Wakatipu money at risk’

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A prominent Queenstown investor of a Wellington financial advisor – with frozen assets – believes at least nine other well-heeled locals have funds at risk. 

The High Court recently froze the assets of long-time advisor David Ross, along with his main company Ross Asset Management, seven other related companies and two related trusts. 

A Queenstown investor with Ross Asset Management, speaking this week to Mountain Scene on a guarantee of anonymity, says he invested with RAM principal David Ross for about 15 years. 

“A long time ago he’d performed well and delivered.” 

Asked how many locals may have money with RAM, the investor says: “My expectation is that it’s north of 10 people – oh hell yeah.” 

The source isn’t aware of any minimum investment level: “But I don’t think people were putting in $5000 either,” the source says. 

In their particular case, the source wouldn’t reveal numbers, but says: “It’s a considerable sum of money.” 

Unlike some RAM investors who haven’t had statements for months, the local investor received a quarterly statement dated September 30. 

“I just had a compounding arrangement and you just got an advice saying the portfolio had increased in value by this much over that quarter,” the source says. 

The Financial Markets Authority – the successor to the Securities Commission – blew the whistle on RAM two weeks ago. 

With Ross hospitalised, the commission obtained asset restraining orders in the High Court and a clearance to install receivers. 

The National Business Review has reported last week that so far the Financial Markets Authority had heard from about 27 investors, many saying they’d not been able to withdraw money during August and September, despite numerous requests to do so. 

Overall, some 900 investors have account balances of $439 million, the High Court has been told. 

Wellington businessman Bruce Tichbon, who’s set up an investors’ group, says two on his list of hundreds have indicated they come from Queenstown. “Others on my list may come from Queenstown but I only ask for their 
email address.” 

Some people have said they invested many millions with Ross, Tichbon says. 

Tichbon’s investors’ group contact is: bruce.tichbon@gmail.com