The Financial Sector Conduct Authority has cleared Cobus Kellermann of breaching any of South Africa's financial laws, five years after concerns were raised about Kellermann's involvement in the so-called ‘Belvedere Group'.
"During 2014, the FSCA's predecessor, the Financial Services Board (FSB), provided assistance to certain foreign regulators relating to funds that were allegedly channeled to several entities in South Africa," the regulator said in a statement.
"It became apparent that Kellermann was a person of interest in the matter. The FSB's inspection therefore sought to establish whether Kellermann was involved with any South African Financial Services Providers (FSPs), and whether the funds of any South African clients were invested in the foreign entities that were mentioned in media reports on the matter."
At least I can carry on with my life. It doesn’t make anything right, but at least it draws a line in the sand"
OffshoreAlert, a US newsletter on financial crime, reported in March 2015 that the Belvedere Management Group, a Mauritian financial services group, showed evidence of being a criminal enterprise. Kellermann, according to media reports at the time, was a part owner in a company affiliated to the group. Kellerman denied allegations of wrongdoing at the time.
The FSB's investigations covered six local companies: RSA Multi Asset Management, Government Investments SA, Pensionation Investments SA, Multivest Financial Planning, Contego Asset Management, and Clarus Asset Management.
Kellermann told local news outlet Moneyweb that he is thankful that at least it provided some sort of conclusion to the matter in South Africa, after years of suspicion.
"At least I can carry on with my life," Kellermann said. "It doesn't make anything right, but at least it draws a line in the sand."
The local regulator's announcement comes more than two years after the financial services regulator in Guernsey finished its investigation into Kellermann and companies linked to him and David Cosgrove. The Guernsey Financial Services Commission (GFSC) took no action against either individual.
In 2016 Cosgrove was disqualified from holding any position in the financial services industry in Mauritius for five years.