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FSCA warns the public against “James Norton” and “Mark Green” alleging to be affiliated with BlackRock Asset Management

21 October 2021 The Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA)

The Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) warns the public to be cautious when dealing with an individual or group impersonating BlackRock Asset Management (BlackRock). The individuals use the aliases ‘James Norton’ or ‘Mark Green’ and claim to be affiliated with BlackRock.

This individual or group is not authorised to render financial advice or intermediary services in terms of the Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services Act, 2002 (FAIS Act) and is not regulated by the FSCA.

The said impersonators appear to be offering an unauthorised financial product to members of the public. As they are not registered with the FSCA, they are conducting unauthorised financial services business and any customers using financial services or products offered by them does so at significant financial risk.

According to information the FSCA has received, James Norton alleges to be a senior account manager at BlackRock. The FSCA has confirmed that the authorised financial services provider BlackRock Investment Management (UK) Limited (FSP number 43288), BlackRock, Inc. or any other BlackRock entities have no affiliation with any “James Norton” nor “Mark Green”.

Members of the public have been contacted by ‘James Norton’ and ‘Mark Green’ offering the opportunity to invest in ‘BlackRock Capital Protected Fixed Income Multi-Sector Bond Fund’. This is not a legitimate BlackRock product. Documentation provided to members of the public however refers to BlackRock Asset Management, BlackRock Investment Management (UK) Limited and BlackRock Inc., (all of which are genuine BlackRock entities). In addition, the documentation references FSP 43288, but was not drafted by the authorised BlackRock. There is significant evidence to suspect that they may be operating a fraudulent scheme.

Members of the public should always check that an entity or individual is registered with the FSCA to provide financial advisory & intermediary services and what category of advice it is that the entity is registered to provide. There are instances where persons are registered to provide basic advisory services for a low-risk product and then offer services of a far more complex and risky nature. The FSCA reminds customers who wish to conduct financial services with an institution or person to check beforehand with the FSCA on either the toll free number (0800 110 443) or on https://www.fsca.co.za/Fais/Search_FSP.htm whether such institution or person is authorised to render financial services.

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The second draft amendments to Regulation 28 will allow retirement funds to allocate up to 45% of their assets to SA infrastructure, with a further 10% for rest of Africa; but the equity & offshore caps remain unchanged. What are your thoughts on the proposal?

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Infrastructure cap is way too high
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