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London Nominees Offshore Funds


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I have had a large portion on my portfolio put into 2 London Nominee Offshore Funds.

I cannot find out anything about them and am concerned I am being taken for a ride.

Does anyone know:-

Who London Nominees are as virtually nothing when Googled, or on F.T., BBC Business etc. websites

or

Does anyone else have money in these funds and can advise any information?

Any help gratefully received.

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Thanks patlang but more confused.

You mention loads of info on Google so I have just been on again quoting "London Nominees Funds" and what did I get?

First 2 results were London Nominees own website which shows 3 funds.

1). CTA Select sub Fund - If you can understand well done - not to a layman like me!!

2). Index Options & Futures Fund - What do they do? But what confuses me more is that they anounce the launch of this fund on 15.07.2008 and then go on to show returns on this fund going back to 2003!! How does a fund produce return figures for 5 years when it was not even in existence!!!!!!!!!!!!

3). Namesco - which is clearer.

The only other 3 results I got from my Google were:-

2 results talking about an 'Asian REIT Fund' which doesn't even exist on London Nominess own website

and

1 result for a "LN Portfolio Fund 2007" so 2 years out of date!!!

PLEASE tell me what I should Google to get more information and of any outside reports about them etc. ?

Many thanks.

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Khundon,

You ask why did I not know about London Nominees when I invested in them.

Answer:-

I did not. My investment adviser did it for me.

I am a gullible Englishman who still believed in honesty and integrity both in myself and from professional persons who I employ. This has been seriously shaken and now find that I am unable to get a written reply from that adviser about London Nominees!! Maybe there is no problem concerning London Nominees but would be delighted to learn more from anyone else who may have more knowledge.

Note:-

At this stage, I am just trying to learn more about London Nominees so PLEASE do not speculate who the Adviser is.

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I assume that it is these people.

http://www.londonnominees.com/ln/home.asp

A quick look at their website seems to show no details about the company's ownership or regulatory status. They give their address as a PO Box in the British Virgin Islands which raises the possibly that transparancy is not their greater priority.

If you do a Whois search on the website you get a name here in Bangkok with a phone numbers as well.... I dont want to post it directly but have a look if interested :o

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I assume that it is these people.

http://www.londonnominees.com/ln/home.asp

A quick look at their website seems to show no details about the company's ownership or regulatory status. They give their address as a PO Box in the British Virgin Islands which raises the possibly that transparancy is not their greater priority.

If you do a Whois search on the website you get a name here in Bangkok with a phone numbers as well.... I dont want to post it directly but have a look if interested :o

and a Sukhumvit Soi 33 address...would seem to be a long way from London.

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I would say that these two things are your priorities before you consider issues to do the actual asset management function:

1. Who actually holds your assets that are being managed by London Nominees? A fund management company should not hold the assets itself. They should be held by a custodian which should be a reputable international bank.

2. Who is the administrator of the fund? The administrator should also be a separate company with an international reputation. One of the key responsibilities of the administrator is to calculate performance of the fund and calculate the fees that are to be paid to the fund manager that are based on the asset size of the fund and on the performance of the fund (if the fund manager is entitled to a performance fee). Another key function is to send you statements showing the value of your holdings which must be in your own name. Madoff's clients ignored the golden rule of having a separate firm as the administrator and allowed Madoff to calculate his own performance. This basic mistake cost them US$50 billion. It also goes without saying that the fund manager should also not be his own custodian and actually hold your assets in his own name. In this case, if he goes bust, your assets will be used to pay off his liabilities. Alternatively he may just help himself.

I note on London Nominees' website that they list Bank of Bermuda as custodian and Apex, Singapore, as the administrator. That is OK but you need to check that this information is correct in the case of your holdings. You should receive statements in your own name from Apex and there should be the name of some one in charge of your account on the statement. Do some detective work by calling Apex's general line in Singapore to check that person really works there and ask them to verify your administrative account. Get the details of the custody account at Bank of Bermuda (now part of HSBC probably in Singapore, if the administrator is there) from that person and go through the same procedure to verify the custody account.

If you are not 100% satisfied that your assets are held in your name by Bank of Bermuda and that the fund is administered by Apex, your due diligence ends here. You have surrendered legal title to your assets and you must try to get as much of your money back as you can as soon as possible.

Googling the two funds, the only source of information on these funds seems to be London Nominees itself - not an encouraging sign. The Index Options and Futures Fund, judging by its description, is an options fund (no mention of any futures) that sets out to generate double digit returns through a fairly standard options trading strategy that seeks to predict volatility in the US stock market. That means it is taking bets on the likelihood of sharp moves up or down (it doesn't matter which way). Other than that information is sparse. As you say, it is not clear what data is represented in the series of returns since 2003, since the fund was only launched in July 2008. Since this strategy aims to benefit from sharp moves up or down, it is odd that the performance indicated for 2008 is only 2.25% in one of the most volatile years in the history of the S&P 500 Index. The YTD (presumably 2009) performance is even more disappointing at -12.64%. Despite showing an impressive performance for the period before the fund was launched, the fund seems to have lost money since its inception in a period of unprecedented market volatility when a strategy like this should have been away to the races. There is no mention of who the fund manager is or the size of the fund, both key pieces of information. The fund seeks to outperform the S&P 500 Index (this is apples with oranges and not a meaningful comparison for this strategy) and the Barclays CTA Index but the website, rather oddly, doesn't compare the performance of the fund with these two benchmarks, nor does it show any measure of the fund's own volatility. The fund massively outperformed the Barclays CTA Index during the period before it was launched with returns well into double digits but, unfortunately, it has significantly underperformed the Index since it was launched. It fact it seems to have lost money against a positive return on the Barclays CTA Index.

Moving on to the CTA Select Sub Fund (CTA stands for commodities trading advisor), offers a smorgesbord of complex managed futures strategies. Nothing wrong in that but you had better be sure the manager really knows what he is doing in picking and monitoring his external CTA managers for an array of "black box" strategies before signing up for a fund of this type. The fund, which was launched in December 2007, shows performance from 2005 without explaining what the prior years represent. Again the statistics from the period before the fund was launched show a strong performance which seems to dropped into a black hole since the fund was actually launched. No performance is shown for the full year of 2008, the fund's first full year of operation nor are any benchmarks shown or even mentioned. However, from Jan-Nov 2008 the fund lost 16.74%, compared to a positive return of 14.05% on the Barclays CTA Index which is a perfect comparison for this fund. Surely just about everything that could have gone wrong in the fund's first year of life did. In 2009 the fund seems to have dropped off the radar with no performance reported. Clearly things have not started off in an optimum way at either of these two funds, despite the Barclays CTA Index benchmark in 2008 putting in its best performance in 18 years.

Looking further into London Nominees in general terms to see what kind of a beast it might be we find that the company is surprisingly bashful. The usual expansive biographies showing detailed track records and qualifications of fund managers have been omitted. It is not clear where the company is registered, based or regulated (if at all). The contact list shows an address in Hong Kong, an address in Bangkok and an offshore incorporations centre in the British Virgins Islands. London Nominees appears not to be registered with the Thai SEC as an asset management company or a financial advisor. The website doesn't mention whether the performance data is presented in compliance with Global Investment Presentation Standards (GIPS). There is no indication of company history, who the major shareholders are or of total assets under management. There is no indication of the basis on which the funds charge fees to investors but the website's careers section says this, "The London Nominees currently have an opening for fund distribution agents and representatives. We are looking for motivated, ambitious individuals...." which is highly suggestive of commission selling and large front end loads.

Edited by Arkady
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I have had a large portion on my portfolio put into 2 London Nominee Offshore Funds.

I cannot find out anything about them and am concerned I am being taken for a ride.

Does anyone know:-

Who London Nominees are as virtually nothing when Googled, or on F.T., BBC Business etc. websites

or

Does anyone else have money in these funds and can advise any information?

Any help gratefully received.

Presume this is thru a financial consultant located near Landmark Hotel, correct ? I am in one it is down about 40% since i got in last year.

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Roger Sefton is the portfolio analyst from Barclay Spencer,and i believe he is doing the fund management for k3 portfolio,who will be moving in with Barclay in 21st floor Two Pacific Place,near Landmark.

London Nominees are in the same building i think,but have no ties to Barclay to my knowledge.I have tel/mobile no of Roger and also email address if anybody needs it,pm me.

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Roger Sefton is the portfolio analyst from Barclay Spencer,and i believe he is doing the fund management for k3 portfolio,who will be moving in with Barclay in 21st floor Two Pacific Place,near Landmark.

London Nominees are in the same building i think,but have no ties to Barclay to my knowledge.I have tel/mobile no of Roger and also email address if anybody needs it,pm me.

Having said what I have said (ie the CTA fund is well down in late 2008/early2009) I have no reason to believe the set up is not above board in terms of the structure. That seemed to be the OP's concern.

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Roger Sefton is the portfolio analyst from Barclay Spencer,and i believe he is doing the fund management for k3 portfolio,who will be moving in with Barclay in 21st floor Two Pacific Place,near Landmark.

London Nominees are in the same building i think,but have no ties to Barclay to my knowledge.I have tel/mobile no of Roger and also email address if anybody needs it,pm me.

Having said what I have said (ie the CTA fund is well down in late 2008/early2009) I have no reason to believe the set up is not above board in terms of the structure. That seemed to be the OP's concern.

I agree that the disclosure of the poor performance since inception on the website is at least an encouraging sign that the performance may not be overstated but that doesn't mean the set-up is necessarily above board in terms of the structure. It is not yet clear that investors have title to their assets or that they would not lose all in the event the fund management company, which gives the impression of having a flimsy capital base and being unregulated anywhere, went under. Losing money during a period which generated good returns on average for similar managed futures and options strategies is also not encouraging. How will they do when volatility goes down and things get tougher? It is also not clear what levels of fees are charged or what early withdrawal penalties may be applied.

I don't think the OP asked about the portfolio analyst from Barclay Spencer mentioned above or the K3 portfolio or anything about that particular firm. Nevertheless, it is interesting if anyone is actually operating a managed futures type fund management business in Bangkok at BS, LN or any of these expat firms. Asset management firms and individual portfolio managers need to be licensed by the SEC to operate in Thailand in the same way that financial advisory firms and individual financial advisors need to be licensed. Both involve holding recognised financial qualifications and passing tough exams set by the SEC that are even harder to pass without a good knowledge of written Thai. The chief executive's position at an asset management company must be held by a Thai national and asset management and financial advisory firms must have full time compliance officers. In addition the SEC has not yet approved the management of any type of fund involving derivative products, like managed futures funds. Since the environment is currently very good for managed futures funds and very bad for most other types of funds, there is a lot of upward pressure on salaries of capable managed futures managers in New York, London etc. It is hard to imagine that some one who was really good in this field would be working in Bangkok or that any one would want to invest in this strategy through an unlicensed manager in Bangkok operating out of an unregulated firm in the wrong time zone, rather than giving the money to a well known firm in somewhere like London or New York. Admittedly I am cynical.

Edited by Arkady
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  • 1 month later...

Hi, I've only just joined so apologise if have not written in the correct format. Can you advise me whether the money you invested in London Nominees is actually above board and all ok.

If so which company was the advisor from and would you recommend them??

Thanks

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Whilst I don't recognise this particulary CTA fund, having glanced at its returns, its does not seem to me a very good one.

I am invested in the following CTA funds (managed futures), all have a history of good returns.

Tulip Trend www.trend.ky

Winton Futures www.matrixgroup.co.uk (matrix ascension)

BH Macro www.bhmacro.com

Edited by ArranP
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