : 08 Mei 2014

KAAPSTAD. – Susan-Ann Pretorius, weduwee van die swendelaar Herman Pretorius, sal met net basiese meubels en toerusting, soos haar bed en ’n yskas, uit haar miljoenêrshuis in Welgemoed moet trek.

Haar laaste poging in die regsproses om ’n bevel van finale sekwestrasie teen haar te betwis – haar aansoek om verlof tot appèl in die appèlhof in Bloemfontein – is van die hand gewys.

Met elke moontlike regsproses wat nou uitgeput is, sal ’n kennisgewing binne enkele dae aan Pretorius beteken word met die datum wanneer sy uit die huis moet wees.

Die aansoek om haar finaal te sekwestreer is verlede jaar in die Wes-Kaapse hooggeregshof deur die kurators van Pretorius se Relative Value Arbitrage Fund (RVAF) Trust en die Seca Trust ingedien.

Die kurators het aangevoer sy het gebaat by meer as R17 miljoen se betalings uit die rekenings van dié trusts.

Sy is op 21 Oktober finaal gesekwestreer.

Pretorius het hierna elke moontlike regsproses gevolg om die finale bevel, wat deur waarnemende regter Wilhelm van Staden gemaak is, teen te staan en sy kon sedertdien in die spoghuis aanbly.

Pierre du Toit van Mostert en Bosman, regsverteenwoordiger van die kurators, het gister bevestig dat ’n hofbevel op 22 April in die appèlhof gemaak is en dat ­Pretorius se aansoek om verlof tot appèl van die hand gewys is.

Nou moet sy trek.

“Al die meubels moet in die huis agtergelaat word. Susan-Ann sal basiese huisware, soos haar bed en ’n yskas, mag saamneem,” het Du Toit gesê.

Hierna sal die kurators besluit of die spoghuis en meubels deur ’n eiendomsagent bemark kan word en of dit op ’n openbare veiling verkoop sal word.

Kurators sal Pretorius ook verder ondervra in ’n poging om nog bates te probeer opspoor.

Sy sal die geleentheid kry om presies te verduidelik wat op haar bankstate aangaan, en waarvoor bepaalde betalings gemaak is waaroor die kurators moontlike vrae kan hê.

 

Lees Artikel in Die Burger

Makelaar vir diens betaal, hoor hof

7 May

Author:  JANA BREYTENBACH

Publications: Die Burger

Date Published : 07 Mei 2014

KAAPSTAD. – Al het wyle Herman Pretorius ’n onwettige beleggingskema bedryf, beteken dit nie dat “ ’n makelaar wat nou weier om sy fooie terug te betaal daarvan bewus was nie”.

Só is gister aangevoer deur adv. Alasdair Sholto-DouglasSC wat die makelaar Michal Calitz van Bellville in die Wes-Kaapse hooggeregshof verteenwoordig.

Calitz staan ’n aansoek teen wat deur die kurators van Pretorius se gesekwestreerde Rela­tive Value Arbitrage Fund (RVAF)-trust en sy Seca-trust ingedien is.

Die kurators voer aan dat Calitz R6,54 miljoen aan die RVAF-trust en byna R380 000 aan die Seca-trust moet terugbetaal.

Verder word geëis dat Impact Finansiële Konsultante (’n beslote korporasie waarin Calitz ’n 80%-aandeel het) ook sowat R2,1 miljoen aan die twee trusts terugbetaal.

Beleggers het op advies van Calitz meer as R86 miljoen in Pretorius se skema belê.

Adv. Jannie van der Merwe, vir die kurators, het aangevoer dat die betaling aan Calitz onwettig was.

Hy het ook aangevoer dat Pretorius, sy vrou, Susan-Ann, en Eduard Brand die trustees van die Seca-trust was, en dat Pretorius en Brand die enigste trustees van die RVAF-trust was. Pretorius het, sonder om sy mede-trustees insae te gee, oor betalings besluit.

volgens Van der Merwe was dit onwettig.

Boonop was die betalings deel van ’n “onwettige beleggingskema, of Ponzi-skema”, het Van der Merwe gesê.

Sholto-Douglas het namens Calitz aangevoer dat hy ’n diens gelewer het en daarvoor betaal is.

“Dit is geld wat Calitz verdien het en waarop hy belasting betaal het.”

Volgens Sholto-Douglas grond die kurators hul aansoek op hoorsê-getuienis wat nie in dié aansoek ingedien is nie. “Die kurators steun op getuienis wat in die sekwestrasie-aansoek teen Susan-Ann Pretorius ingedien is, en dat dit hoorsê-getuienis in die aansoek teen Calitz is.”

Van der Merwe het gesê ’n regter het die getuienis in die sekwestrasie-aansoek van Susan-Ann Pretorius aanvaar en dat die aansoek dus daarop kan steun.

Indien Calitz nie die geld kan terugbetaal nie, sal daar moontlik ’n aansoek om sekwestrasie teen hom by die hof ingedien kan word, het Van der Merwe gesê.

Regter Monde Samela het uitspraak voorbehou.

Lees Artikel in Die Burger

Belegger sterf aan hartaanval

2 May

Author: Marelize Barnard

Publications: Die Burger

Date Published : 02 Mei 2014

KAAPSTAD. – ’n Sewentigjarige belegger wat met wyle Herman Pretorius se bedrogspul al sy spaargeld vir mediese uitgawes verloor het, is oorlede kort voor hy vrae oor sy beleggings moes beantwoord.

Die likwidateurs van Preto­rius se Relative Value Arbi­trage Fund (RVAF) Trust en die Seca Trust is tans ingevolge regulasies van die Insolvensiewet met geheime ondervragings van beleggers besig.

Die seun van die man wat verlede week aan ’n hartaanval gesterf het, het vertel hoe sy pa die afgelope twee jaar gely het onder die wete dat al die geld wat hy vir hom en sy vrou se mediese onkostes op hul oudag gespaar het nou verlore is.

“Pretorius het soveel mense se lewe verwoes. Herman het alles wat my pa gehad het, gevat,” het die seun gister gesê. Die seun het gevra dat nóg sy naam nóg dié van sy pa gepubliseer word.

Die seun moes verlede week inderhaas van Pretoria na Kaapstad vlieg ná sy pa se hartaanval.

“Hierdie ou (Pretorius) het net soveel lewens verwoes. Die stres wat my pa die afgelope twee jaar gehad het, was geweldig. Dit het die hele tyd in sy kop gemaal dat hy dinge weer moet probeer regkry.”

Die oorledene se een groot vrees was dat daar op sy oudag nie genoeg geld sou wees vir die mediese onkostes van hom en sy vrou nie.

“My pa het 20 jaar lank dieselfde kar gery. Hy het geld by Pretorius belê om te spaar vir sy oudag. Hy was nie gierig nie.

“En só is daar mense in Riversdal en Riebeek-Kasteel . . . Dit is mense wie se hele lewe – soos my pa s’n – die afgelope twee jaar oorheers is deur stres. Dit is stres waarmee jy gaan slaap en opstaan. Dit gaan deur jou kop as jy eet of gaan stap.”

Pretorius, wat R2,2 miljard van beleggers ingevorder het in ’n piramideskema, het op 26 Julie 2012 ’n voormalige sakevennoot, Julian Williams, in die middestad van Kaapstad doodgeskiet en daarna selfmoord gepleeg.

In ’n kennisgewing aan beleggers waarin die redes vir die likwidateurs se insolvensie-ondersoek uiteengesit word, word genoem dat die Insolvensiewet daarvoor voorsiening maak dat enige persoon ondervra kan word wat moontlike inligting of dokumentasie het met betrekking tot die insolvente boedel wat ondersoek word.

Pretorius het, volgens die kennisgewing, nie behoorlik boekgehou nie en die likwidateurs beskou die geheime ondervraging van getuies as noodsaaklik om inligting te bekom

Lees Artikel in Die Burger

Fraud knows no Boundaries

15 Apr

Author Paul Kruger

Publications: InsuranceGateways

Date Published: 15 April 2014

Consumers at the lower end of the market are often more vulnerable when it comes to being defrauded.

The latest Ombud determination provides details of how the Reformed Christians for Truth Church became the victims of an “advisor” (himself a pastor) who was neither registered with the FSB, nor appointed as an agent of the licensed financial service provider he claimed to represent.

The agreement was that he would provide funeral cover for congregants of the church, and that claims would be paid out within 48 hours. The first claim arose in December 2012. When it was not paid by January 2013, the church conducted an investigation and established that “…no funeral cover was in place.”

They referred the matter to the FAIS Ombud. In response to an enquiry from the Ombud, the respondent undertook to settle the outstanding amount before 30 April 2013, but this never happened, and the respondent seems to have disappeared.

The Ombud concluded:

The second respondent’s conduct is not only illegal in terms of the FAIS Act. His conduct is also unlawful in terms of the common law and amounts to fraud. On that basis alone, the second respondent must be held personally liable for the entire amount claimed.

The respondent was ordered to repay the church’s R18 000 within 7 days from date of the determination, and interest hereafter to the date of final payment.

As in the two cases discussed last week, the perpetrator was aware that he needed to be licensed, and that he had to work through a licensed product provider. It appears that he blatantly lied about this. He even used the FSP number of a registered provider despite not being registered as a rep with them.

It is not clear how the church became aware of the office of the Ombud, but at least it managed to get a determination in its favour. What has happened since is anybody’s guess. By January 2014, the outstanding amount had still not yet been paid and the respondent, who undertook to repay the money by the end of April, is missing in action.

There is, of course, no way that the Regulator would have been able to establish or prevent this.

One can only speculate on how many other incidents of this nature occur without the victims having recourse to remedy through ignorance. It is likely that such occurrences are prevalent in this sector of the market. The only long-term remedy appears to be consumer education regarding the safeguards in place to protect them from such scams.

One of the recent amendments to the FAIS Act concerns fit and proper requirements. The following is an extract from a summary written by Alan Holton, a compliance officer and associate of Moonstone:

A new S 6A (Fit and Proper Requirements) has been added to this statute. In terms of S 6A, the registrar must classify financial services providers into different categories and determine fit and proper requirements for each category of providers.

The registrar must then, in each category of providers, determine fit and proper requirements for the key individuals of providers, representatives of providers, key individuals of representatives of providers and compliance officers.

The challenge, of course, does not lie in regulating those in the flock, in a manner of speaking – it is those who opt to operate outside the legal parameters that are most likely to cause harm.

There are currently a number of investment schemes offering above average returns. They do not operate under the radar, advertise brazenly and must be making millions if one looks at their advertising campaigns. Some may well be doing what they promise, but so did major property syndications before market conditions changed.

It seems that the starting point for many of these operators is to set up structures which fall outside the jurisdiction of the regulatory authorities. This appeared to be the case with the Relative Value Arbitrage Fund which camouflaged its business operations in such a way that the FSB was unable to detect anything untoward during an inspection in May 2011. During a further investigation a year later, Herman Pretorius shot his business partner and himself.

There are no easy solutions to the problem of rogue operators. Hopefully, the implementation of Twin Peaks will cast the net wider, and contribute to a safer financial services environment.

Britse hof oor Pretorius se geld genader

16 Mar

Author: Marelize Barnard

Publications:  Die Burger

Date Publiched: 16 Maart 2014

KAAPSTAD. – Likwidateurs wat wyle Herman Pretorius se R2,2 miljard-bedrogspul ondersoek, gaan in die Britse howe aansoek doen om toegang tot sy bankbesonderhede daar te kry.

Dié stap is nodig om uit te vind waarheen onder meer R177 miljoen verdwyn het wat Pretorius vermoedelik in die buiteland versteek het.

Dié bedrag geld is in ’n Switserse bankrekening gedeponeer, maar wat Pretorius daarmee gemaak het, bly ’n raaisel.

Die eerste stap vir die likwidateurs is om ’n hofbevel te verkry wat toegang sal verseker tot ’n bankrekening wat Pretorius by die Britse HSBC-bank gehad het.

Volgens die jongste verslag wat die likwidateurs van Pretorius se gesekwestreerde besigheidsentiteite aan beleggers uitgestuur het, het HSBC tot nou toe geweier om die inligting bekend te maak sonder ’n hofbevel.

Met die hofbevel kan die trustees vasstel hoeveel geld in Pretorius se verskeie oorsese bankrekenings is, maar selfs belangriker nog sal die ondersoek kan voortgaan na watter rekening Pretorius geld verskuif het.

Intussen is ’n regsverteenwoordiger ook in Switserland aangestel om inligting te bekom oor Pretorius se bankrekeninge by Anker-bank in Zürich.

Pretorius het ’n maatskappy genaamd MAT Worldwide Beperk op 4 Januarie 2001 in die Britse Maagde-eilande geregis­treer en dit tot September 2009 – aldus die likwidateurs wat sy sake ondersoek – waarskynlik as ’n “front” gebruik as dié oorsese besigheid waarin hy plaaslike beleggers se geld bestuur het.

Maar ten spyte daarvan dat miljoene ponde deur die jare in MAT Worldwide se rekeninge inbetaal is, is daar blykbaar slegs £450 000 (R7,9 miljoen) van die R177 miljoen in die een bankrekening oor. Dit is luidens die likwidateurs se verslag.

) In ’n prokureursbrief deur Duvenage en De Villiers, van Wellington, wat einde 2012 aan HSBC gestuur is, word genoem dat “lede van Pretorius se familie, werknemers of persone wat lojaal aan hom was”, die dag ná Pretorius se afsterwe twee briewetasse uit sy kantore verwyder het. HSBC Bank is daarop bedag gemaak dat die briewetasse moontlik toegangskodes tot Pretorius se buitelandse bankrekeninge gehad het en dat banktransaksies wat ná sy dood op 26 Julie 2012 gedoen is, waarskynlik onwettig is.

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Vrou gedwing om inligting te openbaar

24 Jan

Author: Marelize Barnard

Publications:  Die Burger

Date Publiched: 24 Januarie 2014

KAAPSTAD. – Regstappe gaan teen Susan-Ann Pretorius, weduwee van die piramide-swendelaar Herman Pretorius, gedoen word om haar “te dwing” om inligting oor haar persoonlike rykdom te verskaf.

Dié stap gaan volg nadat Susan-Ann tot nou toe “geweier het” om met die kurators van Pretorius se Relative Value Arbi­trage Fund (RVAF) Trust en die Seca Trust saam te werk.

Pierre du Toit van Mostert en Bosman, regsverteenwoordiger van die kurators, het gister by navraag bevestig dat die volgende stap is om Susan-Ann “met regstappe te dwing om saam te werk”.

Intussen is Susan-Ann se aansoek om verlof tot appèl teen ’n vroeëre uitspraak waarin sy finaal gesekwestreer is van die hand gewys.

’n Aansoek om Susan-Ann te sekwestreer, is verlede jaar deur die trustees van Pretorius se RVAF- en Seca Trusts ingedien. Die trustees het aangevoer dat sy gebaat het by meer as R17 miljoen se betalings uit die rekenings van dié trusts.

Susan-Ann was deurgaans die geregistreerde eienaar van ’n huis in Welgemoed waarvoor daar binne twee jaar R13,3 miljoen aan bouers en binneversierders betaal is.

Sy het ’n aansoek om verlof tot appèl ingedien teen die uitspraak van waarnemende regter Wilhelm van Staden wat die finale sekwestrasiebevel toegestaan het.

Dit het beteken dat Susan-Ann se spoghuis nie opgeveil kon word tot die regsproses van haar aansoek om verlof tot appèl afgehandel is nie.

Die kurators het intussen steeds die reg gehad om Susan-Ann te ondervra.

Van Staden het gister uiteengesit waarom hy Susan-Ann se aansoek om verlof tot appèl van die hand gewys het.

Hy het daarop gewys dat Susan-Ann aangevoer het dat die bevel van voorlopige sekwestrasie nié aan haar werknemers of die Suid-Afrikaanse Inkomstediens bedien is nie. Rekords wys egter duidelik dat dit wel gedoen is.

Oor ’n tweede bewering deur Susan-Ann dat die hof gefouteer het deur nié ’n polis van R8 miljoen in ag te neem as deel van haar boedel nie, het Van Staden gesê sy kon versoek het om dié kwessie in ’n beëdigde verklaring te behandel (eerder as om dit in haar aansoek om verlof tot appèl te gebruik).

Dié geld is uitbetaal aan ’n familietrust van die Pretorius-familie, bekend as die Penta Trust, en kon volgens ’n beëdigde verklaring van haar prokureur nie bygereken word as ’n bate by Susan-Ann Pretorius se gesekwestreerde boedel nie.

Adv. John Suttner SC, vir Susan-Ann, het Saterdag in die Wes-Kaapse hooggeregshof aangevoer dat sy nié insolvent is nie en dat sy die begunstigde is van die R8 miljoen-polis.

Sy het aangevoer dat sy, saam met ander bates soos haar huis in Welgemoed, genoegsame bates het om die eis van R17 miljoen teen haar te betaal.

Adv. Chris Eloff SC, bygestaan deur adv. Almero de Villiers, het namens die kurators opgetree.

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Herman Pretorius’s widow loses sequestration battle

24 Jan

Author: Julius Cobbett

Publications: MoneyWeb

Date Published: 24 January 2014

Leave to appeal sequestration order is denied.

JOHANNESBURG – The widow of Ponzi mastermind Herman Pretorius has lost another battle in the bid to stop her own sequestration. Last week Susan Pretorius applied for leave to appeal a final sequestration order granted against her estate. The order was handed down by acting Judge Wilhelm van Staden last year.

On Thursday January 23 Van Staden dismissed Susan Pretorius’s application for leave to appeal. Van Staden concluded that an appeal had no reasonable prospect of success.

The application to sequestrate Susan Pretorius’s estate was brought by the trustees of the RVAF and Seca trusts, entities that received money from Pretorius’s investors.

Herman Pretorius’s scheme collapsed in July last year. Faced with investor withdrawals he couldn’t meet, Pretorius shot his former business partner Julian Williams before turning the gun on himself. The investment scheme received an estimated R2.2bn from about 3000 investors.

Last week Susan Pretorius denied that she was insolvent. She claimed the court had erred in holding that she was not the beneficiary of a life insurance policy worth R8m. However, Van Staden said that Pretorius had an opportunity to present further evidence on or before the return day.

Van Staden ordered that the costs of the application for leave to appeal, including the costs of two counsel, be costs in Susan Pretorius’s sequestration.

The curators of Herman Pretorius’s RVAF are still struggling to trace investor money, including funds that were moved to UK and Switzerland.

Continue Reading MoneyWeb

Pretorius-weduwee verlof tot appèl geweier

23 Jan

Author: Marelize Barnard

Publications:  Die Burger

Date Publiched: 23 Januarie 2014

KAAPSTAD. – Susan-Ann Pretorius – weduwee van Herman Pretorius wat R2,2 miljard se beleggingsgeld laat “verdwyn”het –  se aansoek om verlof tot appèl teen ’n vroeëre uitspraak waarin sy finaal gesekwestreer is, is geweier.

Waarnemende regter Wilhelm van Staden het sy besluit uiteengesit waarom hy Susan-Ann se aansoek geweier het. Hy het onder meer gesê Susan-Ann kon voor haar aansoek Saterdag, in ‘n beëdigde verklaring die kwessie van ‘n R8 miljoen-polis uitgeklaar het.

Susan-Ann se regsverteenwoordiger, Adv. John Suttner SC, het Saterdag in die Wes-Kaapse hooggeregshof aangevoer sy is nié insolvent nie en dat sy die begunstigde is van ‘n polis wat na Pretorius se dood R8 miljoen uitbetaal het.  Sy het aangevoer dat, saam met ander bates soos haar huis in Welgemoed, sy genoegsame bates het om ’n eis van R17 miljoen teen haar te betaal.

Adv. Chris Eloff SC, bygestaan deur adv. Almero de Villiers, het namens die kurators van twee gesekwestreerde trusts van Pretorius, opgetree om Susan-Ann te laat sekwestreer.

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Bates Wys ek is nie insolvent

20 Jan

Author: Marelize Barnard

Publications:  Die Burger

Date Publiched: 20 Januarie 2014

 

Hof hoor sy het ondermeer £100 00 in ‘n Britse rekening, plus polisgeld.

 

Die trustees ban Pretorius se Relative Arbitrage Fund (RVAF) se Seca Trust het verlede jaar aansoek gedoen om Susan-Ann te sekwestreer. Die Trustees het aangevoer Susan-Ann meer as R17 miljoen terugbetaal aan die trusts omdat dit die beleggers se geld is wat R2,2 miljard in Pretorius se bedrogspul verloor het.

 

KAAPSTAD. – Susan-Ann Pretorius, weduwee van die swendelaar Herman Pretorius, se sy “het geld”.
Susan-Ann se van haar bates is ‘n bewys sy is nie insolvent nie. Dit sluit in £100 000 in ‘n Britse bankrekening, R8miljoen polis-geld wat na Pretorius se dood uitbetaal is, nog R400 000 in ‘n ander rekening asook haar huis van miljoene rande.
Sy het Saterdag om verlof tot appel aansoek gedoen teen ‘n vroeere uitspraak waarin sy flinaal gesekwestreer is. Sy voer aan sy het wel genoeg bates om ‘n eis van R17miljoen teen haai te kan betaal.
Adv. John Suttner SC, vir Susan-Ann, het gevra dat ‘n opmerking van haar prokureur – en wat in hofstukke ingedien is R8miljoen polisgeld nie ‘n persoonlike bate van haar is nie, nou deur die hof geignoreer moet word.
Hierop het waarnemende regter Wilhelm van Staden (wat diefinale sekwestrasiebevel toegestaan en Saterdag se aansoek om verlof tot appel daarteen aangehoor het) gevra hoe kan hy die kwessie ignoreer dat Susan-Ann se prokureur aangevoer het die R8 miljoen is nie haar eiendom nie.
“Se u nou dat die polisgeld nie in ‘n trust is waarvan sy die begunstigde is nie?” het Van Staden gevra.
Hierop het Suttner geantwoord hy se niks … en die R8 miljoen is nie die kwessie nie – daar is nog geldkwessies wat genoem moet word.
Suttner het hierna voortgegaan en gese Susan-Ann het ook £100 000 in n Britse bankrekening. Die ponde is “Rl,8 miljoen werd, miskien Rl,9 miljoen en dalk die volgende dag R2miljoen”. Dan is daar nog R463 000 in ‘n ander bankrekening.

Maar die groot probleem wat Susan-Ann het, is dat ‘n waardeerder wat haar spoghuis in Welgemoed waardeer het vir die doeleindes van die aansoek van sekwestrasie teen haar, dit bloot op sigwaarde gedoen en die waarde daarvan op R6,75 miljoen geraam het.
Suttner het gese die waardeerder het nie toegang tot die huis gehad nie en ook nie R13 miljoen se verbeterings aan die huis in ag geneem nie. Adv. Chris Eloff SC het namens die kurators aangevoer dit is verstommend dat Susan-Ann nou wil he dat die brief van haar prokureur oor die R8 miljoen-polisgeld geignoreer moet word – so sy se “daar is hierdie beedigde verklaring van my prokureur, maar ignoreer dit”.
Oor die waarde van Susan-Ann se huis het Eloff gevra waarom sy nie self aan die hof kom se wat die waarde daarvan is nie – “dalk is dit nou R20miljoen werd, maar Susan-Ann doen niks daarom trent nie”.
Van Staden het voorlopig uitspraak voorbehou en gese hy sal dit vandeesweek lewer.

 

 

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Hy was slimste skelm, sê dominee

18 Jan

Author: Marelize Barnard

Publications:  Die Burger

Date Publiched: 18 Januarie 2014

KAAPSTAD. – Die optrede van die weduwee van Herman Pretorius “kos beleggers baie geld”.

Só meen ’n afgetrede Wes-Kaapse predikant wat saam met sy vrou R2 miljoen by wyle Pretorius belê het.

Hy het gevra dat sy naam nie gepubliseer word nie, en het gesê hy het “ ’n lang pad met Pretorius saamgekom”, maar nooit besef dat daar fout met sy (Pretorius se) beleggingsfondse is nie.

Dié oudpredikant en sy vrou het al hul spaargeld by Pretorius belê.

Pretorius se weduwee, Susan-Ann Pretorius, wat op 21 Oktober verlede jaar finaal gesekwestreer is, gaan vandag dié sekwestrasiebevel in die Wes-Kaapse hooggeregshof betwis.

Maar vir die predikant-belegger is dit slegte nuus dat Susan-Ann nie met die kurators van Pretorius se Relative Value Arbitrage Fund (RVAF) en Seca Trust saamwerk nie.

“Die hofsake kos baie geld, wat in werklikheid aan beleggers behoort,” het hy gesê. “Dit voel vir ons of die derde hond met die been gaan wegstap.”

Hy beskryf Pretorius as die “slimste skelm” wat nog geleef het.

“In die kontakte wat ons met Herman gehad het, het ons nooit ’n sprankie van twyfel ondervind nie, nooit probleme vermoed nie, nooit wantroue gekoester nie . . . Ons het hom ervaar as ’n gewone boermens soos onsself.”

Die oudpredikant was aktief deel van ’n forum vir beleggers wat ná Pretorius se dood gevorm is om hul beleggings te probeer terugkry.

Maar nou gaan hy en sy vrou vir eers net aan met leef. “ ’n Mens raak maar daaraan gewoond, en aanvaar dat jy nie meer die geld het nie.”

Hy glo egter dat daar nog geld vir die beleggers uit die boedel sal kom, maar is bekommerd dat die proses “so lank uitrek”.

In ’n stadium het hy die e-pos-adresse van 300 beleggers gehad wat oor-en-weer by mekaar raad gevra het oor wat om te doen.

“Die beleggers is van Bloemfontein, Pretoria, Doebai, Australië, die Swartland, Overberg . . .  tot by Riversdal.”

En oor die geskinder dat mense uit gierigheid by Pretorius belê het, het die emeritus-predikant gesê: “As daar mense is wat glo dit was as gevolg van gierigheid dat ons by Herman belê het, is hulle welkom – dis hul goeie reg om te dink en glo wat hulle wil. Ek het met ’n paar beleggers kontak gehad wat op die punt was om af te tree of reeds afgetree het en wat moes aanhou werk, of weer begin werk.”

 

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Weduwee veg môre om weeldehuis te hou

17 Jan

Author: Marelize Barnard

Publications:  Die Burger

Date Publiched: 17 Januarie 2014

 KAAPSTAD. – Die weduwee van die piramide-beleggingsmous Herman Pretorius klou verbete aan haar weelderige eiendom in Welgemoed, Bellville, vas.

Susan-Ann Pretorius, wat op 21 Oktober verlede jaar finaal in die Wes-Kaapse hooggeregshof gesekwestreer is, betwis nou dié hofbevel.

In ’n ongewone stap ingevolge die toegewysde datums vir aansoeke en verhore in die Wes-Kaapse hooggeregshof sal Susan-Ann môre – op ’n Saterdag – die geleentheid kry om haar saak te stel. Dit is ’n datum waarop al die regslui beskikbaar sal wees.

Sy het ’n aansoek om verlof tot appèl ingedien teen die uitspraak van waarnemende regter Wilhelm van Staden wat die finale sekwestrasiebevel toegestaan het.

Susan-Ann se spoghuis in Welgemoed – met al die deftige ontwerpersmeubels daarin – kan intussen nie opgeveil of verkoop word nie, hoewel Van Staden in Oktober die finale sekwestrasiebevel toegestaan het.

Susan-Ann gaan, luidens haar kennisgewing vir die aansoek om verlof tot appèl, aanvoer dat Van Staden die verkeerde besluit geneem het deur te bevind dat sy insolvent is.

Sy meen die regter het verkeerdelik bevind dat sy nié die begunstigde is van ’n lewenspolis van R8 miljoen wat in Herman Pretorius se naam uitgeneem was nie. Volgens Susan-Ann sal sy ’n “surplus” van bates hê indien dié geld bygereken word, wat dus beteken dat sy nie insolvent is nie.

Die aansoek om Susan-Ann te sekwestreer, is verlede jaar deur die trustees van Pretorius se Relative Value Arbitrage Fund (RVAF) en Seca Trust ingedien. Die trustees het aangevoer dat sy gebaat het by meer as R17 miljoen se betalings uit die rekenings van dié trusts.

Susan-Ann was te alle tye die geregistreerde eienaar van die eiendom in Van de Graaffstraat in Welgemoed. Vir dié eiendom is daar binne twee jaar R13,3 miljoen aan bouers en binneversierders betaal.

’n Lys van altesaam 115 aankope vir die binneversiering van die huis in Welgemoed is vantevore as deel van die aansoek om sekwestrasie by die hooggeregshof ingedien.

Dit sluit in ’n sitkamerbank van R59 353, nóg een van R33 375 en ’n koffietafel van R17 800 vir een van die sitkamers van haar drieverdiepinghuis.

Nog ’n sitkamerbank vir die Pretorius-gesin se gesinskamer het R48 600 gekos. Twee eetkamertafels, een van R35 283 (vir ’n eetkamer) en ’n ander van R45 157 (vir ’n braaikamer), is ook op die lys van aankope.

Die trustees van Pretorius se RVAF en Seca Trust het in hul aansoek om sekwestrasie van Susan-Ann suksesvol aangevoer dat sy geen gronde gehad het om te beweer dat haar oorlede man se beleggingskema wettig was nie. Dus is sy nie geregtig op die geld wat sy van Pretorius gekry het nie.

Van die duurste artikels in dié huis in Welgemoed:

Sitkamerbank: R59 353

Koffietafel: R17 800

Eetkamertafel: R45 15 7

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Professional Indemnity: Still No Clarity

13 Jan

Author:  Unknown

Publications: Fsb pi insurance

Date Publiched: 13 January 2014

 The fsb says that in earlyLabuschagne failed to render financial services
fairly, with due skill, care and diligence, and in the interests of his clients
and the financial services industry. While the written exam accounts for the
majority of your cet score, your GD and PI scores make between 14 and 15.
Consider the fidelity policy The insured in the fiduciary policy should cover
the fund, trustees, committee members and the principal officer. Risk,
hopefully, will have other resources to pay the compensation – that is, if he
loses his appeal against the determinations. The situation reached a level of
absurdity recently when the fsb, in effect, claimed that it could not be blamed
for not taking action earlier against the Relative Value Arbitrage. Ensure that
the rules of your fund have indemnity provisions 5). The workgroup realized that
it was not possible to eliminate or fully protect the fund against fraud. The
expenses you incur for professional development could be tax deductible. Billion
because the fund, managed by the late Herman Pretorius, did not fall under the
fsb. This includes monies stolen or any direct financial loss suffered by the
insured as a result of fraud or dishonesty by an officer of the fund. Consider
the cost of the cover and remember cheaper is not always better. So right now
the onus is on you to demand details of the PI cover your adviser has,
particularly to cover any potential compensation payable to you. On, the joint
industry workgroup circulated their recommendations on both the scope and extent
of cover in respect of delegated administration arrangements.

See also: https://rvafmediareleases.wordpress.com/2012/10/21/winners-and-losers-in-indemnity-case/

Read Original: http://bywug.org/fsb-pi-insurance.html

2013 in review

12 Jan

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 4,800 times in 2013. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 4 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

‘Kommissie’ teruggeëis

11 Dec

Author: Marelize Barnard

Publications:  Die Burger

Date Publiched: 11 December 2013

            Net R469 000 was ‘egte wins’

             KAAPSTAD. – Herman Pretorius het R1 miljoen aan ’n makelaar geleen met slegs ’n handdruk om dié transaksie te beklink.
Boonop het Pretorius later R250 000 van dié R1 miljoen-lening aan die makelaar, Michal Calitz, gegee – ’n geskenk wat hy met nog ’n handdruk as afgehandel beskou het.En volgens ’n transkripsie van getuienis wat in ’n sekwestrasie-ondervraging deur Calitz gelewer is, het Pretorius gesê: “Ek sê vir jou ek het soveel geld gemaak . . . ek betaal vir jou ’n miljoen rand oor . . . dan kan jy dit weer vergoed vir my later (sic).”Dié inligting is vervat in ’n beëdigde verklaring van Lambertus von Wielligh Bester, een van die kurators van Pretorius se Rela­tive Value Arbitrage Fund.

Bester se verklaring is deel van ’n aansoek wat gister in die Wes-Kaapse hooggeregshof teen Calitz ingedien is om miljoene rande “kommissie” wat Pretorius aan hom betaal het, te verhaal.

Luidens die transkripsie van Calitz se ondervraging deur die kurators het hy Pretorius só beskryf: “Herman was een van daai mense . . . en agterna kom ons dit agter . . . wat hand geskud het en niks was op papier nie . . .”

Bester het in sy verklaring aangevoer dat Pretorius se Ponzi-skema ongetwyfeld een van die grootste skelmstreke van sy soort tot nog toe in Suid-Afrika was.

Die ondersoeke wat tot nou deur die kurators en ouditeurs gedoen is, het gewys dat die meeste van die beleggers boere of plattelandse inwoners is.

Bester het gesê Calitz se regsverteenwoordiger het bevestig dat beleggers verskeie klagtes teen Calitz en Impact Finansiële Konsultante by die Ombudsman van Finansiële Diensverskaffers ingedien het. Die Finansiële Diensteraad ondersoek ook Calitz en ander makelaars.

Bester voer aan dat Pretorius, ten einde te verseker dat makelaars “geesdriftig” bly en daar ’n gereelde kapitaalstroom van beleggers inkom, “kommissies of winsdeling” van tussen 5% en 7,5% van die beleggingsbedrae aan hulle betaal het. Makelaars het hul wins ontvang die oomblik wat beleggers se geld inbetaal is.

Ekstra “administratiewe fooie” is ook aan makelaars betaal.

Terwyl beleggers meer as R2,2 miljard aan Pretorius toevertrou en hy deurentyd “opbrengste” van tussen 14% en 25% per jaar op die beleggings verseker het, het die hele beleggingskema oor al die jare nie meer as R469 000 egte wins gemaak nie.

Daar word nou van Calitz en Impact Finansiële Konsultante (’n beslote korporasie waarin Calitz ’n 80%-aandeel het) verskeie bedrae aan “kommissiegelde” teruggeëis. Dit wissel van R489 000 tot R2,45 miljoen en R3,6 miljoen.

Die aansoek is tot 6 Mei uitgestel.

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Makelaar vandag in hof gepak

10 Dec

Author: Marelize Barnard

Publications:  Die Burger

Date Publiched: 10 December 2013

KAAPSTAD. – ’n Makelaar wat beleggers na Herman Pretorius se beleggingskema verwys het, word vandag in die Wes-Kaapse hooggeregshof gepak oor die terugbetaling van miljoene rande se kommissie.Een van die kurators van Pretorius se Relative Value Arbitrage Fund (RVAF), Lambertus von Wielligh Bester, dien vandag ’n aansoek by die Wes-Kaapse hooggeregshof in teen Michal Calitz om kommisie terug te betaal.

Bester het by navraag gesê die regstap teen Calitz is die “eerste van vele” om kommissie te probeer verhaal van die makelaars wat beleggers na Pretorius se skema verwys het.

’n Ondersoek na die kommissie wat aan makelaars betaal is, is “die aspek waaraan ouditeure nou aandag gee”, het Bester gesê. “Die makelaars word nou een vir een nagegaan.

Calitz se prokureur, Jean Kotze (van Laäs en Scholtz Prokureurs), het gesê Calitz gaan vandag die aansoek in die hooggeregshof teenstaan.

“Calitz staan dit teen en ontken aanspreeklikheid vir die bedrag geld wat van hom geëis word.”

Volgens Kotze is Calitz, soos die duisende beleggers wat by Pretorius belê het, “ook deur Pretorius bedrieg” en het hy nie geweet waarmee Pretorius besig was nie.

Calitz is vroeër vanjaar deur die likwidateurs van Pretorius se RVAF Trust ondervra as deel van hul likwidasie-ondersoek.

Die Burger het vantevore berig ’n verslag is daarna deur die likwidateurs by die meester van die hooggeregshof ingedien waarin gesê is dat Calitz ’n kommissie van meer as R15 miljoen ontvang het.

Calitz het hierop beswaar teen die likwidateurs se verslag by die meester van die Wes-Kaapse hooggeregshof ingedien en aangevoer dat die bedrag aansienlik minder is.

R8,44 miljoen

Die likwidateurs het geantwoord dat dit nie die bedoeling van die verslag was nie, en het dit op rekord gestel dat Calitz in sy ondervraging te kenne gegee het dat hy ’n bedrag van sowat R8,44 miljoen van Pretorius ontvang het.

Dié bedrag sluit enige moontlike betalings uit wat verband hou met beleggings in entiteite soos SA Superalloys, Lehumo en Wesizwe.

Dit is nog onduidelik hoeveel die likwidateurs van Calitz eis omdat die aansoek hieroor volgens die hofrol eers vandag deur ’n regter aangehoor sal word.

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FAIS Supervision Annual Report

5 Dec

Author: Unknown

Publications: InsuranceGateways

Date Published: 05 December 2013

The FAIS Supervision Department of the FSB supervises financial services providers (FSPs) in terms of a risk-based approach. In response to the changing face of the regulatory landscape, international trends and outcomes of previous years’ on-site visits, the department introduced a new Medium to High risk category to define the risk of non-compliance more accurately.
A total of 10 297 FSPs were categorised. Interestingly, the number “only” decreased by 493, but a closer look at the table below shows a marked decline in the number of small FSPs from 6 839 to 3 362 – a loss of 3477, or nearly 51%. The table below reflects the categorisation of FSPs in terms of the new risk-based supervision approach as at 31 March 2013. The categorisation was changed with the introduction of a Medium-High Impact (MHI) category. During the period under review, the emphasis was placed on off-site monitoring of High Impact and MHI FSPs.

2012/2013

2011/2012

High Impact

283

262

Medium-High Impact (MHI)

973

0

Medium Impact

3 411

2 331

Small-Medium Impact (SMI)

2 268

1 358

Small FSPs

3 362

6 839

Total

10 297

10 790

Risk Assessment Visits to FSPs
A total of 643 FSPs received visits. Of these, 490, or 76.2% occurred at the medium to high impact categories.
The report states that the overall compliance of FSPs was satisfactory, and a definite improvement was noticeable during the period under review. The overall understanding of key individuals and representatives with regard to compliance was far better, which can mainly be attributed to the knowledge gained in their preparation for the regulatory examinations. The following issues of concern were noted:

Description

Percentage occurrence %

Sections 4 and 5 of the General Code of Conduct (GCOC): Disclosure of documentation is non-compliant

35.40

License conditions: Business information is not updated within 15 days of change taking place

26.55

Good business practices are not followed

20.06

None-compliance with part VIII of the Determination of Fit and Proper Requirements: FSPs not having a business continuity plan in place

16.81

Sections 11 and 12 of the GCOC: FSPs of which the Risk Management Plan is inadequate

16.22

No register/records kept of training undergone by key individuals and representatives

14.75

Section 7 of the GCOC: Disclosure made to client in terms of the product and services are inadequate

14.16

Non-compliance with part IX of the Determination of Fit and Proper Requirements: FSPs not complying with the financial soundness requirements

14.16

Section 3A of the GCOC: FSPs that have not adopted, maintained and implemented a conflict of interest management policy

9.44

Corporate governance measures are inadequate

8.85

Compliance Practice Visits
During the period under review, the Supervision Department reviewed 33 independent compliance practices. The majority of the compliance practices provided acceptable compliance services to clients.
However, there were some areas that needed improvement, which were identified and addressed with the respective practices. During the review of the risk-based framework, a process of recording of information on compliance practices was developed and is being introduced. It is envisaged that this will enable supervisors to focus proactively on specific concerns relating to external compliance officers.
Specific On-site Visits The Registrar of FSPs ordered an inspection into the affairs of Mr Herman Pretorius, RVAF and Polus Capital (Pty) Ltd. During the inspection, the RVAF scheme collapsed and it was established that 16 authorised FSPs were involved in soliciting clients on behalf of the late Mr Pretorius. On-site visits to probe their participation in assisting clients to place investments in the RVAF and other schemes offered by the late Mr Pretorius were conducted. At the end of the period under review, these investigations were still continuing.
Communication with FSPs
The FAIS Supervision Department implemented a comprehensive communication strategy during the period under review, including newsletters, information circulars, workshops, conferences and telematics broadcasts. Guest speakers at the conference and workshops included speakers from other FSB departments, as well as industry experts.
A joint exercise between FAIS Supervision and FAIS Registration was focused on the funeral industry. A large number of workshops were held to assist this part of the industry to understand the registration (licensing) requirements, as well as the ongoing requirements for maintaining a license. During these workshops, FSPs were specifically assisted to complete compliance reports and financial statements.
Specialisation Areas As part of the Department’s risk-based approach, supervisory staff members are involved in specialisation areas. Seven focus groups, including ones for unconventional FSPs (foreign FSPs, forex investment providers, retailers, motor dealers, estate agents and auditors), banking, medical schemes and compliance officers were tasked with providing guidance in these specific specialisation areas. Research into industry practices and thematic work, as well as focused on-site visits, was conducted. Issues that came to the fore led to the compilation of information circulars on bulk client transfers and the re-signing of client mandates, cash management system accounts, fee disclosure and material irregularity reporting by compliance officers.

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Makelaars in skema ondersoek

27 Nov

Author: Marelize Barnard

Publications:  Die Burger

Date Publiched: 29 November 2013

KAAPSTAD. – Finansiële raadgewers wat “minstens R100 miljoen” kommissie gemaak het uit beleggers in Herman Pretorius se piramideskema, word ondersoek.Die Finansiële Beplanningsinstituut (FPI) het heelparty klagtes ontvang en doen dissiplinêre ondersoeke na dié makelaars, wat by die instituut geregistreer is.Adv. Jacqui Grovè, hoof van regsdienste van die FPI, het gister gesê die ondersoek gaan voort.

“Ons het al redelik inligting bekom, maar aangesien die tipe oortredings as baie ernstig beskou word, wil ons seker maak ons maak behoorlik werk van die klagtes en ondersoeke,” het Grovè gesê.

Ingevolge die FPI se dissiplinêre regulasies sal die uitslag van verhore oor die makelaars gepubliseer word.

Die FPI kan egter geen inligting bekend maak alvorens die proses afgehandel is nie.

Grovè het gesê die FPI het heelparty klagtes ontvang, maar het die meerderheid van die klaers na die ombudsman verwys, aangesien die FPI se jurisdiksie om klagtes te ondersoek, beperk is tot FPI-lede.

Luidens die jongste verslag van die kuratore van Pretorius se Relative Value Arbitrage Fund (RVAF) is minstens R100 miljoen as kommissie aan makelaars betaal.

Die kurators, Rynette Pieters en Bessie Bester, het in hul verslag gesê verskeie mense is reeds gedagvaar vir ondervraging.

Die kurators volg inligting oor die mense en instansies op waarheen beleggers se geld “gevloei” het en elke transaksie word ondersoek in ’n poging om geld vir die beleggers te herwin.

Een van die kurators se eerste doelwitte is om geld wat in oorsese rekeninge is, na Suid-Afrika terug te bring. Bankstate word ook nagegaan om die geld wat uit dié oorsese rekeninge uitbetaal is, na te spoor.

Pieters het gesê sover die kurators weet, “word al die geld by finansiële instellings in Engeland bewaar”.

Daar word ook ’n prokureur in Switserland aangestel wat sal probeer om die state van bankrekenings in dié land te bekom.

Die kurators het in Oktober by die Wes-Kaapse hooggeregshof aansoek gedoen om die sperdatum vir ’n eerste likwidasierekening uit te stel. Dié rekening moes op 30 Oktober gelewer word.

Pretorius het nie behoorlik boekgehou van die RVAF en ander beleggingsrekeninge se transaksies nie. Dit blyk dat Pretorius bloot die een beleggingsentiteit gesluit en dan ’n volgende begin het.

Hy het geld van die een na die ander oorgeplaas en dan voortgegaan om nuwe beleggers te lok.

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Pretorius ponzi probe bubbles on

4 Nov

Author: Julius Cobbett

Publications: The Citizen

Date Publiched: 4 November 2013

Brokers who sold the investment products of the late Herman Pretorius were paid commission of “at least” R100m, the most recent letter from the curators of his failed investment scheme, the Relative Value Arbitrage Fund (RVAF), says.

It has been more than a year since Pretorius shot first his former business partner and then himself. The incident confirmed what some had already suspected: Pretorius had been running a massive Ponzi scheme. It has been estimated that the scheme took nearly R2.2bn from 3 000 investors.

The Financial Services Board (FSB) and the Financial Planning Institute (FPI) have launched investigations into brokers who peddled the scheme. But there has been no disciplinary action announced as yet.

Likewise the financial advice ombudsman Noluntu Bam has yet to issue a determination connected with a Herman Pretorius investment.

Earlier this year the RVAF identified Michal Calitz as one of the more prominent brokers. Calitz, who was a close friend of Herman Pretorius, received more than R15m from the scheme. Calitz is still a representative of Impact Financial Consultants CC, which is an FSB-authorised financial service provider and is listed as an FPI member.

The FPI says it is finalising charges against members in relation to the RVAF, but it will pronounce on the matter only once a December disciplinary hearing has been held.

The FPI’s Disciplinary Regulations require publication of the outcomes of disciplinary hearings, but after finalisation only, it says.

The FSB says its own investigation into the Pretorius matter is not finalised; the “FAIS supervision department is still in a process of engaging with the identified financial services providers and other interested parties”.

The RVAF’s curators are trying to trace investor money that was moved by Pretorius to the UK and Switzerland.

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The pitfalls of DIY investing

1 Nov

Author: Hannes Smuts

Publications: PSG Konsult

Date Published: 1 November 2013

This is a warning. Yet, regular readers need not fear: this is not an alarm bell sounding the dangers of another investment scheme promising unrealistic returns. For most, the name Herman Pretorius should ring a bell. Obviously that threat remains ever present, but there is a much more subtle trend that needs to be recognized. We call it DIY investing. Let me explain:

Hardly a day goes by that people with funds to invest are not bombarded by advertisements and other communication prompting them to manage their investments themselves. The nature and content of these ads might differ, but the message is the same: you do not need the input of an investment professional to invest on the stock market or to guide you towards a sensible investment plan tailor made for your unique situation.

Does the following sound familiar? Cut out “the middleman” and become a stock market entrepreneur (more likely millionaire) – we will give you 3 share tips to start your millionaire portfolio. Such exhortations appear continuously on television, in the printed media and via electronic communication.  Interwoven into these campaigns is the emphasis on the relative ease with which one’s affairs can be conducted online.

On the face of it DIY investing has become child’s play. The perception is created that most people can manage their own investment affairs without incurring the “extra costs” of a professional investment advisor. The message reverberates: professional advice has become too expensive and redundant. Do your investments, including purchases of unit trusts, online! Oh yes, and if you want to save even more money, skip the asset manager (and his unnecessary fees) as well by going for a really “cost effective” index tracker.

It is to be applauded that technological advances during the last decade have opened up new avenues for making informed investment decisions. However, it is the way this is being portrayed, combined with the inherent lurking risks, which need to be addressed.

We have identified mainly two dangers. The first is that DIY investment encourages short term thinking. The second is that it almost certainly does not address the risks created by investor behaviour.

Markets that generate positive returns, especially during a long upswing, are known as bull markets. Statistics have shown that bull and bear markets lead to irrational investor behaviour.

Think back to the bull run in the residential property market between 1995 and 2006. For a decade, returns were not only around “20% p.a”., but also a dead cert. The natural consequence was that everyone and anyone that could, started trading in property and made money. When finances were discussed around the braai fires reassuring remarks abounded such as: property prices don’t drop – they might move sideways, but never down!

Investors conveniently ignore the past which would have taught them that property is as cyclical an asset class as other growth assets. The rest is history: the property market contracted by as much as 30% to 40% in a year and many speculators were left stranded. It took years for the residential property market to show signs of recovery and guess what: most “investors” now believe it’s a bad investment.

What has this sad story got to do with cheap and convenient DIY investing?

Generating good, inflation beating investment returns in South Africa (and even abroad) has been fairly easy for the last 10 years. The reality is that these returns were driven by a rampant bull run on the JSE. Therefore one cannot really blame those who have ventured into DIY investing and for spreading the word about their successes.

Reality is that most investors who have been in the markets during the last 10 years have yet to experience the pain and frustration of a bear market. Unless they have a good understanding of the risks involved, and in particular the interaction between risk and reward, they will be well advised to use professional investment advice.

But you do not have to take only our word for it. In a recent article on 21st Century Megatrends, well known future-scenario planning expert, Clem Sunter, suggests that retirees will still need “an astute financial adviser”, otherwise, as he puts it, it becomes a race between poverty and death.  This remark should not be limited to retirees.

Note: This article does not constitute formal advice. Past performance is not indicative of future returns. Always remember the prudent way is to consult your stockbroker before investing.

Hannes Smuts is a senior portfolio manager at PSG Hermanus Portfolio Management & Stockbroking.

Herman Pretorius brokers got at least R100m

31 Oct

Author: Julius Cobbett

Publications: MoneyWeb

Date Published: 31 October 2013

Financial Planning Institute says it is finalising charges against members.

JOHANNESBURG – Brokers who sold the investment products of the late Herman Pretorius were paid commission of “at least” R100m. This is according to the most recent letter from the curators of his failed investment scheme, the Relative Value Arbitrage Fund (RVAF). A copy of the letter can be downloaded here.

It has been more than a year since Pretorius shot first his former business partner and then himself. The incident confirmed what some had already suspected: Pretorius had been running a massive Ponzi scheme. It has been estimated that the scheme took roughly R2.2bn from 3000 investors.

Both the Financial Services Board (FSB) and the Financial Planning Institute (FPI) have launched investigations into brokers who peddled the scheme. But there has been no disciplinary action announced as yet. Likewise the financial advice ombudsman Noluntu Bam has yet to issue a determination connected with a Herman Pretorius investment.

Earlier this year the RVAF identified Michal Calitz as one of the more prominent brokers. Calitz, who was a close friend of Herman Pretorius, received more than R15m from the scheme.

Calitz is still a representative of Impact Financial Consultants CC, which is an FSB-authorised financial service provider.

Calitz is also listed on the FPI’s website as a valid member.

The FPI tells Moneyweb that it is finalising charges against members in relation to the RVAF. It says it will only pronounce on the matter once a disciplinary hearing has been held. The hearing is expected to be held in December, the exact date yet to be confirmed.

“In terms of the FPI’s Disciplinary Regulations the outcomes of disciplinary hearings will be published – however, this is done once the matter is finalised and the period for an appeal has expired,” it says.

Similarly the FSB says its own investigation into the Herman Pretorius matter is not finalised yet as the “FAIS supervision department is still in a process of engaging with the identified financial services providers and other interested parties”.

The RVAF’s curators are trying to trace investor money that was moved by Pretorius to the UK and Switzerland. The curators have appointed attorneys in both those countries to assist them trace the funds.

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Polis mag nie skuld delg van weduwee

23 Oct

Author: Marelize Barnard

Publications:  Die Burger

Date Publiched: 23 Oktober 2013

Welgemoed

Welgemoed

KAAPSTAD. – ’n Lewenspolis van R8 miljoen wat aan ’n familietrust van wyle Herman Pretorius uitbetaal is, kan nié deur kurators gebruik word om sy weduwee, Susan-Ann, se skuld te delg nie.

Dié geld is uitbetaal aan ’n familietrust van die Pretorius-familie, bekend as die Penta Trust, en kan nie bygereken word as ’n bate by Susan-Ann Pretorius se gesekwestreerde boedel nie.

Die kurators van Herman Pretorius se Relative Value Arbitrage Fund (RVAF) Trust en die Seca Trust se aansoek in die Wes-Kaapse hooggeregshof om Susan-Ann Pretorius te sekwestreer, het wel geslaag, maar hulle kan nie aan die R8 miljoen raak nie.

Waarnemende regter Wilhelm van Staden, wat Maandag ’n aansoek om die finale sekwestrasie van Susan-Ann Pretorius in die Wes-Kaapse hooggeregshof toegestaan het, het gister die redes vir sy bevel gegee en gesê haar skuld beloop meer as R17 miljoen.

Die waarde van haar huis in Van de Graaffstraat, Welgemoed, die enigste merkbare bate in haar boedel, is op R6,75 miljoen geskat.

Van Staden het in sy bevel uitgewys dat Susan-Ann Pretorius nie die begunstigde van die lewenspolis is nie.

Haar regsverteenwoordiger, Etienne Naude, het dit in ’n beëdigde verklaring bevestig.

Pierre du Toit van Mostert en Bosman, regsverteenwoordiger van die kurators, het gesê selfs al doen Susan-Ann Pretorius nou aansoek om teen die sekwestrasiebevel te appelleer, word ’n kurator steeds aangestel om haar boedel te ondersoek.

 

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Pretorius-eiendomme opgeveil

22 Oct

Author: Marelize Barnard

Publications:  Die Burger

Susan nn


Een van twee lyste van betalings wat in hofdokumente ingesluit is in die aansoek om sekwestrasie van Susan-Ann Pretorius. Dié bedrae is uit die Seca Trust betaal.
Die huis in Welgemoed wat in Susan-Ann Pretorius se naam geregistreer is, moet nou verkoop word nadat sy finaal in die Wes-Kaapse hooggeregshof gesekwestreer is. Foto: yunus mohamed

KAAPSTAD. – Die glaspaleis in Welgemoed wat die piramide-beleggingsmous Herman Pretorius met tjeks van miljoene rande vir sy vrou, Susan-Ann, gebou het, gaan opgeveil word.

Susan-Ann Pretorius is gister finaal in die Wes-Kaapse hooggeregshof gesekwestreer.

Dit beteken dat die huis in Welgemoed, al die flambojante meubels, asook van haar ander eiendom, verkoop gaan word.

Waarnemende regter Wilhelm van Staden het beveel dat die aansoek om ’n finale sekwestrasiebevel toegestaan word. Hy het aangedui dat hy vandag die redes vir die bevel sal gee.

Die aansoek is deur Susan-Ann Pretorius teengestaan.

Die eerste applikant in die aansoek, die likwidateur Lambertus von Wielligh Bester, het gesê al die eiendom wat in Susan-Ann Pretorius se boedel is, sal nou verkoop word sodat skuldeisers betaal kan word.

Luidens hofdokumente wat in die aansoek om voorlopige sekwestrasie ingedien is, het Bester aangevoer dat Susan-Ann Pretorius geen gronde het om aan te voer dat haar oorlede man se beleggingskema wettig was nie. Dus is sy nie geregtig op die geld wat sy van Pretorius gekry het nie.

Susan-Ann Pretorius was te alle tye die geregistreerde eienaar van die eiendom in Van de Graaffstraat in Welgemoed. Vir dié eiendom is daar binne twee jaar R13,3 miljoen betaal aan bouers en binneversierders.

Altesaam 11 bedrae wat aan Bos & Punt-bouers betaal is vir bouwerk aan die eiendom in Welgemoed wissel van R34 200 tot R1,6 miljoen elk.

’n Lys van altesaam 115 aankope vir die binneversiering van die Welgemoed-huis is ook in die aansoek by die hooggeregshof ingedien.

Twee lyste van betalings wat uit Pretorius se Seca Trust aan Susan-Ann Pretorius gemaak is, wys dat daar van 6 Mei 2004 tot 25 Julie 2012 minstens 26 keer geld oorbetaal is. Die bedrae wissel van R100 000 tot R300 000.

Op 21 Januarie 2008 en weer op 21 Maart dieselfde jaar is bedrae van R300 000 elk uit die Seca Trust aan “SAP (SA Pretorius) betaal”.

Verder is daar uit Pretorius se Relative Value Arbitrage Fund (RVAF) Trust R4,18 miljoen ten gunste van Susan-Ann Pretorius betaal, luidens die hofdokumente.

Herman Pretorius, wat R2,2 miljard van beleggers ingevorder het in ’n belegging-piramideskema, het op 26 Julie verlede jaar ’n voormalige sakevennoot, Julian Williams, in die middestad van Kaapstad doodgeskiet en daarna selfmoord gepleeg.

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Oh my hat, do I really need a financial advisor?

17 Oct

Author: Sasha Planting

Publications: MoneyWeb

Date Published: 17 October 2013

Is it not enough to google like crazy and learn that way?

CAPE TOWN: For a long time I had a deep distrust of any kind of financial advisor, associating them with several ill-advised and costly investments made back in my twenties and thirties.

So I did my own research, invested in a retirement scheme without the benefit of a broker; started a savings plan and began building a small portfolio of shares which I manage myself.

I was pleased with myself. Then this year our friendly taxman lobbed a R25 000 tax penalty at me. Suddenly I had a different view on advisors and scrambled for a tax consultant. Needless to say he was worth every cent. I was even able to get the better part of the penalty back – to my advisor’s surprise, I might add.

So then I wondered, if I could mess up my simple tax that badly, perhaps I could mess up my financial planning too. Hmmm. Do we really need financial advisors? Is it not enough to google like crazy and learn that way? I wasn’t sure any more. And assuming I did need an advisor, how on earth would I find someone independent and trustworthy? Because now I’m starting to think that finding a good financial advisor might be more important than finding a good husband.

So I chatted to some advisors for their views. Rita Cool is a financial consultant with Alexander Forbes; Gavin Gehlig is co-founder of CGN Wealth and Warren Ingram is co-founder of Galileo Capital who has coincidentally written a book entitled ‘Become Your Own Financial Advisor’. All are certified financial planners.

Of course asking a financial consultant if one really needs a financial advisor is like Little Red Riding Hood asking the wolf if he is hungry. But let’s face it, when the wolf answered yes, he was telling the truth.

So it was not surprising that all three advisors agreed that most people – note, not all – would be financially better off had the enlisted the services of an advisor early on in life. They also agree that the internet is a useful resource, specifically when you are looking for targeted information.

What the internet lacks is the ability to take all the information and compile it into a holistic plan. “Advisors add value by helping you get from where you are now to where you want to be – financially that is,” says Cool. “They help you quantify and qualify your goals and will devise a personal, step-by-step plan to get there. They are also aware of things the ordinary person may not be – changes in regulation or which product is more or less suitable in different circumstances. So many people become paralysed by the amount of information available that good intentions remain just that.”

Even financial advisors have their own financial advisors Ingram says. “It is difficult to be knowledgeable about all aspects of your finances. For instance, I pay someone to do my tax and update my will even though I am in the industry.”

So how on earth do you find an advisor? Everyone says ‘by word of mouth’, but it doesn’t help if your friends don’t have someone either. It also doesn’t help if their trusted advisor turns out to be less than kosher, as investors in Herman Pretorius’s Real Value Arbitrage Fund discovered.

As a general rule it is advisable to seek out advisors with a professional qualification. This means they need to be a CFP® professional and you can find a list of them in your area from the Financial Planning Institute’s website www.fpi.co.za. Another general rule is to focus on advisors who work for independent companies rather than those who work for a product provider or a bank.

Of course their advice comes at a price. I used to struggle with this idea because in my experience product advice was ‘free’. But when I noticed that commissions (paid to the agent who sold the product) were eating up my returns I learned that ‘free’ also has a price.

“A great financial planner can make an enormous difference to your life while a bad advisor can set you back very badly,” says Ingram. “So you should choose your advisor very carefully and not necessarily focus on the cheapest.” Would you choose the cheapest bridge-building engineer or the cheapest doctor, or would you pay for the best you could afford? “I think the same applies to your money.”

Most advisors still earn an income from product commissions. “This is fine,” says Cool, “but clients should always be informed of the commission component charged on a product.” She notes that the commission-based structure is slowly changing towards a fee structure where a client pays a set fee for a specific service.

Some planners work on an hourly rate which varies from R700 all the way up to R2500, depending on complexity. Others prefer to charge a flat rate for the plan itself. “This way the potential client is aware of the cost upfront. I would charge R3000 (vat inclusive) for a retirement and estate plan which could include creating or updating a client’s last will and testament,” Gehlig says.

Younger clients when starting out won’t be earning a fortune and will still be in the build up phase of their lives and probably change jobs a few times prior to settling and finding their niche. “As a planner your services for a client earning R10 000 per month would be different to a client earning R100 000 per month but each client deserves to be treated identically,” he says.

It’s a good idea to check if there is a fee for the initial advice consultation.  In many offices there is no fee for an initial consultation and fees are only charged if and when a product is set up.

That is a good enough reason to just give it a try.

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Staat het skelm skemas in sy visier

27 Sep

Author: Alet Rademeyer

Publications:  Die Burger

Date Publiched: 27 September 2013

PRETORIA. – “Moenie koebaai sê vir jou geld nie.”

Met dié nasionale veldtog wil die Suid-Afrikaanse Reserwebank 11 miljoen Suid-Afrikaners bereik en bewus maak van onwettige piramide- of ponzi-skemas.

Hlengani Mathebula, hoof van groepstrategie en kommunikasie by die Reserwebank, het gister hier op ’n nuuskonferensie gesê duisende Suid-Afrikaners word slagoffers van onwettige skemas wat hul geld vat en vinnige rykdom belowe.

Mense moet baie versigtiger wees en hul huiswerk behoorlik doen voordat hulle geld in enige skema belê…….

• Die publiek kan verdagte skemas by 0800 313 626 aanmeld en ook hier uitvind of instellings geregistreer is.

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Ponzi scheme alert: How to know when it really is too good to be true

27 Sep

Author: Dawie de Villiers, CEO, Sanlam Employee Benefits

Publications:  Sanlam

Date Publiched: 27 September 2013

The extended economic downturn and interest rates hovering around the 5 or 6% mark make investment returns all too elusive right now. With many South Africans, in particular retirees, struggling to make ends meet, it is fertile ground for fraudulent investment schemes – known popularly as Ponzi schemes – to flourish.

The SA Reserve Bank recently launched a national campaign to increase awareness of pyramid or Ponzi schemes. The campaign encourages people to be careful when looking at potential investment opportunities.

South Africans seem to repeatedly entrust their hard-earned savings to operations which, at best, have short-term track records and, at worst, knowingly sell promises that they are unable to deliver on. Investors buy into these promises without fully understanding how these operators achieve their alleged returns.

Over the past six years the following schemes – which have had traumatic consequences for unsuspecting investors – come to mind: Fidentia, Leaderguard, Sharemax, King Group, the Herman Pretorius saga, and Defencex. There is a golden thread running through this list; each one promised a return far superior to that of the financial market, at a very low risk. In hindsight, such promises were too good to be true. But why do we continue to move from one such scandal to the next?

Spotting a Ponzi or pyramid scheme is actually relatively easy – here is a checklist ………

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Sharemax director warns against Fais Ombud complaints

24 Sep

Author: Julius Cobbett

Publications: MoneyWeb

Date Published: 24 September 2013

Dominique Haese claims investors might lose their right to investment returns.

JOHANNESBURG – Investors in Nova Group Investments have been cautioned against pursuing complaints with Fais Ombud Noluntu Bam. Investors have been warned that if they pursue their complaints, they may forfeit their rights to investment returns or repayments from the Nova Group

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Pretorius-weduwee voorlopig gesekwestreer

17 Sep

Author: Marelize Barnard

Publications:  Die Burger

Date Publiched: 17 September 2013

KAAPSTAD. – Susan-Ann Pretorius, weduwee van die piramide-beleggingsmous Herman Pretorius, is voorlopig gesekwestreer.

Regter André Blignaut het gister die bevel van voorlopige sekwestrasie uitgevaardig nadat Susan-Ann Pretorius ’n aansoek om sekwestrasie in die Wes-Kaapse hooggeregshof teengestaan het.

Blignaut het bevind Susan-Ann Pretorius was, ondanks ’n “magdom dokumentasie” wat haar met betalings in haar guns verbind, nie bereid “om selfs een” te erken nie. “Terselfdertyd ontken sy ook nie dat sy dit (die betalings) ontvang het nie.”

Die regter het gesê hy stem saam met die regspan van die kurators van wyle Herman Pretorius se Relative Value Arbitrage Fund (RVAF) en die Seca Trust dat Susan-Ann Pretorius “ontwykend” is.

’n Forensiese ondersoek het getoon dat R17,7 miljoen regstreeks aan of namens haar betaal is.

Sy was die geregistreerde eienaar van ’n eiendom, Van de Graaffstraat 26 in Welgemoed, waarvoor daar tussen 23 Februarie 2005 en 16 Januarie 2007 R13,3 miljoen betaal is aan bouers en binnehuisversierders.

Die eerste applikant teen haar, die likwidateur Lambertus von Wielligh Bester, het aangevoer ’n eis van R107 miljoen teen haar is geregverdig omdat sy haar plig as ’n trustee van die Seca Trust versuim het. Bester voer aan ongeveer R130 miljoen van beleggers se geld is deur Pretorius uit die RVAF-bankrekening na die Seca Trust oorgeplaas.

Verder is daar uit die RVAF Trust R4,18 miljoen ten gunste van Susan-Ann Pretorius betaal. Hiervan is R900 000 in haar verbandrekening betaal. Op 31 Mei 2011 is ’n bedrag van R350 000 in haar Nedbank-rekening gestort.

Blignaut het in sy beslissing uitgewys hoewel elke betaling ondersteun is deur dokumentasie wat Susan-Ann Pretorius met die RVAF en Seca Trusts verbind, haar verweer was dat die applikante nie bewyse daarvan gelewer het nie.

Volgens Blignaut is daar wel bewyse dat die betalings van die onderskeie trusts aan of namens Susan-Ann Pretorius gemaak is.

“Daar is ook rede om te glo dat haar sekwestrasie tot voordeel van haar krediteure sal wees,” het Blignaut in sy uitspraak gesê.

Die aansoek is tot 14 Oktober uitgestel as deel van die proses van ’n bevel vir finale sekwestrasie.

 

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This year’s hottest home

9 Sep

Author: Biénne Huisman

Publications:  City Press

Date Publiched: 9 September 2013

Architects and designers toast house of the year

South Africa’s house of the year boasts braais on two levels, a pizza oven next to a swimming pool and sweeping views of Cape Town.

A five-bedroom mansion on the slopes of Table Mountain beat 10 other finalists to clinch top honours in a national luxury-housing competition this week.

The country’s top address in Cape Town’s Higgovale is home to structural engineer Craig Sutherland, his wife, Colleen, their teenagers, Keegan, Adrienne and Casey, and their two dogs, Stitch and Mia.

“The stoep is my favourite. It’s lovely in summer with views up to the sea,” said Colleen.

“I have loads of entertainment options, which is just great,” added Craig.

The country’s foremost architects and home designers toasted the pair’s home at a function in Cape Town on Wednesday.

The winning property was voted for by readers of House and Leisure magazine, with about 20 000 votes cast in an online poll.

Commenting on the winning house, editor Naomi Larkin said: “It is a proper family home and yet it is extremely sophisticated.”

The Sutherlands bought the property 11 years ago and had major renovations done last year.

The air at the party was thick with intrigue as one of the competition’s top contenders was the Hermanus beach house built by Herman Pretorius, the alleged pyramid scheme fraudster who shot himself and a business partner in Cape Town last June.

The controversial sea-facing Voëlklip villa was featured on the cover of House and Leisure’s “luxury issue” in August 2012, which apparently went to print before Pretorius died.

It was alleged in court papers that the sprawling three-bedroom house was built with investors’ money.

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Wenner lê knus teen die berg

8 Sep

Author: Biénne Huisman

Publications:  Rapport

Date Publiched: 20 Augustus 2013

Suid-Afrika se huis van die jaar lê knus teen die hang van Tafelberg in die rykmansbuurt Higgovale.

Hier woon die ingenieur Craig Sutherland, sy vrou, Colleen, hul tieners Keegan, Adrienne en ­Ca­sey, en die twee honde, Stitch en Mia.

Daar is ’n braaiplek op twee vlakke, ’n pizza-oond reg langs die swembad en ’n asemrowende uitsig oor Kaapstad.

Die luukse vyfslaapkamer-woning het die afgelope week tien finaliste geklop in ’n nasionale kompetisie waarin lesers van die tydskrif Home and Lei­sure aanlyn kon stem vir hul guns­teling.

Sowat 20 000 mense het aan die kompetisie deelgeneem.

Volgens Colleen is die stoep haar spesiale plek. “Dit is heerlik om in die somer daar tyd deur te bring terwyl jy oor die see uitkyk.” Vir Craig is al die onthaalkeuses ’n groot pluspunt.

Naomi Larkin, redakteur van Home and Leisure, sê hoewel dit ’n regte gesinswoning is, is dit baie gesofistikeerd.

Die Sutherland-gesin het die huis 11 jaar gelede gekoop en verlede jaar verbou.

Van die ander huise wat ook om dié gesogte titel meegeding het, was die Hermanus-strandhuis wat deur Herman Pretorius gebou is. Hy is van ’n piramide-skema aangekla en het hom en sy vennoot in Junie verlede jaar om die lewe gebring.

Dié huis met sy see-aansig in Voëlklip het volgens die argitek Stefan Antoni “’n gevoel van vrede, baie ruimte en is gevul met sonlig”.

Die eiendom het verlede jaar die Suid-Afrikaanse Instituut vir Argitekte se toekenning vir uitnemendheid gewen. Dit is in April vir R16,5 miljoen op ’n veiling verkoop.

Die binnenshuise versierder Astrid van der Heim se huis in Killarney, die argitekte Xavier en Carine Huyberechts se huis in Houghton en Kobus Nieuwoudt s’n in Nature’s Valley was ook onder die finaliste.

Verslag oor Pretorius bevraagteken

24 Aug

MARELIZE BARNARD

Saterdag 24 Augustus 2013

KAAPSTAD. – Waarom word niks gesê van die groot beleggers in wyle Herman Pretorius se “beleggingsfondse” en al die geld wat aan hulle uitbetaal is nie?
Dié vraag is deur Michael Calitz, voorheen ’n makelaar vir Pretorius, aan die likwidateurs van Pretorius se Relative Value Arbitrage Fund (RVAF) gevra.
Calitz het ’n beswaar teen die likwidateurs se verslag wat op 13 Junie uitgereik is by die meester van die Wes-Kaapse hooggeregshof ingedien.

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‘Kom, sê iets, mev. Pretorius’

22 Aug

MARELIZE BARNARD
Donderdag 22 Augustus 2013
KAAPSTAD. – “Kom, mev. Pretorius, praat . . . sê iets.”
Dít was gister die beroep wat in die Wes-Kaapse hooggeregshof gedoen is op Susan-Ann Pretorius, vrou van wyle Herman Pretorius wat R2,2 miljard van beleggers ingevorder het in ’n vermeende piramideskema voordat hy verlede jaar selfmoord gepleeg het.

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Pretorius moet sê oor interdik

21 Aug

Author: Marelize Barnard

Publications:  Die Burger

Date Publiched: 21 Augustus 2013

KAAPSTAD. – Het Herman Pretorius se weduwee geweet dat ’n interdik verontagsaam word toe miljoene rande se aandele ná haar man se dood verkwansel is om haar eie regskostes te betaal?

Dit is die vraag wat Susan-Ann Pretorius moet beantwoord wanneer sy vandag ’n sekwestrasie-aansoek teen haar in die Wes-Kaapse hooggeregshof beveg. Haar regspan kan dalk lig werp oor die bewering dat ’n groot getal Wesizwe-aandele verkoop is ten spyte daarvan dat dit strydig kon wees met ’n hofbevel.

Lambertus von Wielligh Bester van Progressive Administration, ’n mede-kurator van Pretorius se beleggingstrust (Relative Value Arbitrage Fund), voer in ’n beëdigde verklaring aan dat aandele verkoop is nadat ’n interdik op 9 Oktober verlede jaar verkry is wat Susan-Ann verhinder om enige bates te vervreem.

Maar Susan-Ann voer in haar beëdigde verklaring aan dat die opbrengste uit die verkoop ………

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Telematic Broadcasts Keeping you Updated

21 Aug

Author: Paul Kruger

Publications: Moonstone

Date Published: 20 August 2013

In the aftermath of the Herman Pretorius matter, and the latest warning from the FSB concerning an institution who offers a 25% return per month, it sounds like a good presentation to attend, and to ask some questions. ………

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Als donasies, sê weduwee

20 Aug
Welgemoed

Welgemoed

Author: Marelize Barnard

Publications:  Die Burger

Date Publiched: 20 Augustus 2013

KAAPSTAD. – Die weduwee van die piramide-beleggingsmous Herman Pretorius gaan môre aan die hof verduidelik waarom sy nie gesekwestreer moet word nie.

Susan-Ann Pretorius beveg ’n sekwestrasie-aansoek teen haar en voer aan sy was bloot ’n huisvrou wat “donasies” ontvang het van haar “eertydse suksesvolle sakeman-eggenoot”.

Lambertus von Wielligh Bester, likwidateur wat die sekwestrasie-aansoek teen Susan-Ann in die Wes-Kaapse hooggeregshof bring, meen egter sy het nie enige bewyse gelewer dat Pretorius ’n suksesvolle sakeman was nie.

“My oorlede man het voor 2004 suksesvolle besighede gehad wat ons, byvoorbeeld, daartoe in staat ………

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Liquidation of a Herman Pretorius Company Sees Claremont Property Sold on Auction

28 Jul

Author: Property Wheel

Publications: Property Wheel

Date Published: 27 July 2013

A luxurious Claremont apartment which formed part of the assets of a company in liquidation and of which the late Herman Pretorius, known for his involvement in various hedge fund investment schemes was a Director, was confirmed as sold by the ClareMart Auction Group for an inclusive R3.3million on Friday, July 19. The auction took place on-site auction on Wednesday, July 10.

“Our Group received joint instruction from the liquidators of RZT Zelpy 4005 (Pty) LTD to proceed to auction with this premier southern suburb apartment together with all of its luxurious and décor appointed contents and our Group is pleased to have been able to once again assist a high profile liquidation linked to Pretorius” says Chief Executive Officer, Jonathan Russell Smiedt.

The on-site auction held at 12 noon on Wednesday was attended by approximately fifty members of the public. “Although we are experiencing a high number of members of the public attending and registering at our auctions in general, we were certain that this particular property would achieve a similar interest to our successful and well-attended auction of Pretorius’ …..

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Moneyweb shines at Sanlam Awards

18 Jul

Author: Julius Cobbett

Publications: MoneyWeb

Date Published: 18 July 2013

Clark and Rees honoured with three category awards.

Two Moneyweb journalists scooped three category awards at the prestigious Sanlam Awards for Excellence in Financial Journalism. Moneyweb founder Alec Hogg also received a Lifetime Achievement Award.

Moneyweb’s financial services correspondent Jeanette Clark won in the categories of Personal Finance and Infrastructure Development.

Malcolm Rees was honoured in the category for the Economy and Industry for his in-depth reporting on developments in the unsecured lending market. He was the co-winner with Business Report veteran Ann Crotty.

Julius Cobbett was also a finalist in the category for Personal Finance for his reporting on the Herman Pretorius saga.

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Brief: Is dit hoe jy jou integriteit verkoop?

16 Jul

Author: Lesersbrief

Publications:  Die Burger

Date Publiched: 16 Julie 2013

Ek het ook deur ’n makelaar aandele by Herman Pretorius gekoop. Herman het sekere beloftes in die teenwoordigheid van die makelaar gemaak. Toe dit nie realiseer nie, kontak ek die makelaar, wat my meedeel dat ek nou op my eie is. Noudat ek lees van die R15 000 000-kommissie, maak baie dinge sin. Dat ’n mens nou jou integriteit vir geld kan verkoop!

Izak

Eendekuil

 

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Brief: Laat ook gierige makelaars opdok

16 Jul

Author:  Lesersbrief

Publications:  Die Burger

Date Publiched: 16 Julie 2013

Ek is reeds 33 jaar ’n onafhanklike makelaar en was ook ’n slagoffer van Herman Pretorius in 1992. Hy het briefhoofde van my maatskappy gebruik om Eskom-effekte mee te handel sonder enige toestemming.

Ek was nie verbaas dat makelaars op ’n handskud miljoene van hul kliënte se geld belê het nie. Die FSB het klagtes ontvang, maar steeds is met Pretorius se skema voortgegaan. My vraag is of die betrokke makelaars nie probeer het om ondersoek in te stel waarvandaan die buitensporige kommissie/winsdeling kom nie! Dié wat gely en baie geld verloor het as gevolg van gierigheid, verdien die pak.

Hoekom word die makelaars nie aangetree om terug te betaal aan beleggers wat hulle geskep het nie?

Makelaar

Bellville

 

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Pretorius deel glo wins met makelaar

12 Jul

Author: Marelize Barnard

Publications:  Die Burger

Date Publiched: 12 Julie 2013

KAAPSTAD. – Een van die mees vooraanstaande makelaars wat groot beleggers na wyle Herman Pretorius se beleggingskema gelok het, is met winsdeling daarvoor vergoed.

Dié miljoene rande wat Pretorius gebruik het om makelaars te betaal, word genoem in ’n verslag deur die gesamentlike trustees van Pretorius se Relative Arbitrage Fund en Seca Trusts nadat insolvensie-ondervragings gedoen is.

Die makelaar Michael Calitz, wat verskeie beleggers se geld by Pretorius belê het, het ’n deel van die wins ontvang wanneer hy beleggings van meer as R15 miljoen ………

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