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Open letter to FAnews Online

17 July 2006 Reader

It is with interest that I have been watching the many commentaries of all and sundry about the brokers stupidity and what not.

I concur that your approach is not as antagonistic, if at all. The fact is that the authors of several articles know very little about the true facts. How the documents brokers got for their investigation (prior to investing) had been falsified and that the entire training and everything else had been a skilfully created pile of bull the brokers were unable to see. In essence, the materials provided to study the company had been tampered with.

Also, the parties involved, from the directors of Leaderguard to the supposed knights on white horses, are professional and experienced thieves and conmen. They are experts at pulling the wool over peoples eyes. Nobody can tell me that the person who is outwitted by David Copperfields abilities, or any other magicians ability to take your watch of your arm without you noticing, is stupid?

I have met many of the Leaderguard brokers who had the wool pulled over their eyes. In fact I have communicated with nearly 200 of them extensively over the past year and more. Of course, I have not met every one of them and I believe that some of them avoided me for reasons of their own. As to those I have met, I can categorically state that they seem to be honest decent men and women who are cringing inside for having had this happen to them. The shame of it is eating into them.

I, on the other hand, applaud these brokers. These very brokers some call stupid, in a move probably unique in South Africa, if not the world, stood up and decided to be counted. At least 124 of them contributed to a fund which allowed me to employ a legal team, which enabled us to wrest control from these devils who thought nothing of ripping off defenceless pensioners. You havent the foggiest idea as to what effort was required to shatter their carefully laid strategy. Just to win the vote I had more than 20 000 communications by way of letter, e-mail and phone calls. That was in late July 2005. Since then there have been thousands upon thousands more. I spent nearly R1m of brokers contributions on various costs associated with gaining control.

The investors now have control. We have uncovered incontrovertible evidence that it was due to the gross negligence of certain parties that the losses could have taken place at all. I do not propose to tip my hand at this point, as certain activities need to take place before we lodge our final claim against these parties. Our case is strong. Extremely strong and I am convinced that we will get a VERY SUBSTANTIAL portion of the investors funds to them within the next 6 months.

Of course, I cant guarantee the amount and timeframe as yet, but I sacrificed more than an entire years income in driving this thing at the request of investors and brokers alike. I did not do it because I was stupid, but because I understood the logic of our case and that we could win. Be that as it may, when I was eventually too broke to take my family camping over Christmas, the very same stupid brokers people talk about clubbed together and helped us go.

Sir, I am proud of these guys and so should the rest of the broker community! The character shown by these guys is something you do not find under every bush. The way they shouldered their responsibilities should be held up as an example to others and, in fact, celebrated as as a victory for the broker community of South Africa.

As to your sentence: The question has to be asked whether the remainder of his business will suffer as a result. The short answer is yes. People loose faith very quickly, and especially when it involves their hard earned cash there generally is truth in it. However, in this case, I am pretty much amazed at how many brokers have been getting more money from these very same investors.

These guys have battered themselves emotionally for this big mess and they have been battered by the press, the FSB, etc. For some reason, nobody is talking about the marvelous thing they are in the process of finishing. Soon the investors should be able to rest easy again and it is purely as a result of these brokers. I say they have reason to be proud.

They have reason to look the world squarely in the eye and I am very proud to be associated with them. Have you got what it takes to take the time to find out what these heroes (I call them that as, without them, we would have achieved nothing) allowed us to do? Will you then be contrary and also tell of their commitment to their investors in your e-mail to 20 000+ brokers? I think these brokers deserve a little credit. Dont you?

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We have watched with interest as each of the country’s large life insurers report their 2021 life claims statistics, with soaring claims and claims values. That got us thinking: how do the big life insurers compare against one another, from an IFA perspective?

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