So far, there has been talk of false speculation. But for US investigators, the loss of billions by an Allianz pension fund is the result of manipulation. For example, managers secured their investments worse than they claimed. It costs the Dax group billions. The ex-chief investor in question has turned himself in.
The billions lost by US investors with hedge funds from an Allianz subsidiary become a criminal case. The chief investor for several "Structured Alpha" funds, Greg Tournant, and two fund managers have manipulated the development of the funds for years and understated the risks associated with the investments, the US Department of Justice said. Tournant, who Allianz fired at the end of 2021, is accused of conspiracy, securities and investment fraud and obstruction of justice. A ministry spokesman said he turned himself in to the authorities in Denver.
Large investors such as US pension funds lost a total of seven billion dollars with the funds when the capital markets collapsed in March 2020 at the beginning of the Corona crisis. The funds with a volume of eleven billion dollars were wound up.
The US branch of the asset manager Allianz Global Investors, AGI US, which belongs to the Munich insurance giant, has pleaded guilty to not having looked at the fund managers enough, the ministry said. After a settlement with the ministry, Allianz is willing to pay a $2.33 billion penalty and $3.24 billion to compensate investors for their lost stakes.
But she would be waived $1.89 billion of the fine because she had already paid more compensation to investors, including pension funds for teachers in the US state of Arkansas. A further 463 million would be confiscated in favor of the treasury. In a separate settlement, Allianz will pay SEC $675 million. A spokesman for the group in Munich said the amounts were covered by provisions.
Allianz has already set aside 5.6 billion euros to settle the affair. Previously it had been assumed that the losses were bad speculation because the fund managers had gotten cold feet in the ups and downs of the markets. But according to their investigations, the US authorities accuse the fund managers of having deliberately misled investors since at least 2014. They would have stretched far fewer safety nets in the fund to protect investors from losses in the event of a crash than they claimed.
More than two dozen investors had sued AGI. Allianz boss Oliver Bäte admitted the debacle in August 2020 and pushed for a quick settlement after the insurer had always rejected the allegations until then.