The Securities and Exchange Commission accused Concord, a company responsible for handling substantial sums of money on behalf of Money Manager Connected to Roman Abramovich, of not properly registering as an investment advisor. U.S. Securities Regulators Accuse Westchester County Firm of Unregistered Advisory Services
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Takes Legal Action
In a recent development, U.S. securities regulators have taken legal action against a small firm based in Westchester County, New York. This firm, known as Concord Management, was responsible for managing substantial hedge fund and private equity investments on behalf of Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich. The charges brought against them allege that Concord Management operated as an unregistered investment adviser.
Concord Management and Its Owner in Hot Water
The lawsuit, filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission in a federal court in New York, asserts that Concord Management, along with its owner, Michael Matlin, garnered substantial fees, amounting to tens of millions of dollars, for providing investment advice. Interestingly, they provided these services to an unnamed individual described as a “wealthy former Russian official widely regarded as having political connections to the Russian Federation.”
Money Manager Connected to Russian Oligarch
A knowledgeable source has confirmed that the person in question is none other than Roman Abramovich. Notably, Mr. Abramovich previously served as the governor of the Chukotka region in eastern Russia.
Concord’s Extensive Involvement with Abramovich
The New York Times reported in March 2022 that Concord, with an office located in Tarrytown, New York, had overseen numerous investments on behalf of Mr. Abramovich. This revelation occurred in the backdrop of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, with international authorities imposing sanctions on oligarchs close to President Vladimir V. Putin. It is worth noting that while the United States did not impose sanctions on Mr. Abramovich, both Britain and the European Union took such measures against him.
The sanctions compelled Mr. Abramovich to divest his ownership of the renowned London soccer club, Chelsea Football Club. Additionally, authorities placed a freeze on over $13 billion worth of assets held by financial institutions in various locations, including Britain, the Cayman Islands, the Isle of Jersey, and the British Virgin Islands. Some of these assets were allegedly investments that Concord had arranged through American financial companies overseeing offshore funds on Mr. Abramovich’s behalf.
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In June of the previous year, the United States confiscated two aircraft suspected to be in the possession of Mr. Abramovich.
According to the regulatory body, the S.E.C.’s complaint covers actions that started in 2012. During that time, the firm and Mr. Matlin, who is currently 59 years old, were expected to register as investment advisers. Over the following ten years, it is alleged that the firm and Mr. Matlin received a total compensation of $85 million.
The complaint outlines accusations regarding how Mr. Matlin and Concord collaborated on investment decisions alongside companies located in the British Virgin Islands and Jersey, suspected to be under the control of Mr. Abramovich. According to the S.E.C., Concord utilized a network of offshore entities as a method to conceal Mr. Abramovich’s involvement in the background.
Gurbir S. Grewal, who serves as the director of the division of enforcement at the S.E.C., stated that Concord’s actions “undermined the commission’s ability to effectively oversee the billions of dollars its client invested in the United States.”
Jon Hammond, a spokesperson for Concord and Mr. Matlin, responded with the following statement: “We believe that a thorough and impartial examination of the relevant laws and facts will confirm that Concord Management and Michael Matlin adhered to all regulatory and legal obligations.”