Morbid money-spinners

September 28, 2010

If the life settlements market seems ghoulish, here’s a British scandal which isn’t doing the image of the business any favours. It’s one of the worst the country’s seen.

Around 30,000 mainly elderly investors in the UK put their money into a company called Keydata, hoping to make a little extra cash to fund their own retirement with the promise of a healthy return.

What they were buying sounded kosher, even if it did depend on how fast their wealthy American counterparts were dying. Of course, the investors may not have known that.

As is so often the case with these things, the projections were a little optimistic. And then some other irregularities blew up. Around 100 million pounds went missing, one of the business’s partners dropped dead in Singapore and the investment company was shut down by the regulators, leaving British pensioners like Tony and Pam Tobin out of pocket.  The Serious Fraud Office is investigating.

Tony and Pam Tobin

Tony and Pam Tobin

Undeterred, the other key character behind Keydata is determined to fight the regulators’ decision.  “I am someone who can make the impossible possible,” he tells us.

Whatever happened to the stiff upper lip?


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Why does history repeat itself. Pinch yourself and say.

“If it is too good to be true, it probably is”.

Never, ever trust financial advisers at face value; all they are after is a fat comnmission cheque. Check, and then check again and if it is too good to be true, then ask yourself why has it not already been done.

Never, ever put all your money in one basket.

Posted by Olduvai | Report as abusive

One of the major problems with the investmenet side of the life setttlement industry is that individual investors lack a basic knowledge of life settlements. They are clueless to the asset class theyre investing in and most have no idea what factors are used to determine the value of the life insurance policy. Perhaps forcing the investors to take a class helping them understand the process and pricing of a life settlment will be required in the future. In the meantime as a settlement broker with Integrity Life Settlement in Maplewood NJ we continue offering monthly webinars to financial professionals and individuals alike in the hope that a better educated consumer will help put an end to some of the shenanigans

Posted by erotem | Report as abusive