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Disgruntled investors offered claims service

Friday 23rd May 2003

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Former NBR contributor Brian Bloch, an academic now based in Germany, has become a guardian angel for disgruntled investors.

Dr Bloch and former corporate banker Roland Shelton-Agar have established a claims representation service to act on behalf of investors who believe they have been ripped-off.

The service has been successfully set up in the UK and South Africa and is now being offered for out-of-pocket New Zealand investors, with Wellington based Mr Shelton-Agar liaising with local clients.

Dr Bloch is offering a service to investors who want compensation for financial loss from mismanaged investment funds, failure to provide an adequate standard of care, misrepresentation, professional negligence and other actions.

The service prepares and manages complaints to be filed with the Financial Planners and Insurance Advisers Association (FPIA), the Disputes Tribunal or the District Court, depending on which is most appropriate.

Dr Bloch said millions of dollars in retirement savings for many New Zealanders had been lost with the fall in global equity markets.

"It is by no means certain that these losses will be recovered within the present decade and other common asset classes, such as property or bonds, are unlikely to make up these losses over the same time frame," he said.

Dr Bloch, who was a lecturer at the University of Auckland and is now a professor at the University of Münster in Germany, is making the service affordable by charging a combination of an hourly rate plus a success fee or a higher hourly rate.

Mr Shelton-Agar, a qualified financial planner, said the losses some investors had suffered were a direct result of poor financial advice.

"The majority of advisers in this business in New Zealand are compensated through commission or bonus arrangements with the result many operators are more like sales reps than professional advisers," Mr Shelton-Agar said.

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