01 March 2012

AIJ: Japan Regulators Look Overseas for Rest of ¥200 Billion in Missing Customer Pension Funds

So far they have found about ¥20 Billion in the local Japanese accounts. The rest is 'missing.'

Word has it that AIJ lost the money trading futures. Should have gone to Vegas.

A list of 36 of the 84 pension funds who lost money is now available.   The rest declined to be identified for fear of stirring up 'public unrest.'  

These pensioners are apparently a cranky lot.

Since the Japan press seems to think the money was 'burned through,' perhaps they should look for the vapor trails like the MF Global team is doing.

Hong Kong and the Cayman Islands are prime destinations in their own right, but I will be surprised if a big western financial firm is not involved here somewhere.

The Japan Times
AIJ likely lost pension funds trading futures

March 2, 2012
AIJ Investment Advisors Co. used clients' corporate pension money to conduct futures trading in Japan, after first transferring the money to the Cayman Islands and Hong Kong, sources said.

The details offer clues on how the suspended asset manager allegedly burned through most of what is now believed to be ¥210 billion entrusted to it by 84 employee pension funds covering more than 880,000 people as of the end of 2011.

In a related development Thursday, the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry published the names of 36 of the 84 corporate pension funds damaged by AIJ after they agreed to be publicly identified.

The others refused on the grounds that disclosure might fuel public "unrest."

Those that lost money include software developer SCSK Corp., Cosmo Oil Co., Nihon Unisys Ltd., Lion Corp., Dai Nippon Printing Co. and Fuji Electric Co.

Wall Street Journal
Japan Looks Abroad for AIJ Funds
March 1, 2012, 11:40 a.m.

TOKYO—Japanese regulators plan to ask Hong Kong and other overseas authorities for help as they try to track down nearly $2.5 billion in allegedly missing pension funds, according to a person familiar with the matter.

The Securities and Exchange Surveillance Commission is looking at whether AIJ Investment Advisors Co., a little-known Tokyo asset-management firm, channeled pension money it managed into private investment trusts in the Cayman Islands, the person said. Accounts may also have been set up with financial institutions in Bermuda and Hong Kong, the person added.

While such moves wouldn't violate Japanese rules, regulators need the help to check on overseas accounts.

Japan's Financial Services Agency suspended AIJ's operations last week, saying the firm can't account for most of the money it managed...

AIJ has told regulators that it believes about 90% of the roughly ¥200 billion in pension assets that it managed is gone, and only around ¥20 billion remain, the person familiar with the matter said...