Sunday, September 9, 2012
The SEC announced an emergency enforcement action against Nikolai Battoo, an asset manager who has boasted remarkable investment success throughout the global financial crisis while allegedly exaggerating the value of the assets he manages and concealing major losses from investors.
According to the SEC, Battoo claims to manage $1.5 billion on behalf of investors around the world, including at least $100 million for U.S.-based investors. But contrary to Battoo’s proclaimed track record of exceptional risk-adjusted returns for his investors, he actually suffered major losses in 2008 due to his investments in the Bernard Madoff Ponzi scheme and a failed derivative investment program. Rather than admit the losses to investors, Battoo has been overstating the value of his investments in a variety of ways. By boasting benchmark-beating returns, he has continued to attract new investors. However, during the past several months, investors have requested redemptions on their investments with Battoo. Instead of paying them, Battoo has provided a series of excuses ranging from the MF Global collapse to others placing a hold on investors’ money due to government investigations.