OFMdFM and the two US fund deals they failed to deliver on…

As below the border, so above, and lack of candour seems to be the order of the day. Sam McBride has a story that could do with a more detailed answer than the one given him by OFMdFM. Two funds set up in New York to invest in Northern Ireland have thus far failed to invest a red cent:

The Emerging Europe Fund was set up in 2009 with the aim of investing pension cash from New York State public sector workers into the Province.

Despite making no investments to date, those behind it in the USA say that the fund does still remain live.

The creation of Emerging Europe followed on from a very similar-sounding scheme called the Emerald Fund, which was unveiled in 2008 with an even bigger pledge – $150m.

This had also involved channelling funds from US workers’ pension pots into the Province (although it was based in New York City, not New York State).

It is believed that this has never invested anything, and is reported to be dead.

Well, after years of asking, now we know. The only person to benefit from Emerald appears to have been placement agent on the deal in the US. It looks like a case of OFMdFM landing a foreign deal that they were in no position to deliver on domestically.

  • Pete Baker
  • Greenflag

    “The Emerging Europe Fund was set up in 2009 with the aim of investing pension cash from New York State public sector workers into the Province.”

    Given that half the value of New York State public pension funds had already been ‘looted ‘ via the Wall St crash and the subsequent recession in the USA the only real news here is that the USA is still trying to re-emerge never mind . I’m surprised in the OFM/DFM being naive enough to believe that pension fund money would roll in to NI at a time when every pension fund in the USA was running away at hyper speed from any more risky investments ?

    Lack of candour ? Embarassment for all I’d have thought . . I’d suggest that the placement agent may been overoptimistic re the prospect of short recession which however turned into a 5 year and more job . And is not yet over . With interest rates being kept low until at least the end of 2015 the assault on savers will continue and the Feds will via stealthflation remove cash from consumers to deliver to Wall St banks so they can continue on their merry pillage 🙁

  • Greenflag


    ‘the USA is still trying to re-emerge never mind Europe or NI or ROI” .

  • sherdy

    Would these be the only two investment projects by OFMdFM that haven’t actually lost money?

  • Mick Fealty

    Only to the guys who set them up sherdy. Nice business if you can get it.

    GF, nothing to do with the recession. Aapparently the 18% ROI is the reason no one in NI is taking their money. So the flaw in the design was at the local output rather than the input level. If the Emerald money has been recycled its because we didn’t use it, not because the US was short of cash.

  • It appears that NAMA “assets” are going to be purchased by foreigners with worthless dollars/massively printed paper, which is nice trick delivering something concrete for virtually nothing, which is the magic which can be done with currency, which doesn’t even need to be a physical commodity whenever just an electronic transfer and an adjustment of figures on an account balance.

    And how sad that Stormont squatters haven’t grasped the hang of ensuring that free flow of cash for everything and everyone yet.

    It is hard to believe that none of them haven’t arranged something more personally attuned though, considering some of their pasts and the dodgy acquaintances and/or organisations which favour them with their support.

    Go on, admit it to yourselves, cash is a blunt ignorant command and control tool and has no value in and of itself.

    “The few who understand the system, will either be so interested from it’s profits or so dependant on it’s favors, that there will be no opposition from that class.” — Rothschild Brothers of London, 1863

    ”Give me control of a nation’s money and I care not who makes it’s laws” — Mayer Amschel Bauer Rothschild

  • aquifer

    “18% Return on Inve$tment!”

    Either someone has a much higher appetite for risk than we are used to, or the fund managers are rabidly optimistic.

    Though when even the massive General Electric corporation is leveraged like a hedge fund, some diversification out of the US deep dollar debt pond looks like a good bet.

    I hope that local businesses can think big enough to suck in some of those spare dollars they are printing.

    Is the 18% payable in Sterling Euros or Dollars? If US inflation kicks off it could matter a lot to the pensioners.

  • Greenflag

    Apparently the 18% ROI is the reason no one in NI is taking their money..

    Quite right too .Bernie Madoff is doing 150 years for offering investors a guaranteed 12 % . 60 billion dollars later ( a quarter of Ireland’s GDP ) they learned the hard way that if it’s too good to be true etc.

    Aquifer above is right -though given local conditions in NI real economy opportunities are thin on the ground . Investment tends to favour political stability and although progress has been made NI is not yet out of the woods . But political stability alone is not enough either .

    It looks like low interest rates will be maintainedat least until 2015 or until the US unemployment rate goes down to 6.5 % . New Federal Reserve Chairman – Yellen seems to be broadening the requirements for an upward tick in interest rates beyond the former 6.5 % official unemployment rate game change moment .. The real rate is probably double that as millions have left the workplace since 2007/2008 and are no longer even counted in the statistics . So given the background of middle class emisseration , weak consumer demand and little prospect of a recovery strong enough to make a real dent in unemployment the USA is condemned to printing more dollars for the foreseeable future with the likelihood of losing even more buying power in a slow decade long ‘devaluation’.
    Neither the Democrats and even less the GOP have come up with answers to the economic ‘malaise ‘ other than repeat more of what did’nt work in the past 🙁 Ditto for the EU.

    I could be persuaded to invest in any Mutual Fund or Emergent Fund almost as much as I could be persuaded to sit atop a Saturn rocket on a one way no return trip to get a closer look at the surface of that UFO i.e the Sun 😉

    For 100% of the risk you get maybe a 30% ROI after a decade (3% a year ) if you are lucky- and the Fund managers pick up 70% .

    The advantage is of course you don’t have to worry or bother with the detail or nitty gritty as the ‘managers ‘ of the glossy brochure brigade do all that for you while creaming off 70% of the return.

    Those figures are an average btw.

    Caveat emptor as always .

  • cynic2

    I have friends who went through the investment process with their companies. The US Investors arrived with the simple eye to a chance to take their technologies and design capabilities export them back to the US and leave nothing behind.

    Its naive to expect they are here to help – they are here to exploit and make as fast and big a buck as possible and that is the aim of the US Government too

  • Greenflag

    @ cynic2 ,

    ‘Its naive to expect they are here to help ‘

    It’s normal to expect a decent return on any investment and a better return on even riskier investments while accepting in the case of the latter one may lose one’s entire investment . At the same time some NI local business ventures may not see the bigger picture and may be narrower focused and thus over protective of their technologies and design capabilities .

    Some may know the history of brilliant British inventions and ideas which had to wait until they were exported or bought by johnny foreigner before they became actual applications and huge businesses elsewhere .

    As for the US Government making a fast buck ? The only way any USA Government has ever made a fast buck is by printing them on high speed presses . Other governments have and do the same . The money has to come from somewhere if it can’t be earned or spent in the economy no?

  • it’s all OK if only Haass is sorted by our Dear Leaders’ trip to the USA http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/debateni/blogs/liam-clarke/if-white-house-loses-patience-with-us-so-will-us-investors-30001267.html or something like that.