By Stelios Orphanides
German Lillevyali, a Russian fund manager with an Estonian passport who has disappeared leaving investors fearing for the fate of their funds, is reportedly in Cyprus, Bloomberg reported on Friday.
Lillevyali, 53, owner of the GL Financial Group, which is licenced in Switzerland and the UK and has affiliates in Nicosia, London, Geneva, Zurich and Belize, was managing $250 million (€213m) in funds. Executives working for Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska, Switzerland’s Novartis AG, and San-Francisco-based Levi Stauss & Co. are among Lillevyali’s customers.
A Facebook post dated April 20, in which he assured investors about their funds was fake, Bloomberg reported.
“I promise you the money is safe,” the post addressed to investors of AnkorInvest, GL Asset Management, GL Finance, Stolitchnaya Finansovaya Groupa and Financial Alliance, said. “I will return it personally, there is nothing to worry about. Please send me a personal message if you want more information.”
“I am currently in Cyprus but will be back in Moscow soon,” the message said.
Lillevyali appears to be director and shareholder in the Cyprus-registered company, GL Finance Capital Investment Ltd, headquartered at 4a, Paphou Street, in Aglantzia, a southern suburb of Nicosia, according to records seen by the Cyprus Business Mail.
Until 2014, the company had its address in Limassol, the records showed. In addition, in the registrar of companies and official receiver documents he is registered under the name German Lillevali, without a ‘y’. His address is a property at the Aphrodite Hills project near Paphos.
Bloomberg reported that he did not return calls or messages to his voicemail and he said that he didn’t want to reveal his location when asked repeatedly.
According to Bloomberg, Lillevyali said that the most he ever managed was $140m and added that $35m of those funds were frozen due to compliance issues.
The website of his company, GL Asset Management, which explains his investment strategy, has been down since last month.
The Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission, which supervises investment firms, did not respond to requests for a comment on Friday afternoon.
The full Bloomberg report is available here.