Ross losses soar

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Some Queenstown investors have lost their life savings in the Ross Asset Management collapse, a man fighting on their behalf says. 

And nearly three times as many Queenstowners as first thought have done dough with Wellington-based fund management firm RAM. 

The revelations come from Bruce Tichbon, who heads the RAM Investors Group, representing more than half the 900 investors who appear to have lost more than $400 million. 

Tichbon reveals he held a meeting in Queenstown on April 17 attended by about 15 local investors. 

The Queenstown investors had some shocking stories, Tichbon says: “There are people out there suffering horrifically – they’ve lost their life savings.” 

Several more local investors failed to attend, Tichbon believes. 

“There were a lot of other people who said yes, I’ll come – but they never showed up. 

“I’d say we probably lost a dozen people.” 

Tichbon believes the presence of a television news crew at the meeting put many off. 

“A lot of Queenstown people took fright. I was [also] told people were scared Mountain Scene was going to be there,” Tichbon says. 

“I think Queenstown people are very private.” 

Tichbon can’t ascertain exactly how many locals are RAM losers because his group’s database lists only email addresses: “I obviously can’t tell how many are from Queenstown.” 

His estimates of investors attending the Queenstown meeting and those who shied away total 27 people. 

When the RAM scandal first broke last November, one unnamed local investor told Mountain Scene he thought about 10 Queenstowners may be victims. 

Tichbon says the Queenstown meeting at Tanoa Aspen Hotel, one of a series he’s holding around the country, ran for two and a half hours. 

Investigators believe investors may get back only three cents in the dollar from about $440m they placed with RAM.