…….. 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.
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………..