The Star recently reported that an investigation by the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) into the scheme expected the amount lost by investors to be over R100 million.
Stringfellow’s two unit trust funds - operated under the Boutique Collective Investments (BCI) licence, the Stringfellow BCI Flexible Fund of Funds, and the Stringfellow BCI Stable Fund of Funds - hold about R80m and R50m respectively, according to their May 31 fact sheets. The flexible fund delivered 4.28% a year on average over five years, while the stable fund delivered 4.7% a year over the same period. The funds have been in operation for more than a decade.
The money in the two unit trust funds is safe, owing to the regulated nature of collective investment schemes in South Africa.
But it appears that Stringfellow had persuaded investors in these funds to move their money across to an unregulated, private scheme linked to the Lorna Jane boutique franchise, operated by Stringfellow and his wife Leigh, which has closed down.