BoN declares QZ Asset Management a pyramid scheme

Hertta-Maria Amutenja

Following complaints by members of the public, the Bank of Namibia (BoN) has warned the public about investing their hard-earned money in an illegal scheme of QZ Asset Management.

In a statement, the central bank, cautions the public to refrain from promoting or participating in the business activities of QZ Asset Management or any other unauthorised financial schemes, as such activities are against the law and may result in financial losses to those that partake in it.

According to Kazembire Zemburuka, the Director of Strategic Communications and International Relations at the central bank, QZ Asset Management is marketed as an online business that provides advisory and asset management services to individual and institutional investors.

“It is reported that QZ Asset Management’s primary goal is to build innovative portfolios that provide superior, long-term investment returns by acquiring ownership in outstanding companies at attractive prices through its big data capabilities incorporated with Artificial Intelligence instead of analysing stock markets. According to its marketing material, the company matches investments dollar-for-dollar which doubles its clients’ Assets Under Management (AUM), essentially doubling profits. QZ Asset Management does not offer any tangible products for sale.,” he said

He said the outcome of the investigations by the BoN has revealed the business activities of QZ Asset Management contravene sections 5 and 55A of the Banking Institutions Act, 1998 (Act No. 2 of 1998) as amended.

“Members of the public are enticed to become members of the scheme by paying a membership fee. To grow in the hierarchy, participants must recruit more members under them, who in turn must pay a membership fee for the benefit of the scheme. QZ Asset Management does not sell any tangible products. Thus, the business model can only be sustained with the continued recruitment of new members who pay membership fees and invest in the scheme,” he stated.

Zemburuka said the company further claims to ensure that capital is 100 percent guaranteed in the event of any trading mishap and that a maximum interest return of 400 percent can be earned on investment despite the company not selling any tangible products.

He said QZ Asset Management is not licensed by the central bank as a banking institution, nor is it authorized to accept, receive, or take deposits from the public.

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