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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Japan Pension Fund Sorry For Losing Your Money

Just like out of an Eric Clapton song where a man admits to shooting a sheriff, but did not kill the deputy, the president of an investment company says he lost $1.3 billion (¥109.2 billion), but did not try and lie to his clients.

AIJ Investment Advisers president Asakawa Kazuhiko (surname first - and pictured above) says to a parliamentary panel: "I led the entirety (of the scheme).

AIJ is accused of losing the ¥109.2 billion that clients put away to fund their retirement, despite telling them investments were outperforming.

Asakawa did admit that he had given optimistic (IE inflated) figures to his clients - and that he was sorry.

This is part of the scandal that arose in February of 2012. People may have opted out of investments if they were tanking, but with the optimistic view and Asakawa's assurances, clients held the course and now do not have a pension fund.  

Obviously, aside from making more money, Asakawa did not offer an explanation about how he and AIJ might return the lost money.

While people playing with money investors know there is always a chance you could won or you could lose, you still at least hope your investment adviser is playing with fair rules. 

"I would like to apologise to all the members (of the pensions fund)," Asakawa said. "I didn't want to use inflated figures for the pensions fund, but did not want to come back with losses, no matter what. I was confident of recouping the losses."

With longevity increasing in Japan, private pension funds are key for many to help them survive the long retirement.

AIJ's operations were suspended in February of 2012 when the scandalous allegations first appeared.

Asakawa said he wanted to visit the homes of all investors and apologise, repeating that he had no intention to deceive them.

Ahh... the best laid plans of mice and Akazawa. Here's a clip from WKRP, the funniest most under-rated television comedy I have ever seen (with The Knights Of Prosperity coming in second - see who stars in it (Sofia))

According to the Securities and Exchange Surveillance Commission, AIJ racked up ¥109.2 billion  in investment losses after accepting ¥145.8 billion in assets from pension funds.

The commission also said Asakawa is believed to have used fictitious figures when striking deals with corporate pension funds. For example, AIJ is reported to have boasted annual returns of up to 240 percent in a market where other investments struggld to break even

AIJ now has only ¥8.1 billion in cash and deposits, the commission said.

The Financial Services Agency has AIJ of its registration as an investment adviser and suspended operations of its ITM Securities for a six-month period.

Fils by Andrew Joseph

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