Belvedere duo: We are not running a Ponzi scheme
Fin24

Belvedere duo: We are not running a Ponzi scheme

2015-03-26 14:35

Cape Town - “There is no Ponzi scheme,"  Cobus Kellermann of Welgemoed in the Cape, and his business partner David Cosgrove, of Mauritius, said in an interview with Die Burger newspaper, a sister publication and part of Netwerk24.

Kellermann and Cosgrove are dousing fires after allegations in the international and local media  that they are involved in a Ponzi scheme.

Both say no, their work is honest and their income is the result of normal hard work.

Why does it look like you’re in trouble?

Kellermann: I don’t know. I have never had any allegations of this nature against me. I am a black-or-white person.

There are no investors that have complained that their money has disappeared. Only unfounded reports on the website Offshorealert.com that unleashed a whole storm.

Do you have a connection with the late Herman Pretorius?

Kellermann: My family and I live in the same neighbourhood (Welgemoed) where Pretorius lived. It is coincidence.

I met Pretorius on a social event once. That is all.

The connection with Julian Williams (who has been shot dead by Pretorius before he shot himself) is because we were in the same industry.

I was an adviser involved with a company that bought listed BK One shares.

The investment team sold it on request from the managing company to increase cash in the portfolio.

Basileus, of which Williams was the executive head, was a co-funder of projects along with BK One.

It is being argued that you do not answer media inquiries?

Kellermann: I did not check my emails on the weekend. I do not look at my emails on weekends. By Monday morning I was in the middle of hurricane Katrina.

Cosgrove: As I have said. This is actually a really boring meeting. I have nothing to hide away. According to reports I am probably in an airplane to Australia, but here I am.

Where does your money come from?

Kellermann: I worked hard for my money. I didn’t steal or enriched myself.

Do you handle investors’ money?

Kellermann: The Clarus asset management company (of which Kellermann was owner and director before its recent take-over) is an asset manager.

We do not handle and do not have access to investors’ money. The client pays money into a bank account, after which it gets paid into a designated bank account of a regulated product.

The only money we receive as administrative manager is prescribed rates.

Within the regulated system in which we work, it is not possible to personally lay our hands on money.

So you are not operating a Ponzi scheme?

Kellermann: Remember the bank handles the cash. I want to explain it, because it refutes the allegations of a Ponzi scheme. The allegations of a Ponzi scheme is very harmful.

Cosgrove: We do not run a Ponzi scheme. Yes, the business is complex, but our customers are satisfied.

So what is going on?

This is what we are trying to find out. We suspect it is a competitor who is trying to harm our reputation.

How does your business work?

Our clients are investment managers from around the world who manage funds. We supply the administrative systems and are paid a fixed administrative fee. We do not sell products to investors and do not know whose money it is.

To Kellermann: Do you have a red Ferrari?

I love classic cars. I also love art. It's not because I love the fast life. I myself do not have a classic car.

And the  trusts you have, do they own any classic cars?

It can be. I do not understand the relevance. I am the barefoot guy who wears thongs.

¦ The Werksmans law firm is representing Kellermann and Cosgrove. The conversation with Kellerman and Cosgrove had been conducted at Werksmans’ office in Stellenbosch.

For this article and more news in Afrikaans visit Netwerk24.

Comments
  • Dennis Milne - 2015-03-26 15:04

    Incredible how allegations tend to surface through media forums yet no financial audits have taken place.....if you are a transparent company then open your books dude

  • Anna Platten - 2015-03-26 18:11

    Annual reports are available Dennis! All asset managers get regularly audited as does the custodians... Legohead...yep ruin someone's reputation, hurt the whole investment and financial industry without proof is abominal but one wonders on who's face the egg really is,now? Mr Hogg has costed journalism a lot of credibility as well. Can't wait for a Bruce Cameron take on this...

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