Addwealth in a subtractive phase

Addwealth in a subtractive phase

As motorcycle daredevils the Crusty Demons soar upside down above a ramp in front of adoring fans, they have one immediate aim: not to wipe out and end up with their faces in the dirt.

But a wipeout is just what has happened to investors who put their hard-earned into a fund that backed the Crusty folk and other arena shows put on by tour promoter Paul Dainty.

Until it was taken down on Monday afternoon, the website of Perth-based financial adviser Paul Foster boasted that he was "pivotal in protecting Addwealth's clients from the global financial crisis". No doubt. But about 300 investors have not done as well, with only about half left of the $70 million to $80 million they pumped into his Addwealth Achiever Fund. The Australian Securities and Investments Commission has cancelled the licence of Addwealth.

According to 2011 accounts - the most recent available - the achiever fund's investments included $4.95 million lent to businesses of which Foster is a director. The fund also promised to lend up to $15 million to Dainty Consolidated Entertainment and pumped $1.2 million into Dainty's Crusty Demons show.

Fearing the fund was more of an underachiever, investors got rid of responsible entity Valuestream Investment Management in October, switching to Robert Garton Smith's Primary Securities.

In an update last week, Primary said the fund's entertainment-related assets were worth $12.7 million, but qualified the opinion. Garton Smith declined to say whether the asset was made up of DCE loans and DCE did not respond to CBD's email.

"We continue to sort out problems, which are many," Garton Smith told CBD.

He said the fund's woes were an unexpected side effect of Future of Financial Advice legislation banning commissions for financial planners. "This could well be an example of what's to come as planners try to run their own funds," he said.

Breathing space

Transport Minister Anthony Albanese will be among the multitude junketeering to Dubai alongside Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce and Emirates CEO Tim Clark when the airlines launch their love-in on Sunday.

While most of the cattle classes won't get to experience the joyous union until the following day - April Fools' Day - the assembled dignitaries are getting in early with a four-day round trip to the Middle Eastern airline's desert home - business class, of course.

That should give plenty of "Albo" room and put some much-needed space between Kevin Rudd loyalist Albanese and triumphant Prime Minister Julia Gillard. No such luck for deposed minister Martin Ferguson, who wasn't invited in the first place.

Terse Harold

Fresh from the world's biggest traffic jam for the new Pope at a Rome conference with his new Japanese owners, Aegis local chairman Harold Mitchell was his usual ebullient self on The Perrett Report on Monday night.

He said that while world advertising revenue was looking up and is expected to grow 3 per cent this year, in Australia the figure was only 1 per cent - a direct reflection of the lack of business confidence, which would not be helped by recent events in Canberra. He agreed an election was the only hope - "tomorrow would be great," he quipped.

HECS envy

Artist Ben Quilty spread Bohemia to the actuarial world on Monday night, speaking to 100 guests of insurer Marsh at the Art Gallery of NSW for the Archibald Prize (he's a judge). He told the crowd, including Marsh's Australian chief executive, John Clayton, that perhaps sports people who get a "lot of funding" should be made to pay HECS, as artists do.

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