16 Nov 2012

Situation grim for Ross Asset investors

8:05 pm on 16 November 2012

The receiver for Ross Asset Management says the situation for investors is grim. Hundreds of millions of dollars are unaccounted for.

The Financial Markets Authority raided the investment company earlier this month and now a receiver says only $10 million of the $449 million has been found.

The company had more than 900 investors.

John Fisk from PricewaterhouseCoopers told Morning Report he does not believe the company started as a Ponzi scheme, but it appears it may have been operating that way recently.

Mr Fisk says as time goes by it becomes less likely the missing money will be found and investors need to assume the worst.

Company owner David Ross is in hospital and is not able to be interviewed.

FMA comment

The Financial Market Authority says it acted soon as it was alerted to problems at Ross Asset Management.

Spokesperson Sue Brown says the FMA became aware of the situation on 24 October when two complaints were received in one day.

Since then, the FMA had responded swiftly, appointing receivers and getting their first report.

However, one investor, who did not wish to be named, told Nine to Noon she had no idea something was wrong until the FMA froze the company's assets last week.

She says the whole operation was very plausible and even her accountant thought the statements and reports all added up.