JOHANNESBURG – Former Sharemax director Gert Goosen has emerged as the key player at a scheme that pays investors 13% a year. The scheme is run through a private company called Meadow Star Investments 62. Goosen is Meadow Star’s sole director. It is unclear how it generates its return.
Gert Goosen is married to Rinate Goosen, manager of the Fais Enforcement division at the Financial Services Board (FSB). Gert Goosen is also the brother-in-law of Sharemax founder Willie Botha.
Meadow Star Investments was registered in 2002. But it is believed that Goosen, and his business, Preston Financial Solutions, started marketing Meadow Star to clients in 2010 – when Sharemax-promoted syndication schemes ran into difficulties.
At the time of writing, neither Gert nor Rinate Goosen had responded to requests for comment.
Moneyweb is aware of one Preston Financial Solutions client, a pensioner, whose entire portfolio was invested in Sharemax syndications and Meadow Star.
Moneyweb has in its possession a statement by Preston to the client which reflects these investments, as well as a ‘beneficiary certificate’ issued by Meadow Star. The beneficiary certificate claims that Meadow Star is a nominee company that holds “various assets/investments/ordinary shares/ debentures” on behalf of its clients.
It is unclear why Goosen thought it appropriate to advise an elderly client to invest in an unlisted private company, in which he is the sole director.
There is no disclosure of what these assets might be or how the 13% return is generated.
Gert and Rinate Goosen used to operate a company called Unlisted Securities Services South Africa (USSA). This company allowed brokers to sell Sharemax products under its licence. At its peak, USSA had 1 376 representatives. The company’s business was recently described by Fais Ombud Noluntu Bam as “nothing short of the hiring out of a licence for a small monthly fee.”
Nevertheless, the FSB’s Gerry Anderson says Rinate Goosen is “well qualified and extremely competent.” Anderson says Goosen was “employed on her own merits and despite being married to Mr Goosen, based on career history.”
Rinate Goosen’s career history includes a five-year stint as USSA’s compliance officer. It has been alleged that USSA could not possibly comply with the FAIS Act with only one key individual (Gert Goosen) and one compliance officer (Rinate Goosen) to supervise as many as 1 376 representative Sharemax brokers.
Anderson denies that Gert Goosen’s business, Preston Financial Solutions, presents a conflict of interest for the FSB. He says Preston is supervised by the Fais supervision team headed by James Molefe, which is “completely segregated” from Rinate Goosen’s Fais enforcement department.
“The FSB is a responsible regulator, and will not allow any conflicts of interest, even if only perceived, to interfere with its regulatory mandate.”
Last month Anderson told Moneyweb that Preston Financial Solutions was “dormant.” Said Anderson: “Basically, Mr Goosen is currently unemployed.”
However, the fact that Preston Financial Solutions still has clients who are invested in both Meadow Star and Sharemax syndication companies suggests that it is not entirely dormant.