Anchor Capital has been dragged into the furore over Cobus Kellermann/David Cosgrove’s Belvedere investment platform. We got in touch with Anchor CEO Peter Armitage to clarify its link to Kellermann and his Clarus Asset Management. He answers our questions here:
What is your association to Cobus Kellermann?
Kellermann is the owner of Clarus Asset Management. We ran three unit trust funds on behalf of Clarus – two equity funds and one listed property fund. The investors in those funds did very well.
Nor was this unusual. Coronation, and some other prominent investment managers also ran funds on behalf of Clarus. This is standard practice in the industry. But with the allegations surrounding Kellermann’s link to Belvedere in Mauritius, we have resigned as the fund manager of those funds, and have duly notified the Financial Services Board.
Have you ever invested any of your clients’ money in Belvedere, or any other structure linked to Kellermann/Cosgrove?
Absolutely not. We have never given a cent to these operations. Prior to Saturday, we did not even know of their existence.
You were in the process of acquiring a business called Contego Asset Management. What was the link to Cobus Kellermann there?
We signed a purchase agreement to acquire a suite of unit trusts in which Contego had the management contract to run on behalf of Metropolitan. Cobus was one of the shareholders of Contego.
In light of the accusations, and with respect to our policy of completely dissociating ourselves with anything untoward, we have cancelled the sale in light of facts that have come to light.
We still think it would have been a great deal for us, but we are putting our reputation ahead of everything else.
A webpage associated with the Trinity Scheme surfaced today, showing a link to an Anchor Capital Diversified Fund, what is going on there?
About two years ago we wanted to launch a global fund. We spoke to Kellermann at the time about it, along with other interested parties. But we didn’t proceed with him, rather electing to go with Sanlam in Ireland. These funds launched literally a month ago. They are named the Anchor Global Equity Fund and Anchor Global Absolute Return Fund.
The Anchor Global Diversified Fund (shown on the website) does not exist. We have certainly never managed it or taken a fee or anything. Either Kellermann created it and just put it on the website. Or else he has opened the fund and put money into that fraudulently.
We are aggressively trying to establish, using all legal means possible, whether there is money in that fund.
I’m absolutely horrified to see our name there.
What contact have you personally had with Kellermann or Cosgrove since the story broke?
Zero with Cosgrove. I called Kellermann on Saturday morning to ask him what was going on. It was a brief call – he essentially denied all the accusations.
And your lawyers?
They are taking legal action on our behalf against Cobus, and should be meeting with his legal team later today.
Anchor Capital has formally communicated its dealings with Kellermann and the cancelled sale of Contego via SENS, which can be read here: