If it sounds far too good to be true, it almost always is.
That’s the advice from the Alberta Securities Commission (ASC) as investment scams ramp up across the country and try to take advantage of the current COVID-19 pandemic.
One such scam is trying to lure in possible investment in companies claiming to have developed products or services that prevent, detect or cure the coronavirus.
It’s called a pump-and-dump scheme, so here is what you need to know: they spread positive but false information to get people to buy stock with hopes the ‘hype’ spreads; the fraudulent penny stock companies have limited or untrue information that is publicly available; they quickly dump the stock before it drops giving them a windfall while the rest lose their investments.
Another scam uses fear to try and steal people’s money. Anyone contacted regarding their investments should not give out any personal information then call their advisor or bank to verify the call was legitimate.
To date, no product or service is authorized to treat or protect against the virus. For reliable information, the public should search information on the Canadian or Alberta government websites.
Meanwhile, as recent survey from the ASC shows a significant number of Albertans are confident they could pick out an investment fraud.
A total of 75 per cent of respondents expressed confidence they have the knowledge and awareness to protect themselves.
However, when it came to actually spotting the signs of investment fraud, more than 70 per cent overlooked the red flags of celebrity endorsements and tax-free investing. Meanwhile, over half of respondents failed to identify the warning signs of high return, low risk claims and the exclusive or time-sensitive opportunity assertion.
Another statistic showed 58 per cent trusted friends and family on an investment, which the ASC explained is important as one in five people approached with an investment scam said they were introduced to it through a personal connection.
“Just because an investment opportunity comes through someone we know and trust, doesn’t automatically mean it’s not fraudulent,” said Hilary McMeekin, ASC manager of communications in a release.
“Regardless of how much you trust the source, it’s critical to take steps to protect your hard-earned money, like checking registration.”
The ASC recommends people visit www.CheckFirst.ca for information and resources to guard against investment fraud.
People should also be familiar with these typical red flags:
- Promises of high returns with little or no risk. There is no such thing. Usually, the higher the potential returns, the higher the level of risk.
- Lack of registration. Generally, anyone offering an investment in Alberta must be registered with the ASC. A free and quick national registration search is available via Checkfirst.ca.
- Pressure to invest immediately. If someone is pressuring you and you are uncomfortable, decline the offer or seek advice from an independent financial professional before deciding to invest.
- Offshore investment or profits that claim to be tax-free. Taxes can sometimes be deferred, but they can’t be avoided. This tactic is used to get investors to send their money offshore where it is difficult, if not impossible, to get back.
“We often hear from victims that they never thought fraud could happen to them — but anyone can be impacted,” said McMeekin.
“Protecting one’s self against fraud ultimately comes down to understanding the red flags and doing research before signing on the dotted line. Fraud is constantly evolving and changing, so it’s important to stay-up-to-date with information and remain vigilant.”
Seeking coronavirus relief, investment firm with ties to Kushner emails Kushner, Trump admin – NBC News
The co-founder of a huge private equity firm sent an email this week to Jared Kushner and other Trump administration policymakers seeking to relax rules on coronavirus relief money in a way that would benefit the company, according to sources familiar with the matter.
Kushner’s family real estate business has financial ties to the company, Apollo Global Management.
A source close to Kushner says there was nothing remarkable about his receipt of the email, from Apollo co-founder Mark Rowan. Kushner gets hundreds of proposals from all sorts of people, the source said. But Apollo is not just any business: It made a $184 million loan in 2017 to Kushner Companies, the real estate company in which Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, retains an interest.
The email obtained by NBC News went out to Apollo clients and other policymakers, the sources said. It makes a recommendation about a $100 billion loan program recently announced by the Federal Reserve to backstop lenders and investors — a program designed to inject cash into the financial system to prevent it from freezing up.
The details are complicated, but the program will make loans to the financial industry’s holders of certain types of debt, including student, auto and credit card loans. Under the rules, the securities backed by the debt must have the highest rating, usually AAA. One big category of debt is not eligible: unsecured consumer loans.
Many investments held by Apollo — which calls itself “one of the world’s largest alternative investment managers” — wouldn’t qualify because they are higher risk and lower rated. In his email, Rowan makes the case to expand the lending under the program.
“Current TALF supports AAA which is EXACTLY WHERE SUPPORT IS NOT NEEDED,” the email says, referring to the technical name of the program, Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility. “TALF should be expanded to support a broad spectrum of investment grade obligations with guardrails and limitations as described.”
Rowan adds, “There has been no MORAL HAZARD. We have a totally unique situation.”
That is a reference to arguments made during the 2008 financial crisis against bailing out banks and Wall Street firms that had made bad investments in mortgage-backed securities. Critics said a “moral hazard” was created when the government essentially spared many banks the consequences of their bad decisions.
In a financial crisis caused by an unforeseen global pandemic, there is no moral hazard, Rowan argues. But others see it differently. They say some of Apollo’s investments were extremely risky even without a pandemic. If the government backed them, it could be left holding the bag.
In a statement, Apollo did not dispute the authenticity of the email.
“Business leaders around the country are offering their best solutions on how we can come together to respond to the health crisis and restart our economy,” the statement sad. “We are particularly concerned that the plumbing of the financial system is not operating. Apollo, among other voices — including insurance companies, retirement plans, and industry organizations — have been advocating for the broad application of TALF across the investment grade market, which would efficiently reach the largest number of companies and do the most good.”
Apollo is no stranger to the Trump administration.
The New York Times reported that in November 2017, Apollo lent $184 million to Jared Kushner’s family real estate firm, Kushner Companies, to refinance the mortgage on a Chicago skyscraper.
The Times said the loan came after Joshua Harris, a founder of Apollo, attended White House meetings and advised Trump administration officials on infrastructure policy.
He met several times with Kushner, three people familiar with the meetings told the Times. Among other things, the two men discussed a possible White House role for Harris, the Times reported.
The position never materialized.
Christine Taylor, a spokeswoman for Kushner Companies, told the Times that Kushner’s White House role had not affected the company’s relationships with financial institutions.
Through a spokesman, Kushner’s attorney, Abbe Lowell, told the Times Kushner “has met with hundreds of business people.” He said that Kushner “has taken no part of any business, loans or projects with or for” Kushner Companies since joining the White House and that he has followed ethics advice.
In the past, senior White House and Cabinet officials with large investments have put them in a blind trust. Hank Paulson, who was worth an estimated $500 million when he became Treasury secretary under George W. Bush in 2006, did that.
Kushner resigned from his family business and he plays no role in running the Kushner Companies, but he retains a portfolio of real estate investments through the firm. Ethics filings showed that real estate holdings and other investments held by Kushner and his wife Ivanka Trump in 2017 were worth as much as $811 million.
President Trump also has elected not to use a blind trust, and retains financial stakes in his family real estate businesses.
Ken Dilanian reported from Washington.
HNW Offshore Investment: Drivers and Motivations – GlobeNewswire
New York, April 03, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Reportlinker.com announces the release of the report “HNW Offshore Investment: Drivers and Motivations” – https://www.reportlinker.com/p05879467/?utm_source=GNW
However, we are seeing notable differences between regions, suggesting that one strategy does not fit all.For example, tax efficiencies as a driver for offshore investments are of particular importance in Europe and North America.
This means assisting HNW investors in minimizing their tax liabilities is key in these regions. Meanwhile, in Asia Pacific business interests are a significant driver, so a well-designed business and investment banking proposition neatly integrated with standard private banking services is a must.
This report draws on our 2018 and 2019 Global Wealth Managers Surveys to analyze the drivers behind offshore investments in the HNW space. It examines and contrasts offshore HNW investment preferences across 27 jurisdictions, providing readers with an in-depth understanding of what is motivating HNW investors to look for new homes for their wealth.
– At a global level, 32.5% of HNW wealth is invested outside one’s country of residence.
– North American investors offshore the largest proportion of their wealth to achieve tax efficiencies (19%), but only 62% of European providers are able to advise clients on the taxation of their international assets.
– 32% of global HNW wealth is held via equities, 15% via bonds, and 18% via property.
– Economic and political instabilities are driving 16% of global HNW wealth offshore.
– Political and economic uncertainties as an offshore driver are becoming more important, now accounting for 13% of offshore investments.
Reasons to Buy
– Understand the global trends that are driving offshore investments in the HNW space.
– Compare how HNW offshore investment drivers differ across 27 countries.
– Learn why certain HNW offshore drivers are more relevant in some countries than in others and how this affects your business.
– Understand how to react to the constantly changing tax environment and adjust your offshore proposition accordingly.
– Learn how political and economic instability affects client preferences and how global markets shape investment behavior in the HNW space.
Read the full report: https://www.reportlinker.com/p05879467/?utm_source=GNW
ReportLinker is an award-winning market research solution. Reportlinker finds and organizes the latest industry data so you get all the market research you need – instantly, in one place.
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Piper Sandler Completes Acquisition of Preeminent Chemicals Investment Bank, The Valence Group – Financial Post
MINNEAPOLIS — Piper Sandler Companies (NYSE: PIPR), a leading investment bank and institutional securities firm, today announced it has completed its acquisition of The Valence Group, a premier international investment bank specializing in the chemicals, materials and related sectors. The Valence Group will operate as Piper Sandler’s new chemicals & materials group, adding yet another industry-leading advisory practice to the Piper Sandler platform. In addition, Peter Hall, one of the founders of The Valence Group, will now lead Piper Sandler’s expansion of investment banking in Europe.
Piper Sandler was advised by its wholly owned subsidiary, Piper Sandler & Co., and was represented by Sullivan & Cromwell LLP. Houlihan Lokey served as financial advisor and Dentons as legal advisor to The Valence Group in connection with the transaction.
About Piper Sandler
Piper Sandler is a leading investment bank and institutional securities firm driven to help clients Realize the Power of Partnership®. Through a distinct combination of candid counsel, focused expertise and empowered employees, we deliver insight and impact to each and every relationship. Our proven advisory teams combine deep product and sector expertise with ready access to global capital. Founded in 1895, the firm is headquartered in Minneapolis with offices across the United States and in London, Aberdeen and Hong Kong. www.PiperSandler.com
Piper Sandler Companies (NYSE: PIPR) is a leading investment bank and institutional securities firm driven to help clients Realize the Power of Partnership®. The Valence Group was acquired by Piper Sandler and is a brand name used by the chemicals & materials group of the Piper Sandler investment banking division. Securities brokerage and investment banking services are offered in the U.S. through Piper Sandler & Co., member SIPC and NYSE; in Europe through Piper Sandler Ltd., authorized and regulated by the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority; and in Hong Kong through Piper Sandler Hong Kong Limited, authorized and regulated by the Securities and Futures Commission. Asset management products and services are offered through separate investment advisory affiliates.
©2020. Since 1895. Piper Sandler Companies. 800 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55402-7036
Chief Financial Officer
Tel: 612 303-5607
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